At 2:30 AM this morning, the Board of Visitors emerged from what was surely a very contentious session, having named McIntire School of Commerce Dean Carl Zeithaml the interim president. McIntire is a sort of Darden Lite—the undergraduate version of Darden—and Zeithaml is an old, white man, which is to say that, in retrospect, BOV’s choice is not particularly surprising. (Zeithaml also has a degree in “Strategic Management,” something that seems to be buzzword compliant with the BOV’s preferences.) He sent a letter to the McIntire School when President Sullivan was ousted ten days ago, which neither condemned nor explicitly supported the BOV’s actions. Zeithaml’s selection was not unanimous: Heywood Fralin voted against Zeithaml, Robert Hardie and A. Macdonald Caputo abstained, and Glynn Key left the meeting before the vote.
So, there was a meeting was held in secret in response to widespread anger about the BOV’s new habit of doing things in secret, in which they selected an old, white man who runs a business school and has a degree in “Strategic Management” to take over the presidency of the university. It’s difficult to see how the universal condemnation of the BOV’s actions have resulted in an outcome that is in any way different than the one envisioned by Rector Helen Dragas last October, when she set this plan in motion.