19 thoughts on “Strine Resigns from UVA”

  1. I am sure we will get full transparency with this move just like the other parts of this fiasco.

  2. I’m so disappointed that there’s only one response to this. I expected wonderful cvillnews.com conversation. The Alumni Association has added an interesting addendum. My favorite is:

    “Yet final power does not confer knowledge, wisdom, inquisitiveness, the trust and confidence of constituents, or legitimacy. Moreover, once all those attributes are cast in question or lost, suspicion reigns.”

    Full text here:


  3. The Hook is reporting that Strine was salaried at $450,000/yr. (plus benefits), and the University hired his spouse too. He walked away with an $850,000 severance deal after one year of service and a voluntary resignation? No wonder tuition is out of control – so is spending!

  4. meh – i feel he quit when he chose to undermine his boss . . . and does not deserve the benefits due to someone forced out of their employment by circumstances beyond their control.

  5. Chris has it right. I am sure Strine’s contract spelled out the general outline for his departure whether asked to leave or quit. People at the level usually usually have contracts of a type that is not offered to the usual Joe Blow. Dr. Sullivan has a severance contract too obviously.

  6. Any sweet severance deal would have been subject to review/approval by the BOV, which is run by Strine’s buddy, the now famous backroom dealer Helen Dragas. So much for any credibility around fiscal responsibility. Where is that Cuccinelli fellow when the University needs a real investigation?

  7. Where is the transparency? Why did Sullivan sign this? How was the deal arrived out? What was the communication among Sullivan, BOV, and Strine on this?

    This is all starting to look like the same old same old elite machinations with no transparency we saw during the Sullivan episode.

    There must be transparency in the way the BOV is appointed, how it conducts its business, how Sullivan and the BOV communicate, how Sullivan communicates with the faculty.

    Where is the transparent discussion of changes to shared governance that need to occur as a result of this episode?

  8. I forgot about transparency between Sullivan-Deans- Faculty. I think Sullivan needs to do a cleaning of the house of deans.

  9. These people are not accustomed to being transparent. I don’t recall anything being transparent at UVA. Waldo, do you feel that there was a great deal of transparency in the VQR affair?

  10. I have found the political culture of VA to be elitist in nature. Perhaps stemming from its agrarian/plantation roots, it seems like only the landed aristocracy and their agents have a seat at the political table. On the whole I find the political culture of institutions in the state, the City and the University to be almost feudal in operation. Its as if the serfs have no voice as though democracy is filtered through oligarchic political model. I find this to be the case in City politics as well. It was manifest in the BOV debacle, but I also find it to be the defacto model of the University’s governance operations as well. Ideas seem to have to be vetted and approved by Administrators to get traction. Administrators and their inside circle are the ones who do well in reputation, salary, promotion.

    The BOV debacle exposed this at one level. The question remains: does the expose spill over into The president and her M.O., how she works with Deans, how Deans interact with their faculty? There is very little transparency in the School/department I work in. The lack of transparency was also evident in the Kevin Morrissey story.

    Again, how does an institution so steeped in the political culture of top-down, elitist control become democratized from top to bottom? This is made even more difficult when some faculty see themselves as part of the nobility, when some students see the popular uprising centered around President Sullivan’s reinstatement to be just so much distraction from the elite political model taught in UVA’s political science department.

    We are surrounded by models of political elitism where everyday citizens don’t expect to be part of the political discussion and solution. How do we get to transparency?

  11. Truth: That is one of the theses of Sen. Jim Webb’s book Born Fighting. A titled “cavalier class” has held the reins of power for so long that the underclass has become predisposed to assume their natural disenfranchisement from governance. They withdrew to an insular, clannish social structure with a prominent religious focus.

    To the extent that the Governor shushed the hub-bub, Dragas ate some crow, and Sullivan took her licks with a smile, there is a good chance that nothing will change at the University. It is back to business, and IT IS a business. The disenfranchised University customers (students, faculty/staff, the Commonwealth)continue to find themselves on the outside, looking in.

    To be fair this situation extends across the University Industrial Complex – why is Charlie Steger still the President of VPI? The man was indicted and convicted in absentee by a jury of 12 for negligence in the death and injury of dozens of his students.

  12. Robert, if you had Steger’s job, you would have convicted of the same, and the conviction would have been just as meaningless. Blaming the president of VPI for what happened in that shooting rampage is exactly the sort of irrational post-event finger pointing that has made so much of our country dysfunctional. Regardless of what mistakes were made at VPI or who should shoulder any of the blame, it’s an incredible stretch and reeks of the most ridiculous conspiracy theory nonsense to attempt to make a link between two radically different events at two very different institutions.

  13. Robert wrote, “The man was indicted and convicted in absentee by a jury of 12 for negligence in the death and injury of dozens of his students.”

    Are you referring to the civil lawsuit? I’m confused, because “indicted and convicted” are terms usually used in regards to criminal cases, and I’m not aware that there was a criminal case brought against anyone at VT.

  14. Charles was released from his trial by a judge on a technicality. An appeals court is currently determining whether he should be returned to the dock. He should.

    With two students murdered, Steger, as leader of the VT emergency response committee, frittered and delayed in warning his unaware University community, demonstrating exceptionally poor judgment. Two hours passed, giving the gunman time to make a video, mail off his press releases, reload his weapons, and head to Norris Hall, where he chained the doors and began a leisurely killing spree. What informed this monumental failure of leadership? Charles needs to answer that question under oath, and subject to cross exam.

    The lack of accountability for Charles Steger mirrors the lack of accountability for Helen Dragas – when big-shots fail they are held to a different standard.

  15. Back to the lack of transparency and issues of political culture in VA and at UVA. In an article posted in the DP today regarding a letter sent from the Deans and Provost to president Sullivan, the letter was purported to state:

    “And Monday, a letter recently sent by the university’s provost and deans to Sullivan saying they think the university should decide, as an institution, where it needs to be in 10 years was released to the public. …

    At a lower-level, strategic decisions must accomplish such tasks as defining a unique vision for UVa, finding ways to accomplish that, and evaluating the school’s claim of uniqueness in student experiences and outcomes.

    Among the things the deans call for is “careful identification of activities that should be reduced or eliminated to invest in core areas critical to the university’s future.”
    Academic initiatives should be expected to show success within three to five years, the deans suggest.

    And the deans call for a streamlined planning process.
    “Previous experiences teach us that planning efforts that involve large groups over substantial periods of time are cumbersome and yield plans that offer little in the way of new thinking and difficult decisions,” they wrote. “They frustrate rather than inspire.”

    (Faculty makes itself heard on eve of BOV meetings.TED STRONG | Daily Progress
    Published: August 13, 2012 (http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2012/aug/13/faculty-makes-itself-heard-eve-bov-meetings-ar-2128891/)

    This last paragraph is the most telling and worrisome. It appears the Deans are calling for more power to make decisions without faculty input. This is the same old, same old top-down BS management style UVA has been operating under forever. It concentrates power in the deans (qua elites).

    Now let’s not forget that some of the deans came out the day after Sullivan’s resignation was announced to them at a meeting with Dragas and claimed to be supportive of the Rectors’s vision. I would look at statements made by the Dean of the College, Dean of the Curry School of Education, Dean of the Commerce School, & Dean of the Darden School. In my opinion, these folks appeared to be supportive of the direction that that the corporate putsch planners had in mind for UVA.

    Now they want more control over the direction of the future of without the bothersome process of gaining input from the faculty, staff, and students? I do hope the Faculty senate pushes back against this letter from the deans and that this apparent threat to faculty shared governance is thwarted. We certainly don’t want the BOV merely replaced by corporate inspired deans.

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