Archive for the 'UVa' Category

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Playboy: UVA is the #1 Party School

Playboy has named UVA the top party school in the nation, the AP reports. (Well, Playboy reports, but the story isn’t available online. I checked.) The university isn’t thrilled with the designation. It’s trailed by University of Southern California and University of Florida. This might make it tough for students to push back against city efforts to deal with noisy parties.

Council May Beef Up Noise Violation Fines

City Council is considering quadrupling fines for noise violations, Graham Moomaw writes for the Daily Progress, in an effort to deal with noisy parties around UVA. Currently the top fine is $250, which apparently is treated as the cost of throwing a big party by some students. The proposal is to move the offense from a Class 4 misdemeanor to a Class 2 misdemeanor, which would allow a fine of up to $1,000 and, theoretically, six months in jail. (Six months in jail is inherent with a Class 2 misdemeanor—increasing the fine means raising the possibility of jail time.) For somebody convicted twice in a one-year period, that’s a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is a fine of up to $2,500 or a year in jail. A city representative says that they don’t intend to pursue jail time except for people who demonstrate no interest in complying with the law. Council will take up the issue on Monday night.

Strine Resigns from UVA

UVA COO Michael Strine is stepping down, effective immediately, CBS-19 reports. Strine was brought on by President Teresa Sullivan as a part of her core team on July 1 of last year, replacing Leonard Sandridge. It’s a fair guess that Strine’s resignation is connected to Sullivan’s near-death experience at the hands of Board of Visitors Rector Helen Dragas, although right now nobody’s talking.

ACTA’s Role in Failed Sullivan Ouster

Alex writes:

The Washington Post’s Daniel de Vise has a most interesting story on his blog regarding some events that possibly influenced the forced resignation of UVA’s president Sullivan. It’s entitled “Are Virginia College Trustees Groomed for Activism?” It may shed some light on some murky forces that may have encouraged Ms. Dragas and Mr. Kington’s ousting of Dr. Sullivan. Up until now there has been comparatively little scrutiny on the prelude to the
resignation.

My favorite remark by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni’s Ms. [Anne] Neal was, “I believe that the objection you encounter to ACTA’s role stems from those who like the status quo to be free of accountability or scrutiny.” She certainly has chutzpah. Ms. Dragas and Mr. Kington—seemingly indirectly egged on by Neal—mounted their coup in the dead of night and bristled at the attention they received. Not much accountability or scrutiny there.

I’ve had a strong hunch that Neal and ACTA were behind this failed coup, but I’ve got nothing more than circumstantial evidence to support that. de Vise appears to be on the trail.

Governor Names BOV Appointees; Dragas Among Them

Governor Bob McDonnell has named six new members of the UVA Board of Visitors, and the big news is that reviled Rector Helen Dragas has been reappointed, as a source in the governor’s office said would happen, last Saturday. The announcement came in an e-mail, in which he also named Johns Hopkins Medical CEO Edward Miller, who you’ll recall was Dragas’ pick for interim president, but wound up not the BOV’s pick, presumably as a result of the firestorm of protest to Sullivan’s removal. The remaining four new members are outgoing JMU president Linwood Rose, Northern Virginia Tech Council CEO and Republican political operative Bobbie Kilberg, Gannett CFO and UVA Alumni Association chair Victoria Harker, and McGuire Woods Consulting chairman Frank Atkinson.

McDonnell defended his reappointment of Dragas in his statement, writing:

Just as I was disappointed to see the lack of transparency and communication surrounding the request for the resignation of the first female president of UVa, I am also concerned that the first female rector seemed to become the sole target of recent criticism. While there is no doubt that the board made several mistakes in its actions, which it has publicly admitted, this is not a time for recrimination. It’s a time for reconciliation. I have been heartened by recent statements made by president Sullivan, the Board of Visitors and by the faculty senate chair about their ability to work with the rector. As Faculty Senate Chairman George Cohen said to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, “She (Dr. Sullivan) said she can work with the rector. I think we can work with the rector as well.” That kind of commitment to unity, healing and advancement is crucial to the university’s success in maintaining itself as a pillar of higher education to pursue the growth of knowledge and advance the human condition. Today’s reappointment is made in that spirit and with that purpose. I look forward to the board and administration moving forward together. The university’s tradition is the embrace of inquiry, critical thinking and change, which the rector and many others bring to the table. Ms. Dragas’s serious critique of the challenges facing the university is a voice that must be heard, and can help, in ensuring UVa remains one of the world’s foremost institutions of higher learning.

McDonnell conveniently ignores that Dragas was the sole target of criticism because she was the sole person to screw up terribly. Vice Rector Mark Kington was a close second, but he resigned from the board, insulating him from much further criticism just as the story went national. Complaining that Dragas was singled out for criticism would be like complaining that Katrina was singled out for destruction in New Orleans in September of 2005. Yes, of course she was.

The press release follows.

Continue reading ‘Governor Names BOV Appointees; Dragas Among Them’

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