The UVA students and faculties received an email late Friday evening of the utmost importance.
Since most college students are notorious for not checking their emails regularly, especially on a Friday night, this news may be surprising for some. Teresa Sullivan, the president of The University of Virginia, informed the UVA community that she would not be seeking a contract renewal with the university after the summer of 2018.
She wrote that she intended to make this known early because “an ideal transition would provide sufficient time after [her] successor is named for [President Sullivan] to provide personal introductions to the Governor, key members of the General Assembly and the Governor’s Cabinet, Virginia’s congressional delegation and alumni leaders and donors who support the University in Virginia, across the nation, and around the world.” President Sullivan went on to explain that UVA and its affiliations are as strong as ever and this is the perfect time for transition, providing a sense of hope during a stressful situation.
President Sullivan took the time to reflect on some of the major milestones during her presidency including The Cornerstone Plan, health care, academic excellence, global contributions and the financial contribution the university has provided throughout the last decade. Financially, Sullivan explained, “despite the financial headwinds of the Great Recession, the University completed its $3-billion capital campaign in 2013, and UVA’s annual philanthropic cash flow increased from $203.8 million in 2010 to $260.2 million in 2016.”
Sullivan also clarified that she still has work that needs to be done so that her successor may start with a “clean slate.” She stated that although most of the facilities on campus have been renovated or are completely new, the STEM buildings still need new laboratories. Sullivan expressed that the Bicentennial Scholars program, which is “catalyzed by the Strategic Investment Fund, will ensure access to UVA for generations of future students if we give it the necessary sustained attention now.” Lastly, UVA’s new partnership with Inova Health System requires “careful attention.”
Sullivan explained that her work is not done at UVA and that she plans to personally thank all of the contributors to her success. Also, she encouraged the community as a whole to continue to work hard just as always. However, President Sullivan ensured that there won’t be much of an impact at all because the transition will be smooth. President Sullivan has made significant contributions to the UVA community and her successor will have large shoes to fill. Nevertheless, the University of Virginia and the surrounding community will continue to flourish despite a change in administration.