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University of Virginia takes a vote on ousted president

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Jeremy Hobson: Well the board of the University of Virginia meets tomorrow to consider reinstating Teresa Sullivan to the presidency. Sullivan was ousted by the board a couple of weeks ago, plunging the university into a public relations crisis.

Marketplace’s Amy Scott has the story from our education desk at WYPR in Baltimore.

Amy Scott: Members of UVA’s board thought Sullivan wasn’t responding fast enough to the challenges facing all public universities. She was under pressure to cut costs amid declining funding from the state, to increase online education, and better compete for top faculty and students.

Kent Chabotar is president of Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. He says many board members come from the business world.

Kent Chabotar: They’re used to change at a very different pace, so I think that’s what’s causing some of the disconnects.

Kevin Carey: It’s not a corporation, where you can just institute policy and everyone falls into line.

That’s Kevin Carey with the New America Foundation, a nonprofit think tank. He says UVA doesn’t need to adapt as quickly as other schools. It’s cushioned by a $5 billion endowment — the largest per capita of any public university — and, at least until now, a stellar reputation.

Guilford’s Kent Chabotar says the scandal is a “teachable moment” for all of higher ed.

I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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