I’ve been reluctant to talk about the crazy coup at the University of Virginia, because university politics are so complicated in general. They’re generally all about who knows where the bodies are buried, even moreso than with usual politics (maybe partly because they don’t get much media scrutiny, so the bodies’ locations never become publicly available). But this thing at University of Virginia seems more like a simple case of idiot board members run amok. As much as I hate WaPo, they’ve done a great job of covering the story, and their editorials have been good too.
Governor Bob McDonnell has handled it well too. “Clean up your fucking mess or you’re all fired” was exactly the right thing to tell the board.
Anyway, the jig’s up and the president has been reinstated:
The University of Virginia governing board voted unanimously Tuesday to reinstate Teresa Sullivan as president, more than two weeks after board leaders had forced her to resign.
Being a college president is at least 50% finances and public relations (probably more). The board really shat the bed here, because they made the university look bad and pissed off donors (Sullivan was quite popular). Even if their ideas about how to change the university were good ones — I think all the stuff about the “reputation gap” at University of Virginia is on the money, the rest of what they said mostly sounded dumb — this was an incredibly stupid thing for them to have done. I think McDonnell should probably fire them all anyway.