Opposition Gelling Against U.Va. Rector's Reappointment

Ann McClure's picture
Friday, December 21, 2012

Facing organized opposition from alumni, students and faculty, the embattled head of the University of Virginia's governing board is lobbying key lawmakers in Richmond in an effort to hold on to her position.

Helen Dragas, rector of the U.Va. Board of Visitors, spearheaded the forced resignation of Teresa Sullivan, the university's first female president, in June. Sullivan was reinstated two weeks later after an uproar from the university community that made national headlines.

Outrage over Sullivan's aborted ouster was reignited days later when Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell reappointed Dragas to a second four-year term on the board.

The governor makes hundreds of appointments, all subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. In the vast majority of cases, the legislature's seal of approval is perfunctory and not controversial.

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