Donors to the University of Virginia signaled with their checkbooks what they thought of the temporary ouster of its popular president, with donations dropping in half after her forced resignation and then doubling upon her return, figures obtained by The Associated Press show.
The university's governing board unexpectedly announced the resignation of Teresa A. Sullivan June 10 in a secretive move that caused an uproar on the Charlottesville campus while most students were away on summer break. But the eighth president and first woman to head the prestigious public university founded by Thomas Jefferson was reinstated June 26 after large-scale protests, online petitions and angry calls by faculty, students, donors and alumni from across the country for her return.
Bob Sweeney, the university's senior vice president for development and public affairs, told AP in a telephone interview that the end result of the drama that drew national headlines is that the university had its best June for fundraising since 2008, receiving $44.4 million in cash and pledges that month.
"When Sullivan resigned our giving dropped in half and when she was reinstated our giving doubled," Sweeney said.