Friday, June 22, 2012

McDonnell Wades In

The Governor of Virginia has finally said something of substance about the ongoing tragedy at the University of Virginia. Apparently, the Governor finds fault with all parties and demands quick action. He will, he says, remove the entire Board of Visitors if they do not emerge from next Tuesday's Board meeting with a decision and an explanation and, interestingly, "unity."

One suspects that the Governor is not happy about the very fact of a called meeting to "reconsider" President Sullivan's employment. He would have preferred to "move on" with the new leadership. Never mind that nearly 100 percent of faculty, student and alums seem uncomfortable with the manner of Sullivan's ouster. The Governor seems to think that speed and decisiveness are the answer as opposed to due process and sound judgment.

The Board needs to make a decision one way or another. The Governor should have called upon the Board to meet and make a decision last week not this week. It boggles the mind that the Governor was perfectly happy last week to accept the ouster of a sitting President of the University of Virginia, when not a single member of the Board has voted for her removal.

The issue is mainly one of governance and due process. Whether or not a "unified" decision is reached Tuesday is less important than whether or not the process passes the smell test. The Governor seems to be expressing sour grapes that his plans seem to be getting derailed.