Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m., three area state legislators will gather at the U.Va. Law School’s Caplin Pavilion for an open forum on issues of university governance. According to the Facebook post announcing the event, Sen. Creigh Deeds and Dels. David Toscano and Steve Landes will “hear comments and answer questions about potential legislation” arising from June’s events.
Should faculty, students, staff members or anyone else have a voting seat on the Board of Visitors? Who should choose? Or is everything OK as it is? Which matters should the board be permitted to discuss in closed session? If board members have legitimate concerns about the performance of a university official, how should they proceed?
Native American leaders, she writes, are consensus-builders, seeking input and carefully measuring the impact of their actions on all affected parties. “Native Americans have always understood the importance of our interconnection to and responsibility for others beyond narrow self-interest,” she writes. The new spirit of reconciliation, she says, “bodes well” for U.Va. and for higher education as a whole.
It’s a fairly lengthy read by Web standards, but worth the time if you’re interested in such things.
The Daily Progress has the story today of Joan Fenton, a Charlottesville businesswoman, and her husband who are videotaping the open sessions of the Board of Visitors‘ annual retreat today and tomorrow and hired — at their own expense — a stenographer to document the proceedings.
Fenton is the mother of a U.Va. graduate, and, like many, became interested in the BOV after June’s failed ouster of President Teresa A. Sullivan. She’s the founder of a Facebook group, “Reform the UVa BOV.”
Having sat through many, many BOV meetings over the years, I can assure you that it probably does not make for riveting TV. without commenting one way or another on her viewpoint, I will say her efforts are a great exercise in democracy and open government.
(They seem to have wrapped up the open sessions for today, but will be back early tomorrow.)
If you’ve been under a rock, or out of the country, or just didn’t have the time to follow what politics professor Larry Sabato has dubbed “the recent unpleasantness” surrounding the resignation and reinstatement of U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan — or if you just want to review a well-organized summary — the July online edition of U.Va. Magazine has put together comprehensive coverage.
The wrap-up includes “What Happened,” an interactive timeline of events; “What You Said,” a synopsis of comments compiled by the Alumni Association; and “How You Said It,” an article on the role of social media in the days following the resignation announcement.
GuestofaGuest-D.C., the Washington edition of an upscale society blog, has an interesting item on a unique commemoration of what politics guru Larry Sabato has dubbed “the recent unpleasantness.” It reports that two alumni who run Alton Lane, a high-tech DuPont Circle men’s tailoring business, are offering a unique “Sullivan tie,” in honor of deposed-and-reinstated President Teresa A. Sullivan. They are pledging to send 100 percent of the profits on sales through this weekend to the President’s Fund for Excellence.
“The phones were ringing quite a bit yesterday,” said Colin Hunter, who co-founded the company with his friend and fellow 2004 alumnus, Peyton Jenkins. Thursdays, they were sending one to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and an unnamed congressman.
Hunter and Jenkins kept close tabs on the events of the past couple of weeks, they said. “As part of the community, you respond as you best can,” Hunter said.
(Alton Lane sounds like an interesting place, too. They use TSA-like body-scan technology to create tailored suits to exact specifications.)
Tomorrow’s Board of Visitors meeting to consider the reinstatement of President Teresa A. Sullivan will be held in the board room at the Rotunda. Although it is scheduled as an open session, there is very little room inside. (The file photo below, taken by UVA Today”s Cole Geddy at a routine meeting last September, gives you some idea of the space available along the outer walls of the room.)
However, given the enormous interest in the proceedings, the meeting will be streamed live on the Internet. The meeting will be viewable here (though that link will not be active until the meeting’s 3 p.m. start) and on the U.Va. Facebook page.
Those of you who attended Sunday’s “Rally for Honor” may have noticed a big white weather balloon being towed around the Lawn.
It turns out that it was piloted by folks from U.Va.’s Scholar’s Lab, an arm of the University Library that supports digital research and scholarship. They were kind enough to share some of the images they captured via a camera dangling beneath the balloon.
I’m not sure when the pictures were taken, but it looks like it may have been early in the rally, when many folks were seeking shade under the trees.
To read UVA Today’s coverage of Sunday’s rally, click here.
A new blog, WELLITSAFUNNYSTORY, is busy casting a film based on the whole saga, which it calls “Ousther.” I think drama professor and Faculty Senate executive committee member Gweneth West, in particular, would enjoy the choice of Meryl Streep to portray her.
The library would like signs from Monday's rally. (Photo by Cole Geddy)
UVA Today’s Rob Seal reports:
The University of Virginia Library is compiling a record of artifacts – both digital and physical – related to the recent resignation of U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan and the response from the University community.
“The library is leading a team that will collaborate to objectively collect all of the materials related to these events,” said Bradley Daigle, the library’s director of digital curation services, who said the team is specifically looking for items that wouldn’t normally be preserved by the University’s Records Management office.
As the fallout from President Teresa A. Sullivan’s departure continues, U.Va. community members have shared their reactions and feelings in many different forums.
The U.Va. Alumni Association is leading a particularly constructive effort to compile feedback to be shared with the Board of Visitors. They have created an online form to collect such communications, which they promise to deliver to the board on Friday.
In addition, the Alumni Association has compiled an exhaustive list of the communications from various deans and entities around Grounds (Part 1/Part 2).
As of mid-afternoon today, the site had received 4,400 responses, the Alumni Association reported.
Just in time for U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan’s trip to China and Singapore late this week, a Chinese documentary producer has put out a made-for-U.Va. trailer for his new documentary on Chinese students studying in the U.S. The trailer includes a half-dozen current or former U.Va. students, plus faculty members Brantly Womack (politics/foreign affairs), Edwin Burton (economics) and Parke Muth (admission). We’re told the long version of the documentary will appear on cctv4, the largest station in China. The photography is lavish.