A historic change is taking place at the University of Virginia. With a unanimous vote from the UVA Board of Visitors, Dr. Teresa A. Sullivan was elected as the 8th president of UVA Monday afternoon. She is the first woman who will hold the position.
The University of Virginia Board of Visitors met at 2:30 Monday afternoon in the dome room of the Rotunda where they elected Sullivan the next president of the university. The selection committee, which includes nine members of the board of visitors, six faculty members, two former rectors, and two students, has been looking for UVA's next president since last summer.
Sullivan comes to UVA from the University of Michigan as a provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. She says she hopes to prepare students who come to the university to compete in the global workforce.
Rector of UVA John Wynne said, "Terry is an extraordinary talent who brings to the university an enormous depth and breadth of experience in literally every aspect of higher education."
Sullivan said public higher education is threatened and her job is to secure the future of UVA. She says she will not have to re-invent the wheel to do that and will follow what current President John Casteen is doing.
Sullivan stated, "He will be a hard act to follow but I venture to say that he would prefer that we pursue the course that he has charted rather than try to match his footsteps."
Sullivan will have a five year contract with UVA. Her annual paycheck will be $680,000. Her husband also gets a spot at the law school.
Sullivan will take over on August 01. Between now and then she hopes to be here once a month and get to try and meet as many people as possible.
Teresa A. Sullivan became Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan on June 1, 2006. She is also Professor of Sociology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
Prior to going to the University of Michigan, Dr. Sullivan was Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Texas System, a position she held from 2002 until May 2006.
Her responsibilities included developing tuition-setting procedures, initiating and supporting educational and research collaborations among the various campuses, and developing external collaborations.
Dr. Sullivan first joined the University of Texas at Austin in 1975 as an instructor and then assistant professor in the Department of Sociology. From 1977-81, she was a faculty member at the University of Chicago. Dr. Sullivan returned to Texas in 1981 as a faculty member in Sociology. In 1986 she was named to the Law School faculty as well. Dr. Sullivan also held several administrative positions at Texas including: Vice President and Graduate Dean (1995-2002), Vice Provost (1994-95), Chair of the Department of Sociology (1990-92), and Director of Women's Studies (1985-87).
Dr. Sullivan's research focuses on labor force demography, with particular emphasis on economic marginality and consumer debt. The author or co-author of six books and more than 50 scholarly articles, her most recent work explores the question of who files for bankruptcy and why. Dr. Sullivan has served as chair of the U.S. Census Advisory Committee. She is past secretary of the American Sociological Association and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
A graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University, Dr. Sullivan received her doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Chicago.