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War of Words at UVA Over Sullivan's Ouster - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

War of Words at UVA Over Sullivan's Ouster

Posted: Updated: June 14, 2012 04:31 PM EDT

Ousted University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan is back on grounds Thursday night.  A war of words is now dominating the controversial decision about her forced resignation.

Late Thursday afternoon, the UVA Faculty Senate met and voted on a resolution that supports Sullivan and it says there's a lack of confidence in UVA Rector Helen Dragas, Vice Rector Mark Kington and the entire board of visitors.

A war of statements is dominating the controversial resignation of President Sullivan.

David Leblang, chair of the UVA department of politics, said, "We don't feel like we've gotten answers from the board of visitors."

Between back-to-back meetings about Sullivan and her replacement, those looking for answers say a letter from Dragas late Wednesday has not cleared the air.  Citing confidentiality issues, the rector said the board of visitors can't explain Sullivan's forced departure.

"We can respect their view of employment practices, but to engage in a process where you replace one leader with another one, for that process to be legitimate you need to give the people who are being lead some information about why you're changing course," said Leblang.

In another statement Thursday, UVA Executive Vice President Michael Strine along with UVA Provost John Simon said "the board of visitors' action is resolute and authoritative," asking the UVA community "to focus constructively forward in preparing the institution for its next stage of leadership."

The battle to keep Sullivan in office is also trending in the social media world.  An online petition has garnered hundreds of electronic signatures to reinstate Sullivan. Another petition seeks to oust Rector Helen Dragas.

Marijean Jaggers with Jaggers Communications said, "Anytime you have a story where there's missing information, it invites speculation and twitter and social media in general are made for speculation."

Sullivan is back on grounds Thursday evening.  She is hosting a reception at Carr's Hill, her private residence.

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