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Del. Landes Suggests Legislation for BOV Transparency Training

Posted: Updated: June 22, 2012 03:26 PM EDT

Delegate Steve Landes has come out in support of University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan.  He is also suggesting new state legislation is needed to require university board of visitors receive transparency training.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Landes said, "I am calling on the UVA Board of Visitors to consider the reinstatement of President Teresa Sullivan."  

He added, "I am exploring possible legislation for the 2013 General Assembly Session which will address the training of university boards of visitors in the specific areas of transparency as well as review their governance policies."

Landes represents the 25th District, which includes parts of Albemarle, Augusta and Rockingham Counties.  


Office of Steve Landes
Press Release

VERONA- Del.  R. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, member of the House Appropriations Committee and Vice Chairman of the House Education Committee, has sent a letter urging Rector Helen Dragas and all members of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors to reconsider their forced resignation of President Teresa A. Sullivan and to contemplate her reinstatement.  

"Today I am calling on the UVA Board of Visitors to consider the reinstatement of President Teresa Sullivan," said Landes. "At the same time, I am exploring possible legislation for the 2013 General Assembly Session which will address the training of university boards of visitors in the specific areas of transparency as well as review their governance policies."

Landes wrote in his letter, "Just like everyone else, members of the General Assembly were blindsided by the actions of the Board. Personally, I found President Sullivan engaging and very professional in our dealings. It was my impression that things were going well under her leadership."

Landes represents the 25th House District, which includes parts of Albemarle, Augusta and Rockingham Counties.  Landes was first elected in 1995 and is now serving his ninth term.  


Office of Steve Landes
Letter to UVA Board of Visitors

I wanted to take the opportunity to express my concern over the recent actions of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors, or rather the actions taken by the Executive Committee, as it relates to the forced resignation of President Teresa Sullivan. As a member of the Virginia General Assembly, Vice Chairman of the House Education Committee, and a Virginian, it is my opinion that your actions, without any thought of transparency or even a consensus of the full Board, have severely damaged the University thereby hurting students, faculty, and alumni.  

Just like everyone else, members of the General Assembly were blindsided by the actions of the Board. Personally, I found President Sullivan engaging and very professional in our dealings. It was my impression that things were going well under her leadership.

My biggest concern is that the Board of Visitors' Executive Committee seemed to act on their own without agreement from the entire Board. Also to this date, there has been no real release of information about what prompted the action or which specific complaints you have against President Sullivan. To date, very little pertinent information seems to be forthcoming.

The University of Virginia is a fine institution with a fine reputation. I am saddened to know that the Executive Committee did not think through possible repercussions by your actions.

I am investigating possible legislation for the 2013 General Assembly Session related to this issue. The legislation will be in regard to Boards of Visitors receiving mandatory training specifically related to transparency. Possible changes to the Boards of Visitors' governance structures need to be addressed so that decisions and actions will not only be more transparent but taken by the entire board and not just a small group of the executive committee.

You and I are both well aware of the "firestorm" this has created in the media and on campus. My office has been inundated with hundreds of emails from constituents to let me know they are furious over your actions. In fact, I cannot think of even one contact in support of the Board's actions.

I am fervently recommending you reconsider your decision and that you carefully contemplate reinstatement of President Teresa Sullivan. Thank you for giving serious consideration to this request.

Sincerely,

R. Steven Landes