UVA Chief Operating Officer Michael Strine Resigns

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The University of Virginia's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Strine is resigning.  Strine is the latest victim in the controversy surrounding President Teresa Sullivan's ouster and reinstatement.

UVA insiders say that Strine's departure was just a matter of time with the university's rector, Helen Dragas, wanting him to stay, and other higher-ups at the university saying he has to go.

Strine's resignation, "effective today," came in a statement from Sullivan Tuesday afternoon.  Sullivan says Strine recently determined it would be in the best interest of the university that he step down and allow Sullivan to do some necessary internal restructuring.

Insiders says Strine was an internal spy for the board of visitors leading up to Sullivan's forced resignation.

George Cohen, with the UVA Faculty Senate said, "I think Mr. Strine did the honorable thing.  I think it's a way we can help to rebuild the trust that was damaged as a result of the Sullivan incident."

Sources say Strine and some board members were on one side of which direction the university should go while Sullivan, provost John Simon, and others were on another side.

Sullivan also said Tuesday that Strine's resignation will allow the board and the president the opportunity to purse change aimed at ensuring communication, accountability and shared governance.

Strine will not walk away empty handed.  His severance package consists of a portion of the value of his five-year contract with UVA.  That amounts to more than $847,000.

University of Virginia
Statement from President Teresa Sullivan

Michael Strine resigned his position as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, effective today.

Michael has had great enthusiasm for strategizing and implementing change and I have appreciated his energy and assistance during the past year.

Michael recently determined that it would be in the best interest of the University that he step down and allow me to do some necessary internal restructuring. As Michael expressed to me: "In all my work here, I focused on working with our leadership across the University to help serve students, patients, faculty and communities across the Commonwealth.  Though it is hard to step aside, I am confident that this step helps the University and those it serves by allowing this Board and President the opportunity to pursue changes aimed at ensuring communication, accountability and shared governance."

I have accepted Michael's resignation with gratitude for his contributions and dedication to the University. I know that his leadership skills and commitment to higher education will bring him success in his future pursuits.

The University is in strong financial standing, and maintains its triple-A bond rating from all three of the rating agencies. We also have extraordinary depth in all of our financial offices. I feel confident that we will not skip a beat while we begin a national search for a new financial leader.

Background on Michael Strine

On May 12, 2011, University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan named Michael Strine executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective July 1, 2011

Strine, the former vice president for finance, chief financial officer and treasurer for The Johns Hopkins University, succeeded Leonard W. Sandridge, who stepped down on July 1 after 44 years at U.Va.

As U.Va.'s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Strine's major responsibilities included:

  • Serving as a financial and business partner and adviser to the president, provost, Board of Visitors, vice presidents and deans.
  • Leading all phases of U.Va.'s financial and capital planning and budgeting processes, including the implementation of a responsibility-based budgeting paradigm.
  • Collaborating with the provost to develop and adopt a new funding model for the University that recognizes likely changes in state funding levels, research support, philanthropic giving and investment returns.
  • Driving the development of financial and operational policies and procedures that integrate space, fiscal and human resource considerations to advance U.Va.'s instructional, research and public service missions, including clinical care.
  • Enhancing the customer service culture within the financial and operational functions of the University, ensuring that internal "customers" and external stakeholders view centralized services as responsive and value-added and with a focus on improving the undergraduate experience.
  • Collaborating with the vice president and CEO of the Medical Center and the vice president and dean of the School of Medicine to lead further improvement of clinical services.
  • Collaborating with the provost and the president to establish a set of longer-term strategic priorities for 2011-15, including the response to the state's priorities from the Governor's Commission on Higher Education.
  • Ensuring that U.Va.'s financial, capital and operational resources are deployed with integrity and aligned with the University's goals.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Strine was for three years the chief financial officer for New Castle County, Del.  From 2003 to 2005, he was the executive director of the Delaware Public Policy Institute, where, among other duties, he led a comprehensive assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of Delaware's system of education finance. From 1997 to 2002, Strine worked as the chief of policy and operations for the Department of Finance for the state of Delaware.

He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware in 1986. He went on to earn an M.A. in 1990 and Ph.D. in 1992, both in political science, from Johns Hopkins.

University of Virginia
Statement from UVA Rector Helen Dragas

"In his work as an officer of the Board of Visitors, Michael Strine brought to bear those leadership skills and enthusiasm referenced by President Sullivan. We share her optimism that his commitment to higher education will serve him well in his future endeavors. He leaves the University in solid financial condition as evidenced by our stellar bond ratings, and the Board looks forward to supporting President Sullivan as she initiates a national search for a new financial leader."

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