As a holder of two degrees from the University of Virginia (J.D., 1985; M.S., 1983), I'm saddened to see the disaster unfolding there as the Board of Visitors's decision to force out President Teresa Sullivan draws what is by all accounts well-deserved fire from virtually all sources. Famed UVa poli sci prof Larry Sabato, for example, is blistering on his Twitter feed. Consider, for example, this tweet:
This Board has done more damage to the University I love than the 1895 Rotunda fire.
Given that the 1895 fire stands as UVa's Katrina, that's one truly damning comment.
As for the law school, the local Examiner reports that:
In a note to the University of Virginia Alumni Association, on 15 June, Paul G. Mahoney, Dean of the School of Law, expressed continued friendship and support for President Sullivan and for Professor Doug Laycock – President Sullivan’s husband – whom he describes as “a deeply valued colleague,” explaining that the events of this past week “have been personally difficult for the Law School community." ...
Dean Mahoney ... made clear that he had no special knowledge of what now seems to have been an ongoing process, since last October, leading up to President Sullivan’s ouster:
Most of you have heard that President Sullivan resigned at the request of the Board of Visitors and have questions about why it happened and what comes next. I first learned about the resignation shortly before the Sunday press release and was as surprised as you are. I do not have any information about the Board’s decision beyond what has been reported.
In closing, Dean Mahoney notes:
The Law School is proud to be part of a great national institution and cares about the future of the University and its leadership. We will focus on controlling what we can, which is continuing the Law School’s success in a way that reflects well on the University.
Naturally, I wish Dean Mahoney and my alma mater well. I must admit, however, that all this is one more reason I'm glad I stayed at UCLA. As someone who just found out that he'll be on UCLAW's appointment committee next year, moreover, I also can't help but ponder former President Sullivan's observation that:
Already in the last ten days we have lost faculty to other universities. Fortunately, we are well past the usual hiring season in most disciplines. But deans and provosts at every peer institution are setting aside funds now to raid the University of Virginia next year given the current turmoil on our campus.