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McDonnell reappoints Dragas to U.Va. board of visitors

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Three days after the reinstatement of U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan, Gov. Bob McDonnell has reappointed U.Va. Rector Helen Dragas to the U.Va. Board of Visitors.

Dragas was instrumental in the controversial push for Sullivan’s resignation on June 8. That resignation pushed the university community into two weeks of turmoil that ended Tuesday, when the board of visitors both reinstated Sullivan and voted for a voice of confidence in Dragas’ abilities.

“Just as I was disappointed to see the lack of transparency and communication surrounding the request for the resignation of the first female president of U. Va., I am also concerned that the first female rector seemed to become the sole target of recent criticism,” McDonnell said in a statement Friday announcing her reappointment. “While there is no doubt that the board made several mistakes in its actions, which it has publicly admitted, this is not a time for recrimination. It’s a time for reconciliation.”

Dragas, who was elected rector by the board in 2011, was up for reappointment as her current four-year term expires Saturday.

McDonnell said that Dragas’ reappointment shows unity at the university and its ability to embrace critical thinking, while promoting reconciliation between the university’s board, students and faculty.

“The university’s tradition is the embrace of inquiry, critical thinking and change, which the rector and many others bring to the table,” he said. “Ms. Dragas’s serious critique of the challenges facing the university is a voice that must be heard, and can help, in ensuring U. Va. remains one of the world’s foremost institutions of higher learning.”

Dragas has said she and others pushed for Sullivan’s ouster mostly because the Sullivan was not taking bold enough steps to address issues such as dwindling state revenues, faculty pay and the role of online education.

In addition to Dragas, McDonnell appointed five others to the U.Va. Board of Visitors and created two senior adviser positions:

Those appointed to the board include:

-Frank B. Atkinson of Hanover is the Chairman of McGuire Woods Consulting and previously served in state government as counselor and director of policy for Governor George Allen. He has served on a number of boards and commissions and assisted the Governor’s Higher Ed Commission on behalf of the Virginia Business Higher Education Council.

-Dragas, who is the president and chief executive officer of The Dragas Companies, a leading diversified real estate company in the Tidewater region of Virginia, and has served as the rector of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia since July 2011.

-Victoria Harker of McLean was recently announced as the new CFO for Gannett Company, Inc., a Fortune 500 global print and broadcast media company. She formerly served at AES Corp., a global power company, where she was chief financial officer and president of global business services.

-Bobbie Kilberg of McLean is president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council. She was a White House Fellow, an attorney with the law firm of Arnold and Porter, vice president for academic affairs at Mount Vernon College, director of the Aspen Institute’s Project on the Future of Private Philanthropy, and a senior member of the White House staff under three administrations.

-Dr. Edward Miller of Baltimore is the CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, the 13th dean of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and vice president for medicine of The Johns Hopkins University in January 1997.

- Linwood Rose of Harrisonburg served for 14 years as the president of James Madison University. He is retiring on June 30.

Senior advisers:

-William H. Goodwin Jr. of Richmond is a former member of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors. Goodwin is currently chairman of the board of CCA Industries Inc., a holding company whose assets include several hospitality businesses including The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond AND Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, S.C.

-Leonard W. Sandridge Jr. of Charlottesville retired from U.Va. in June 2011, after serving for 44 years. He previously served as executive vice president and chief operating


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