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U.Va. summer turmoil faces more scrutiny
A regional accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, has told the University of Virginia it is not satisfied with the board’s explanation of its attempt to oust U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan last June.

The university was asked to submit more information for review by the commission’s board of trustees in December. The trustees could decide to accept U.Va.’s latest response as sufficient or determine whether sanctions should be imposed on the school.

Meanwhile, Randal J. Kirk, a billionaire businessman who recently resigned from the U.Va. Board of Visitors, told The Washington Post that Sullivan was hired in 2010 as an “interim” president of the school. The newspaper said one person who served on the board with Kirk agreed with his assessment that Sullivan was not a long-term choice. Seven other former and current board members, however, said Kirk’s account was wrong.

Kirk resigned from the board on Oct. 18, citing his recent move from Pulaski County to Florida. (See page 19.)

In November, the board extended Sullivan’s contract an extra year, through July 31, 2016. In its November issue, Virginia Business looked at the possible ripple effects of U.Va.’s summer turmoil on the commonwealth’s public colleges and universities.


Port Authority chairman to step down
Michael Quillen, chairman of the Virginia Port Authority board, plans to resign his position by yearend. His resignation means the board is losing its most experienced member — Quillen has served since 2003 and presided as chairman since July 2100 — at a time when the state is considering whether to privatize port operations.

Quillen, who became chairman of the Board of Visitors at Virginia Tech on July 1 (his alma mater), made it clear that he didn’t want to serve as chairman of both boards.  He originally planned to step down from the port’s board in June but agreed to stay on for a while to help oversee the port privatization process. 

That process began in May, and since then two outside groups and the port’s existing operator, Virginia International Terminals, have submitted bids. Originally the state had planned to reach a decision by early 2013. However, it extended the schedule after maritime groups and some legislators criticized Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration for trying to rush what will be a pivotal decision for the future of the port, one of Virginia’s largest revenue generators.  Quillen says the process may stretch out until next spring or summer. Virginia Business examined the port privitization proposals in its September issue.


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