U. Va. president announces plan to step down in 2018
University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan said Friday she plans to retire in the summer of 2018 after her contract ends. She has asked the university’s board of visitors to begin searching for her successor.
Sullivan has led U. Va., since 2010, surviving an ouster attempt by some board members in 2012. She is the university’s first female president.
“As 2017 begins, UVA is strong and positioned for even greater strength in our educational offerings, research programs, and health system,” she said in a letter to the university community. “Given this strength, UVA is well-positioned for a transition to its ninth president.”
Founded by Thomas Jefferson, U.Va. consistently ranks among the nation’s top public universities in an annual list published by U.S. News and World Report. In the most recent list, it tied for second with UCLA behind the University of California-Berkeley.
In the letter, Sullivan cited U. Va.’s economic impact on Virginia. She said the university’s direct and indirect employment accounted for 52,000 jobs in the commonwealth. U.Va.’s alumni have founded enterprises that employ another 371,000 people in Virginia, she said.
Sullivan also touted the university’s perseverance during fiscal challenges. She said U.Va. continues to “provide a first-rate education,” despite receiving $200 less per student (in inflation-adjusted dollars) from the state and tuition in 2016 than it did in 2000. Despite financial hardships brought on by the Great Recession, the university’s annual philanthropic cash flow has increased from $203.8 million to $260.2 million during the past six years, Sullivan noted.
“This is not a farewell note,” she concluded. “We have unfinished business to do in the months ahead, and with your continued effort and sustained energy we will do that work together.”