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UVA Board Votes Unanimously To Reinstate Sullivan

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University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan sings the school's alma mater with students and faculty shortly after the Board of Visitors announced she would be reinstated.
Armando Trull
University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan sings the school's alma mater with students and faculty shortly after the Board of Visitors announced she would be reinstated.

The University of Virginia's governing board voted to reinstate Teresa Sullivan by a unanimous vote Tuesday, rescinding her resignation from when she ousted as president without a vote several weeks ago.

Hundreds of Sullivan's supporters serenaded the newly-reinstated university president under the front steps of the Rotunda.

"This is a time of reconciliation and of unity. That's what I most want," said Sullivan after the vote.

Sullivan became UVA's eighth president in August of 2010. The Board of Visitors never offered details about why it wanted to replace her, but the board's Rector, Helen Dragas, said Sullivan wasn't acting quickly enough to address funding reductions and other strategic challenges facing the school.

At the meeting, Dragas was apologetic for the way the matter was conducted. "The situation became enormously dramatized and emotionally charged," she said Tuesday. "I sincerely apologize for the way this was presented and you deserve better."

Sullivan has remained popular with students and faculty and her abrupt firing triggered mass protests on the Charlottesville campus, with deans, faculty, students and alumni calling on the board to reinstate her as President. Hundreds of students stood vigil outside of the university's historic Rotunda while the Board held their meeting.

"The fact that the vote was unanimous is so key," said student Susie McCarthy. "It just demonstrates that we are done."

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