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Virginia Senate Committee Approves UVA Rector Nomination

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University of Virginia Rector Helen Dragas won the first round of her battle to keep the job during a nomination hearing in a state senate committee Tuesday, but some lawmakers are still angry about the way Dragas tried to remove UVA's president Teresa Sullivan.

State Sen. Janet Howell said she'd received more than 200 emails from voters, all opposed to keeping Dragas on the job.

"They felt there was no warning to the president and they said there was no public vote," she says.

State Sen. Creigh Deeds, who represents Charlottesville, said he'd heard from at least 2,000 constituents. Howell and Deeds wanted more discussion of the nominee before approving her nomination as rector, but chairman Mark Obenshain didn't see the need.

"Ms. Dragas has come and visited me. I suspect she has visited or offered to visit every single member of this committee and my guess is every doggone member of the Virginia General Assembly," Obenshain said at the hearing.

The committee voted 12-3 to send the nomination to the full Senate. Deeds, who declined to meet with Dragas, said he would continue to fight for her removal from the university's board of visitors, but doubted he would prevail.


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