A Wall Street Journal editorial on June 25 presented a little-heard conservative viewpoint on the furor at the University of Virginia over the firing of President Teresa Sullivan. I find it difficult to form an opinion because neither side in the dispute has been forthcoming about its specific goals. I don’t know what the Journal has learned, but they’ve come down on the side of Rector Helen Dragas and UVa’s board of visitors. According to the Journal:
(T)he convulsions of Athens and Madison have arrived in Charlottesville…. U.Va.’s trustees dared to fire a president who was working against the priorities that it is ostensibly their job to set…. An attempt to modernize a public institution and protect taxpayers is met by a revolt on behalf of a status quo that can’t last…. (T)he faculty…wants an academic Green Zone separated from economic reality and will destroy anyone who attempts to exercise even modest oversight….
(UVa President Teresa) Sullivan gave a speech posing as a martyr to “corporate-style, top-down leadership….” (T)he ex-president says she’ll return on the condition that the board instead fires Ms. Dragas, the leading reformer. If the board capitulates to this top-down ultimatum, it ought to disband, drop the pretense of outside supervision, and turn the whole place over to the faculty that really runs it.