UVA Back in Good Standing with SACS

Dec 11, 2013

The University of Virginia’s “warning status” has been lifted by its accreditation agency, following a number of policy changes by the Board of Visitors.

Credit Dale Winling / Flickr

The 12-month warning by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, followed last year’s removal of UVA President Teresa Sullivan, by the university’s Board of Visitors. The removal was highly unpopular both on and off-campus, leading to widespread complaints and protests. The board unanimously reinstated Sullivan within several weeks.

The SACS determined that several key board members pressured Sullivan out of the job, but that a decision of that magnitude cannot be made by just a few members of the board.

UVA has since implemented a number of reforms, including a “majority board approval” to -- appoint, remove, request resignation or amend the contract or terms of employment -- of a sitting university President.

The association also found a lack of faculty involvement in the Sullivan removal decision. As a result, a non-voting faculty member will now be a member of all board committees and will advise the board on key issues.

According to The Daily Progress, last year’s incident led to the formation of a UVA chapter of the American Association of University Professors, which lobbies for more faculty involvement in university governance.