The University of Virginia was put on warning Dec. 11 by an accrediting panel that found indications the school broke governance rules in a failed attempt to oust the prestigious public school’s president this summer, reports the Associated Press.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges will send a special committee to the campus to further study whether U.Va. was out of compliance with two of the association’s rules, commission president Belle Wheelan said. The warning status, announced at the association’s annual meeting, will last 12 months, after which the panel will decide if further action is needed.
Wheelan said her group believes the school broke a rule that a minority of board members can’t be in charge and another rule that institutions should have a policy that identifies the faculty’s role in governance. Her group began looking at the actions of the school’s governing board after the intense media coverage of the attempted ouster of President Teresa Sullivan.
U.Va.’s governing board unexpectedly announced Sullivan’s resignation on June 10 in a move that caused uproar on the Charlottesville campus while most students were away on summer break. In defending the decision, board Rector Helen Dragas had said the university wasn’t acting quickly enough to address state and federal funding reductions, online education delivery, and other challenges. Sullivan was reinstated June 26 after large-scale protests by faculty, students, donors, and alumni.
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