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Newly released emails show correspondence between Dragas, Sullivan

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Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2012 9:23 pm | Updated: 3:22 pm, Tue Jan 22, 2013.

Another release of emails from the University of Virginia provides still more glimpses into last month’s unsuccessful attempt to force out President Teresa A. Sullivan.

Along with internal chatter about bills in Richmond and ongoing work in the health system were communications between Rector Helen E. Dragas, who spearheaded the attempt, and Sullivan.

Less than a week before Sullivan was asked to resign, Dragas was writing to Sullivan to plan for the Board of Visitors’ annual retreat, to be held later this month.

In a June 3 email, she told Sullivan she planned to use the retreat to focus on “self-assessment and governance alignment,” and asked her to make sure her staff had a report on admissions ready for the retreat.

As late as June 7, the day before the rector asked for the president’s resignation, Sullivan was writing to Dragas about board oversight of educational quality and the likely upshot of a New York health care consolidation chronicled in an article forwarded by then-Vice Rector Mark J. Kington.

And there was some mention of strategic planning for the academic side of UVa. Dragas wrote to Sullivan, asking for her academic direction paper so that Dragas could read it ahead of a call with Sullivan in early May. Concerns about the university’s strategic direction were at the heart of the reasons Dragas gave for Sullivan’s departure.

As early as February, Sullivan was discussing academic direction with Dragas and Kington, and taking notes on their feedback.

Much of the other correspondence has to do with matters related to tuition — UVa kept an eye on what other schools seemed likely to do, and received an indirect thank you from the governor for limiting this year’s increase.

And Sullivan emailed Dragas to let her know that a push by Democratic state legislators to have the state reimburse UVa for the cost of fighting Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s demands for documents related to climate-change research was an initiative of the legislators.

“Needless to say, we had nothing to do with this and no knowledge of it in advance,” Sullivan wrote.