Regarding the June 11 front-page article “Ouster blindsided president at U-Va.”:
Having served as the sixth president of the University of Virginia, I was dismayed to learn of President Teresa Sullivan’s imminent departure. I have had the privilege of working with her on several occasions and have been deeply impressed by the range and breadth of her commitment to the university. Notably, I have admired her command of a sometimes arcane financial structure and her commitment to reorder and clarify that structure.
Moreover, Ms. Sullivan smoothly effected a major realignment of senior administrative offices following several retirements. She continually reached out to the immediate and broader communities of students, faculty, staff and alumni with vital information — including, for example, a prescient preview of the then-imminent George Huguely trial.
Ms. Sullivan has, in every respect, been an exemplary ambassador for the university and the Charlottesville community. She will leave a regrettably brief but nonetheless firm legacy.
Robert M. O’Neil, Washington
The writer was president of the University of Virginia from 1985 to 1990.
Make no mistake: President Teresa Sullivan had an overarching vision for the University of Virginia, and anyone in the U-Va. community who had been paying attention knew it — including the university’s Board of Visitors. Unfortunately for Ms. Sullivan, it just wasn’t the vision of the board.
Come August, the board will remove a well-regarded president who fought to keep the school financially accessible to low-income students and for investment in all areas of study — not just science, technology, engineering and mathematics — and living wages for the university’s lowest-paid staff. Most important, the board will silence a president who dared to question its authority in making decisions on these issues.
How could the university community not be outraged by the closed-door politics of a tight-lipped Board of Visitors? Terry Sullivan will be sorely missed.
Brendan Wynn, Charlottesville
The writer is a student at the University of Virginia.