Kirk has struggled to attend board meetings this year. He was at the June 26 meeting during which U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan was reinstated, but he missed the board retreat in Richmond in August and a regularly scheduled meeting in September. His letter to the governor, obtained by The Post from U-Va. through a public records request, is dated the day before the board's most recent meeting on Oct. 19.

Kirk was one of the board members who supported and encouraged board leader Helen Dragas following the forced resignation of Sullivan in early June. The last board member to resign was Mark Kington, who stepped down amid the controversy in June.

Dragas said in an e-mail Thursday night that Kirk “has been an independent voice who freely shared his rich experience as a highly successful entrepreneur, a lawyer, and a higher education volunteer leader. His candor and intellect were invaluable.”

Kirk was appointed to the board in 2009 by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), and his term was set to expire in July 2013. It is now up to McDonnell to fill the empty position.

You can read the full letter after the jump.

This story has been updated.