Thursday, June 28, 2012

University of Virginia Re-instates its President, Board of Visitors Head is Gracious in Defeat, President Gracious in Victory

And Gov. Robert McDonnell is Still a Wimp – But May Have Cravenly Saved His VP Chances

Earlier this Forum has commented on the huge controversy at the University of Virginia.  Acting almost unilaterally, the Rector (Head) of the Board of Visitors (Trustees) Helen Dragas moved to force the resignation of UVa President Teresa Sullivan. The resulting uproar has now resulting in the Board unanimously rescinding the resignation, and Ms. Sullivan and Ms. Dragas marched arm in arm into the meeting of the Board where Ms. Sullivan was retained as President.

All in all it seems the episode has had a fitting conclusion, or at least about the best that one could hope for.

Sullivan, the woman at the center of the conflict, was not scheduled to attend Tuesday’s meeting, and her chair had been removed from the board table. Then, at the last minute, it was added back, and Dragas walked into the meeting with Sullivan.

t was a moment rich in symbolism: the conflict of the past two weeks pitted Dragas, the university’s first female rector, against Sullivan, its first female president. Dragas led the campaign to remove Sullivan and has spent the past days justifying the action by critiquing the Sullivan presidency.

“We never wished or intended to ignite such a reaction,” Dragas told fellow board members. “I sincerely apologize.”

The Governor of Virginia, Republican Robert McDonnell is the only one left who continues to look weak, foolish and indecisive.  Governor McDonnell, who has near absolute power over the Board of Visitors took the position of taking no position.  He reiterated that position, in a desperate attempt to remain outside the controversy and not damage his political fortunes.

Earlier Tuesday, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell(R) said he had not advised the 15-member panel how to vote at the special meeting and would support the group whatever it decides.

“I’m not instructing them how to vote and what to do. I think it would be absolutely inappropriate,’’ McDonnell said on his monthly call-in show on WTOP radio. “I want this to be done. My goal is to have finality, but I trust these excellent people on the board to make the right decision.’’

Note that this abdication of responsibility and leadership would normally be damaging to one’s political aspirations, but remember Gov. McDonnell is trying to the Vice Presidential nominee on a Mitt Romney ticket.  Given Mr. Romney’s total lack of leadership on things like immigration, where he refuses to answer even basic questions on the recent Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s laws, or on Mr. Obama’s policy of not pursuing young people brought to the country when the were very young Mr. McDonnell may well have demonstrated that he is the perfect fit for Mitt. 

Yep, a non-committing, non-leadership, ineffective Governor of a swing state who will do and say nothing to damage the race by taking a stand on anything, just what the Romney camp ordered.

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