You can read this post at the New America Foundation’s Higher Ed Watch blog. Or you can read it here. It’s the same. If you click both it will make me feel like more people are reading it, though.
The University of Virginia is no stranger to controversy. Just over a year ago, in June 2012, the school’s governing body, the Board of Visitors, voted to oust the president after less than two years at the helm.
The dethroned President Teresa Sullivan was popular among faculty and students; the ousters on the Board of Visitors, led by Virginia real estate mogul Helen Dragas, were less thrilled with her performance. Sullivan fell out of favor with the board, the Washington Post noted, “because of her perceived reluctance to approach the school with the bottom-line mentality of a corporate chief executive.” After students, faculty, and administrators turned out to defend Sullivan and criticize Dragas, the board reinstated Sullivan.
Flash forward to 2013. In April, Sullivan was at the forefront of the charge to increase the university’s tuition by 3.8 percent and 4.8 percent for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Last week, Sullivan was one of the chief supporters of a plan to cut back on the AccessUVa program, the school’s financial aid commitment to low- and moderate-income students that began in 2004. Whereas previously the school covered all costs for students from families making up to twice the federal poverty line (about $47,000 per year for a family of four), the school will now only cover part of the cost, with the student needing to borrow the remaining amount.
The proposal to raise tuition eventually passed the Board of Visitors in a 14-2 vote, as did the proposal to scale back financial aid. The main dissenter in both cases? Helen Dragas. Continue reading