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Cavaliers and Canaries


If you read EDSBS, you follow college football. If you follow college football, you probably care about at least one college or university. If so, I urge you to keep a close eye on the unfolding situation at the University of Virginia. The WaPo is a good source for a narrative of events, but there are larger ramifications. The eye catching part is that UVA's president was ousted under circumstances that recall Terry Bowden's departure from Auburn, at least in terms of general sketchiness. The deeper issue, however is why Virginia's Board of Visitors wanted to get rid of President Sullivan. As of now, it appears that the two issues were President Sullivan's reluctance to embrace online education, and her reluctance to close programs that were not financially self-sustaining. Dr. Cleveland explains the context better than I could, but the BOV felt that Sulivan lacked the "strategic dynamism" to lead UVA. What's alarming to me is the BOV's vision of what UVA ought to become, but unfortunately, this approach (basically, the haphazard application of corporate buzzwords as a way to run colleges and universities), is endemic in American higher education. On one level, to have something so dramatic happen at a university with such a strong academic reputation is a useful call to action for those of us connected to other universities - UVA is the canary in the coal mine, a pretty bird collapsing in the increasingly toxic atmosphere of corporatized higher education. I encourage you to pay attention to what's happening at UVA, and please, keep an eye on your own school.

/preachy boring non football soapbox

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