People sometimes refer to the arcana of DC as “inside Baseball.”
If so, the battle over U. Va. and its board is Inside Little
League. Briefly, the governor-appointed board fired the
university’s president, Teresa Sullivan, last summer, then quickly
reinstated her in the face of protests. The move to oust her was
led by board member Helen Dragas, who is now in the news because
she’s up for renewal. Predictably, the Washington Post hates her.
Why predictably, and why should one care? Because this is really
about who runs universities: the faculty or the stakeholders. And
the WaPo, once again, is on the side of waste, corruption and
The shape of modern university is the result of a bargain
between administrators like Sullivan and the faculty, and goes like
this: The administrator gets a $700,000 yr. salary and the faculty
gets to do whatever it wants. The board, which is meant to police
the bargain, is composed of supine, faineant
That’s reason enough to support Dragas, who wanted the
University to run a little more efficiently. If that’s not enough,
the WaPo hates her.
About the Author
F.H. Buckley is Foundation Professor at the George Mason University School of Law.
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