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June 10, 2012 - 4:10pm

Former provost steps down as president of University of Virginia


Teresa Sullivan, former University provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, announced today that she will be stepping down as president of the University of Virginia after only two years at the institution.

This morning in a press release, the University of Virginia said its Board of Visitors — a legislative body similar to the University’s Board of Regents — and Sullivan had “mutually agreed” that she would resign from her position as President, effective Aug. 15.

Sullivan was quoted in the release, saying a “philosophical difference of opinion” was the reason for her departure.

This afternoon, in an address to UVA vice presidents and deans, University Rector Helen E. Dragas — who serves as chair of the Board of Visitors — suggested that Sullivan’s exit came as a surprise to the University.

“We know this news is a great shock to the institution. We deeply appreciate all that Terry has given to the University over the last two years,” Dragas said, as reported by the Cavalier Daily.

Sullivan previously announced that she would leave the University of Michigan in January 2010 after receiving UVA's offer to be its next president.

In an interview that January, Sullivan told The Michigan Daily she wasn't expecting UVA’s offer. She also told to the Daily that she felt she had a “big learning curve” going into the position, as she was not familiar with the Board of Visitors and the government of the State of Virginia.

However, at the time Sullivan did say she was confident that she could handle her new job.

“I did it here at Michigan, so I know I can do it,” she said.

The Board of Visitors intends to “expeditiously” appoint an interim president, and will soon begin to look for a new president, according to the release.

This is a developing story. Check back to for updates.