The Sullivan Appeal
by Daniel Luzer
The University of Virginia’s board of visitors to may have tried to fire President Teresa Sullivan for fears that the university’s financial model was unsustainable, but it turns out the subsequent decision to keep her around has been very, very good for the school’s balance sheet.
According to an Associated Press tried to fire piece by Brock Vergakis at the Huffington Post:
Bob Sweeney, the university’s senior vice president for development and public affairs, told AP that the end result of the drama was that the university had its best June for fundraising since 2008, receiving $44.4 million in cash and pledges.
“When Sullivan resigned our giving dropped in half and when she was reinstated our giving doubled,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney said at least two benefactors removed the university from their wills after Sullivan’s resignation and then called to say the school had been added back following Sullivan’s reinstatement. He also reported a significant uptick in small cash contributions of $100 or less following her reinstatement.
Apparently UVA raised $14 million in the last week of June alone, after the board decided to reinstate the president.
This largess won’t last forever, of course, but it’s certainly something nice for Sullivan to be able to cite. Her mere presence raises money.
Now if only she can find away to make the Virginia legislature similarly more generous . Vergakis reports that about 10 percent of the school’s operating budget now comes from the state.