As the bizzaro spectacle surrounding the ouster of UVA president Teresa Sullivan continues, questions are being raised about the timing of the governing board’s decision to fire Sullivan. Less than two weeks ago, Breitbart.com began publishing the results of its investigation into whether allegations that Sullivan had engaged in “scientific misconduct” had ever been properly resolved. The allegations are related to a book that Sullivan co-authored with senate candidate Elizabeth Warren more than twenty years ago.
Breitbart News reports in an article, “Warren Accused of ‘Repeated Instances of Scientific Misconduct’ Before Harvard Hire,” that Rutgers Professor Philip Shuchman charged President Sullivan and co-authors Elizabeth Warren (the current Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in Massachusetts) and Jay Westbrook in 1990 with “scientific misconduct” in the research upon which their 1989 book, As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America, was based…
Did President Sullivan, upon learning of the Breitbart News investigation into these twenty-two-year-old charges of scientific misconduct, immediately inform her employer–this time the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors–that the charges of scientific misconduct had resurfaced and were being described as “unresolved”? If so, did this information factor into the decision by Rector Dragas to move quickly and decisively in securing the unanimous support of the fifteen other members of the Board of Visitors to request President Sullivan’s resignation? Given the level of community support apparently enjoyed by President Sullivan, why did she so readily acquiesce to the board’s sudden demand for her resignation?
Breitbart News has posed these questions to both President Sullivan and Rector Dragas via phone and email messages. Neither have responded as of yet.
Breitbart News reports that the board’s vote to remove Sullivan was 16-0. If so, the reasons behind her dismissal must have been compelling. But, for now, those precise reasons remain a mystery.
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