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2011 in Review: University Leadership Comes Into Focus

As the year draws to a close, UVa Today will look back at milestones, achievements, trends and big stories of 2011. To share your 2011 thoughts, visit the U.Va. Today News Blog or send a tweet @uva using hashtag #uva2011.

December 19, 2011 — First Sullivan, then Strine, then Simon.

The leadership transition that began in August 2010 with the arrival of Teresa A. Sullivan as the University of Virginia's eighth president played out this year, as she filled two key positions following high-profile searches.

Michael Strine, who was chief financial officer at Johns Hopkins University, began as U.Va.'s executive vice president and chief operating officer on July 1. John Simon, who was vice provost for academic affairs at Duke University, became U.Va.'s new executive vice president and provost soon after, on Aug. 24.

Sullivan introduced both on Aug. 24 at a briefing in the Rotunda's Dome Room, where she also enumerated her priorities for the ensuing 12 months: the development of a new internal financial model; increasing efficiency and reducing costs; faculty hiring; and focusing on academics, particularly the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In January, the University announced plans for Sullivan's inauguration, which evolved into a weeklong celebration of research, teaching and service. On April 15, Sullivan laid her hand on a tattered 19th-century family Bible and took her oath as a 21st-century president.

Inauguration festivities also included the first-ever U.Va. "volksmarch," as Sullivan demonstrated her leadership in developing community involvement and health and fitness.

— By Marian Anderfuren

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