New Website Engages Community in Search Process for UVA’s 9th President

Jefferson Statue
March 16, 2017

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors has advanced an important element of the search for UVA’s ninth president by launching a comprehensive website that invites the University community and public to provide input about the qualifications, experience and traits the ideal leader should possess.

The presidential search site also provides key information, including the draft description of the position and phases of the search process, while offering context that properly casts UVA as one of the finest institutions in the country – prepared to build on 200 years of service to students, patients, the community and the world by attracting an accomplished and dynamic president.

“As the University of Virginia enters its third century, it seeks an extraordinary leader to advance its founding mission: to be the ‘future bulwark of the human mind in this hemisphere,’” the new site states. “Since 1819, the University has fulfilled this mission in many ways. Today we stand ready to continue our pursuit of this worthy goal, and take our place among the world’s most important universities.”

UVA’s current president, Teresa A. Sullivan, requested in January that the board begin a search for her successor. Sullivan was appointed in January 2010 and has led UVA through a significant period of progress and growth. Among the accomplishments: a new, five-year strategic plan; successful completion of a $3 billion capital campaign; restoration of the Rotunda and ongoing emphasis on the Jeffersonian Grounds; establishment of a Bicentennial Commission; implementation of a new internal financial model; and significant progress on enhancing student access and affordability.

“The board is committed to finding the absolute best person to build on President Sullivan’s accomplishments and the distinguished legacy of the University of Virginia’s previous presidents,” said Rector William H. Goodwin, co-chair of the 22-member special committee guiding the search process.

The special committee has conducted two community outreach sessions during the early stages of the search process. As it gathers information to build a final presidential profile and eventually begin evaluating nominees, the committee will conduct additional sessions to seek input from key stakeholders within and beyond the University, including UVA’s College at Wise, faculty, students, staff, alumni, parents, donors, community members from across the Commonwealth of Virginia and former Board of Visitors members.

Launching the new site provides a primary conduit for those interested in learning about the search, providing their thoughts on the traits UVA’s next president should possess, and for nominating potential candidates.

The site provides a form to accept input about the desired qualities of the next president and a link for submitting names for consideration.

It also features a survey tool for gathering input on the key issues and opportunities facing the University and its next president.

“A successful search begins with gathering broad input about the necessary presidential leadership to guide this great institution into its third century,” said special committee co-chair Frank M. “Rusty” Conner III, who also serves as vice rector of the Board of Visitors. “Through outreach sessions and using this new website, we are eager to tap into the wisdom of those who hold UVA dearly, and those who recognize the importance of public higher education in educating students to become leaders and contribute to an informed citizenry.”

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