The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board of Directors today elected University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan as its chair. She succeeds Bernadette Gray-Little, chancellor of the University of Kansas.
The APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The association has 236 member institutions.
“Terry Sullivan has tirelessly advanced public universities’ vital work her entire career,” APLU President Peter McPherson said. “We’re delighted that she has been selected as the next chair of the APLU Board of Directors. She leads one of our nation’s most storied public universities, and we’re thrilled to have her bring her vision for the future of public universities to APLU as she serves as chair.”
Sullivan will lead a board whose charge includes working to advance student affordability and accessibility in public higher education institutions and emphasizing research and high levels of community engagement within universities. The board also sets APLU membership and governing policies.
“I have enjoyed serving APLU and am honored to step into the role of board chair,” Sullivan said. “I look forward to continuing the association’s important work of ensuring the highest standards and practices for public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations.”
Since becoming UVA’s president in 2010, Sullivan has emphasized financial stability and transparency, developed a new financial model and expanded the number of full-time faculty in multidisciplinary clusters. She has worked diligently to tackle challenges in higher education related to cost-containment, affordability, student-debt reduction, faculty compensation and the emergence of online education, while maintaining and advancing the academic excellence of the University.
In 2013, Sullivan led UVA to the completion of its $3 billion capital campaign and raised financial support for recruiting top faculty, restoring the University’s Jeffersonian Grounds and providing much needed scholarships to students in need. That same year, the governor appointed her to the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority.
Sullivan launched a plan to improve faculty compensation, also three years ago, while encouraging faculty members to experiment with new technologies through the help of UVA’s Applied Research Institute. The institute has attracted new research partners and extended research capacity, while protecting faculty members’ intellectual property.
Sullivan is also leading the University’s bicentennial celebration that will kick off in 2017 – 200 years after the University’s cornerstone was laid on the Lawn – and will continue through 2019.
A respected scholar in labor force demography, she is the author or co-author of six books and many scholarly articles. Her most recent research has focused on measuring productivity in higher education.
Sullivan came to UVA from the University of Michigan, where she was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Prior to her work at Michigan, she was executive vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Texas system, a position she held from 2002 until 2006. She served as faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin from 1981 to 2006 and held several senior leadership positions, including vice president and graduate dean and vice provost.