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Posts Tagged ‘Teresa Sullivan’

Birds do it, bees do it. But apparently if you happen to be the next single woman to serve as a university president in some parts of these Southern United States, you won’t be allowed to do it – that is, live with a partner in the usually big, beautiful, university-provided campus president’s house.

Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, is leaving Johns Hopkins, and is slated to become the first Black female president of her alma mater, Alabama State University in Montgomery, next month.

“Her contract requires the 58-year-old engineer to move into the president’s home…(one) clause states ‘for so long as Dr. Boyd is President and a single person, she shall not be allowed to cohabitate in the President’s residence with any person with whom she has a romantic relation.'” http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/01/17/263484808/no-cohabitation-for-alabama-states-first-female-president

She seems to have no problem with this clause, after all she signed the contract. Still, it makes me smile to think about the “scandal” happening in France right now. President Hollande jets around at night on his scooter, disguised in his helmet to visit his lover, a film actress. He is only discovered by the fashionable French press because of his shoes! It’s all over the papers, but knowing some French people as I do, and listening to the interviews on the streets of Paris, his citizens could care less! Alors, Les Liasons Romantique!

Fidelity is over rated in France. “When it comes to extra-marital affairs, the French are the most forgiving nation in the world, according to a recent study. The U.S., however, is still as unforgiving as ever, ranking 27th on the list, right between Brazil and Ghana.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/16/infidelity-study_n_4611674.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

What I didn’t know until I read the above article, is that President Hollande is simply cohabiting with his First Lady, Valerie Trierweiler, who was his previous mistress. Yes sirree folks, they are NOT married, but have been together since 2007. I am trying to imagine this arrangement in the USA. My brain just cannot do it, sorry. But let’s try…it would be like Bill living cohabiting on Pennsylvania Avenue with Gennifer Flowers, and then seeing an intern on the side. You can see how the first part just wouldn’t work!

If there’s one thing I learned from moving South, it’s that things move a lot slower down here. We talk to strangers, we help each other in airports, we drive slowly in the left lane. In fact, I’m pretty sure our Governor would never close any lanes in a grudge match, after all we can snarl traffic just fine by stopping to talk to a neighbor on the road. And no Virginian would think of honking their horn!

So maybe this cohabitation clause wouldn’t work at NYU, and it certainly wouldn’t be considered at any French university. I doubt that the clause would have appeared on a male president’s contract. But I’ve got a feeling that Dr Boyd has bigger fish to fry. Might I suggest she give our single female UVA President Teresa Sullivan a call? After all, somebody always gets hurt when all those glass ceilings shatter. http://www.virginia.edu/presidentsreport/

Here is the Bride with Great Grandmother Mamie and some of her great grandchildren after a lunch at the MSU President’s gorgeous historic home that honored my brother and sister-in-law last year. And The Love Bug with her cousin, Frankie.IMG_1554IMG_1558

 

 

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Last night the humidity broke and I met three friends on the historic pedestrian mall for shrimp and grits, perfect almost summer evening. As we picked a little, we talked a little about the latest scandal in this university town. On Sunday the UVA Board of Visitors announced a parting of the ways with our beloved President, Teresa Sullivan. Less than 2 years into her 5 year contract, it came as a shock to faculty, students and the community at large. People were talking about how they waited for graduation, for people to disperse around the world on their summer programs, and that fact, that lack of transparency, is what is still setting our little city on simmer.

The official reason, as stated in letters to faculty (full disclosure, Bob got one) was that they were experiencing “philosophical differences.” However, in a bold reporting move our little freebie weekly http://www.readthehook.com/104213/cabal-hall-why-does-darden-trump-carrs-hill dug up some new Albemarle red clay dirt. Her departure was “… less a mutual agreement and more of a palace coup orchestrated by alumni and friends of the Darden School.” Now Darden is the Business School here in Mr Jefferson’s village; it is quite exclusive competitive and sits high on a hill overlooking the university. Needless to say, many of the strings the Board has to pull come from behind the Darden curtain where alums of the $50,000 a year program go on to become 1 percenters in big time financial fields where money and power collide.

What makes a good university president? My brother Mike, the former President and General Manager of an NFL team once told me it takes “ruthlessness.” I may have said this before, but I’ll always remember that. He had dropped out of college to start working in the sports field, and was now teaching a business course at the University of Minnesota. Unlike Mitt, my brother truly was a Horatio Alger story. I was visiting the Flapper who had been relocated to a beautiful lakeside condo nearby for her golden years. In true outlier fashion, Mike said that every great university president has to have the connections and bring in capital; ruthlessness is what it takes to make money. But a media scholar here asks, “What does she (the Board’s Rector) want? … a top flight scholar and administrator with a sterling reputation who’s able to gather support from every constituency in the university?…If she wants that, she just fired her.” So who’s right? And what was Sullivan’s crime? It’s only in the last decade we’ve seen women rise to the very pinnacles of ivy towers, and maybe the formula for educational excellence has to shift.

And in yet another local university news headline, lawyers for the Lacrosse player who beat Yeardley Love’s head against a wall are asking for a change of venue in the civil case her mother has brought against him. He was found guilty in the criminal case if you recall; this is a “Wrongful Death” suit claiming 30 Million in damages from her daughter’s ex-boyfriend’s reckless indifference in leaving Yeardley, after beating her, to die. Love’s mother has recently filed a second law suit for 30 Million naming the “…Commonwealth of Virginia, University of Virginia head men’s lacrosse coach Dom Starsia, associate coach Marc van Arsdale and UVa Athletics Director Craig Littlepage as defendants.” I don’t know, do you think the media frenzy the Lacrosse case has engendered means our fair citizens cannot come to a fair opinion? I think Cvillians want to know the facts. For instance, did the President mishandle this high profile case? I don’t think so. Were her sympathies with the student-led “Living Wage” campaign? And if so, good for her! Philosophical or financial, everyone is agreed, Mr Jefferson’s Academical Village has suffered some major blows. http://www.cavalierdaily.com/

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