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Email from Curry Dean Bob Pianta

June 11, 2012 — As you know, on Sunday, the U.Va. community was sent the announcement below from the Rector of the Board of Visitors telling us that President Sullivan will be stepping down on August 15. This news was surprising, and I wanted to take a moment to share with you what I know.

First, I would like to say that I have a deep appreciation for the ways President Sullivan engaged all aspects of the University community and for her thoughtful and steady approach to leadership. President Sullivan was always appreciative and supportive of the Curry School's mission and people, and I will miss working with her.

This news was announced to the deans and vice presidents Sunday morning just before the announcement went out to the community at large.  I was at that meeting, and the conversation and questions were focused both on understanding the Board's position, plans for current reporting and leadership, and plans for leadership transition. As is mentioned in the announcement, the Board will appoint an interim president in the next few weeks and then launch a search for a new president.

One of the very clear messages during the meeting yesterday morning was that we must continue in our efforts toward excellence, impact, and innovation. Several times it was mentioned that the world is changing rapidly and we at U.Va. must both align with and lead that change.  The message was clear that this cannot be a period of interruption of momentum or focus. I am very pleased to share with you that Curry was one of the schools mentioned by the Rector as reflecting focus and momentum.

My clear sense is that our path at Curry is to continue our work toward scholarship excellence, academic quality, innovation, expansion, and links to the field that make a difference for society.  I believe these are all well aligned with the Board's long-term vision for the University.

Again, I think I speak for us all in saying this news was surprising and that we appreciate President Sullivan's very real contributions to the University and the the Charlottesville community.


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