Helen E. Dragas, who played a central role in the surprising removal and reinstatement of the University of Virginia’s president, was reappointed Friday to a second four-year term as rector of the institution’s Board of Visitors.
Ms. Dragas set in motion the removal of Teresa A. Sullivan, the president, earlier this month. The rector quickly became a bête noire of Ms. Sullivan’s supporters, who questioned her priorities for the university and her handling of the brouhaha that followed the ouster.
But in reappointing her, Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell suggested that the recriminations could be put in the past. The governor called Ms. Dragas “a strong and dedicated board member, committed to advancing the mission of the university.” He added that he was “concerned that the first female rector seemed to become the sole target of recent criticism.”
Mr. McDonnell’s statement echoed remarks by F. Heywood Fralin, another board member, after the board—Ms. Dragas included—voted earlier this week to reinstate Ms. Sullivan. In a resolution passed unanimously by the board, Mr. Fralin said that Ms. Dragas, a real-estate developer who graduated from the university’s graduate school of business, had been unfairly vilified for her role in the ouster.
Gov. McDonnell didn’t stop at reappointing the rector. He also reshaped the Board of Visitors, adding five new panelists to bring the tally of voting members to 17.Return to Top