Yesterday, theories were printed that a hedge fund billionaire was the force that had pressured the Gang of 3 to force out President Sullivan. Today, that billionaire printed his own op ed column that openly shows that he was the force.
On an admissions and academic perspective, I could dispute most of the points he has raised. UVa has a yield rate that is high compared to most universites. That rate would be higher, except that many top out of state students get huge offers of merit aid from competing universities, while UVa doesn't offer merit aid.
Read past posts of this website by applicants, and you see over and over again that top students wanted to attend UVa, but couldn't justify spending twice as much as for a competing university.
My husband and I were at Bodo's today after the Men's 4 miler. My husband was wearing a sign during the race that said, "SAVE UVA" and still had it on at Bodo's. A UVA CLAS Dept Chair came up to us (we did not know him) and mentioned that he hoped the community would turn out for both the Faculty Senate meeting today and the rally tomorrow. He talked to my son and his friend and told them the value of their UVA degree is at stake. I have never publicly protested anything before (silently or otherwise), but I intend to be there tomorrow afternoon.
Jones sounds like a billionaire who thinks he has all the answers. I'm sure he loves the University but the way he ,Kiernan, and Dragas (with their business oriented ,strategic dynamism mumbo jumbo) have gone about this seems to be causing potential unexpected harm. He seems to think he is an expert in admissions and yield. The number of instate applications doesn't change all that much but the number of out of state applications has risen dramatically,thanks to kids applying to many more colleges in general and to the recent use by UVa of the Common Application. It is no surprise that the yield has gone down some. As charlie noted, there is no merit aid and kids just have many more choices these days. The current yield seems more than acceptable. I also like the article about leadership styles (mini vs. maxi)-very informative in this case.
Charlie, I read the op-ed by John T. Jones. I totally disagree with you that this "openly shows that he was the force". He is making a statement that he supports the BOV's actions and states his reasons. Unlike Peter Kiernan, who clearly admitted his involvement, Jones does no such thing. You can connect the dots if you wish, but to state that he "openly shows that he was the force" is incorrect. It may be the case...he may have been, but based on information we have we can't go around making true statements out of speculation.
I do agree with your assessment regarding his comments regarding yield at UVa.
I agree with almost everything that Tudor Jones says. UVA has slipped and could slip more in the future. The primary cause of the slippage is, obviously, that VA has been in the vanguard of slashing support to state universities. What I don't still get is what the solution is supposed to be.
Increasing privatization (more OOS students, more fund raising) is the obvious strategy being followed by other state flagships and what I would do. You'd think Tudor Jones and the Darden types would support that. And in that model, if folks like Tudor Jones don't want to write big checks while Sullivan is President, then Sullivan isn't the right person for the job.
But the Governor (who Tudor Jones supports) wants UVA to be more public (but with less state money). I just don't see how UVA could do that without having its prestige diluted further. As compared to UNC, UCLA, Cal and Michigan, UVA has the worst whipsaw of low state funding and state operating restrictions.
[Tudor Jones is a little off in harping on UVA's yield. Schools with a lower yield than UVA include Duke, Georgetown, Vandy and Chicago and they all are ranked higher than UVA. Yield is a somewhat complex statistic and you can have lower quality schools that have higher yields and vice versa.]
Last edited by northwesty; 06-17-2012 at 12:14 PM.
blueiguana, re: Tudor Jones. There is a very recent article in the Hook that does imply that he had a role in this. Who knows what the reality is. The Hook article-"Important Alum-Donor Jones had role in Sullivan ouster. "
northwesty, I agree Tudor Jones does make some good points about a slip in the rankings. As I said earlier, I do think those involved do love the University. Just seems they could have gone about this another way. Just not sure ousting a President after less than 2 years in the way it was done was a very smooth move.
IF the brouhaha over this travesty doesn't come from the Grounds, just where should it begin? It's the the current University community that has the largest stake in this, and they have every right, an dthe responsibility, to make their outrage known