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Hundreds attend U.Va. meeting on Sullivan ouster

Monday - 6/18/2012, 1:56am  ET

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The University of Virginia's provost spoke out Sunday against the removal of President Teresa Sullivan during an emergency meeting of the Faculty Senate.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported ( http://bit.ly/M5Me63) that about 800 people attended the meeting where Provost John Simon spoke and senators passed a resolution supporting Sullivan. The emergency meeting was taking place ahead of a meeting between senate leaders and the Board of Visitors on Monday.

Simon told the gathering that he has concerns about the university's future.

"I now find myself at a defining moment, confronting and questioning whether honor, integrity and trust are truly the foundational pillars life at the University of Virginia," he said.

Simon is the most senior member of the administration to speak out about Sullivan's removal. He said that he decided to speak out to set an example of courage for his sons on Father's Day.

On Monday afternoon, the Board of Visitors is scheduled to consider candidates for interim president after it meets with the leaders of the Faculty Senate. It was announced a week ago that Sullivan had agreed to step down Aug. 15 after two years as the first woman to lead the university.

Faculty Senate leaders had approved a resolution expressing support for Sullivan on Thursday, and the full senate voted in favor of it at the Sunday meeting, 68-2, with one abstention.

The chairman of the senate, law professor George Cohen, said it's not clear what recourse his body would have if the board doesn't heed its resolution.

The auditorium where the meeting took place has 500 seats, and attendees overflowed into several classrooms. The Sunday meeting was open to the public, but the meetings on Monday won't be.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)