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Posted on Mon, Jan 11, 2010 : 3:14 p.m.

University of Michigan Provost Teresa Sullivan to lead University of Virginia

By Juliana Keeping

The University of Michigan's second in command is leaving Ann Arbor to lead the University of Virginia.

Teresa A. Sullivan, U-M's provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, is due to begin as the eighth president of the U-Va. on Aug. 1.

U-Va. school leaders unanimously elected Sullivan today following a search by a 19-member committee.

teresa sullivan UM.jpg

Teresa A. Sullivan

At U-Va., Sullivan will replace John T. Casteen III, who has served as president since 1990.

Sullivan joined U-M in 2006, where her job entails working with U-M President Mary Sue Coleman to set the university's academic priorities. It's ultimately her responsibility to find the money to fund those priorities from the $1.5 billion budget she oversees. Reporting to her are the deans of 19 schools and colleges, the university librarian and dean of the library, as well as a multitude of vice provosts, directors and offices.

“Terry Sullivan is both a distinguished academic and a stellar administrator, known for her sparkling intellect as well as her superb people skills,” U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said in a written statement. “She has won the utmost respect of the faculty and the administration for her inclusive management style and her strong leadership. Working with her has been one of the highlights of my career, and although we will all miss her, we take pride in knowing that she will preside over one of the nation’s great public universities.”

The budget has been her most consuming priority, Sullivan told in an interview earlier this year.

And her experience will likely serve her well at U-Va. Over Casteen's time as president, state support at that college has gone from 26 percent to 7 percent of the general fund budget, the Washington Post reported. In her new position, she's due to inherit a $3 billion fundraising campaign.

At U-M, Sullivan's base salary is $366,331. Her total compensation at U-Va. will be $680,000.

Her previous experience includes 27 years at the University of Texas at Austin. There, she joined as a sociology instructor but was named executive vice chancellor for academic affairs in 2002. In that position, she served as chief academic officer for the system's nine academic campuses.

She graduated from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1970 and went on to earn her doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1975.

Juliana Keeping covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter


Mr. DB

Tue, Jan 12, 2010 : 2:38 a.m.

You know what that means? Our new provost will get a 30% pay increase from what Sullivan is making.

Tom Joad

Mon, Jan 11, 2010 : 11:44 p.m.

Am I the only one protesting the gargantuan salaries universities pay their presidents and higher administration strata of provosts, vice presidents and ancillary coaching positions? Of course they answer with the tired and self-serving rationale that to attract the brightest and best for these positions they must match or exceed private sector pay scales. At a time when higher education has become prohibitively expensive for many American families perhaps we should reign in the salaries as a prudent venture to consider cost-cutting from the top...

Del Dunbar

Mon, Jan 11, 2010 : 4:53 p.m.

Terry, What a promotion! My freshman application to UVA got rejected in 1960 so I had to come to, del

Stefan Szumko

Mon, Jan 11, 2010 : 3:59 p.m.

Congratulations, Terry! The Washtenaw Wanderers will miss you! Perhaps we'll have to make a road trip to do some walks down in Virginia!