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New President at UVa - How the big boys do it...

University of Virginia names new president

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The University of Virginia has named Teresa A. Sullivan as its new president, the first woman to fill that role.

More than 100 candidates were nominated for the job at one of the nation's top public institutions, founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson.

The 60-year-old Sullivan has served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan since 2006, and spent 27 at the University of Texas at Austin. Both also are regarded as among the nation's best public universities.

The university has granted Sullivan a five-year contract with compensation package not to exceed $680,000 annually.

"This is the only presidency for which I applied," Sullivan said at a news conference after the meeting. "This is really one of the jewels of higher education in the United States."

Sullivan, who grew up in Little Rock, Ark., and Jackson, Miss., earned her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University. She earned her master's and doctorate degrees in sociology from the University of Chicago and is known as a leading scholar in labor-force demography. Before becoming Michigan's provost, Sullivan served in various administrative and teaching positions at Texas, with her most recent position there as executive vice chancellor for academic affairs from 2002-2006.

As provost, Sullivan also serves as the University of Michigan's chief budget officer.

Both Wynne and Sullivan praised Casteen, who wrote in a letter to his successor that he looks for opportunities to assist her as she prepares for her new job.

As president of U.Va. since 1990, Casteen advocated for increasing the number of female, nonwhite and low-income students at the school. Under his tenure, a full-need student financial-aid program was created. He also was a fundraising leader, and school officials say he will stay involved in the school's $3 billion campaign.

Any lessons here for a public institution aspiring to greatness?

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