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University of Virginia Names First Female President

The University of Virginia has named Dr. Teresa Sullivan as its new president starting Aug. 1. She will be the university’s eighth president and the first woman to serve in the position. Sullivan, 60, is the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan.

On Monday, the university’s Board of Visitors elected Sullivan to succeed President Dr. John Casteen. The 66-year-old Casteen will leave office after 20 years as the school’s president. More than 100 candidates were nominated for the job at the university, one of the nation’s top public institutions, founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson.

Sullivan became provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan on June 1, 2006. She is also a sociology professor in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Before joining the Ann Arbor, Mich., school, Sullivan spent 27 years in the University of Texas system. Sullivan was executive vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Texas system, a position she held from 2002 until May 2006. In that role, she was the chief academic officer for the nine academic campuses within the University of Texas System.

Sullivan joined the University of Texas at Austin in 1975 as an instructor and then assistant professor in the sociology department. From 1977-81, she was a faculty member at the University of Chicago. Sullivan returned to Texas in 1981 as a faculty member in sociology. She also held several administrative positions at Texas including: vice president and graduate dean (1995-2002), vice provost (1994-95), chair of the department of sociology (1990-92), and director of women’s studies (1985-87).

A graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University, Sullivan received her doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Chicago.

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