Universities are communities composed of numerous stakeholders, all of whose voices should be reflected in decision making. Leadership calls for relentless consultation, the balancing of goals, of conflicting ambitions and agendas along with contrasting, often antithetical, priorities. Choices are inevitable. Presidents, faculty, and boards must find common ground, especially in difficult financial circumstances. A unilateral act by one part of the triumvirate (as is the situation at UVa) diminishes not only the power structure but also the soundness of the institution.
I have been reticent to make proclamations about the #UVa situation because I am in no position to be privy to the real dynamics of the situation, but this statement by Stephen Trachtenberg, president emeritus of George Washington University, resonates with what I understand about institutions of higher education.