CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia is creating a course that covers President Teresa A. Sullivan’s ouster and reinstatement.
The university plans to offer an oral history course in the fall on the turbulent period that began June 10 with the announcement that Sullivan was resigning. The university’s governing board reinstated the popular president on June 26, after large protests on school grounds, online petitions and calls for Sullivan’s return by deans, faculty, students and alumni.
Students will seek interviews with members of the U.Va. community who were involved in the events, including administrators and current and former members of the Board of Visitors. Students also will examine contemporary higher education policy issues.
John Alexander and Walter Heinecke will teach the course, called “Documenting U.Va.’s Future.”
“It’s a teachable moment, as people keep saying, and I think it’s a teachable moment about higher education policy issues, about the relationship between democracy and education, and about students’ role in their own civic life,” Heinecke, an associate professor in the Curry School of Education, said in a statement.
The students plan to frame the project in the context of U.Va. founder Thomas Jefferson’s thoughts on public education’s role, as well as the challenges and issues that higher education institutions currently face.
A team from the University Library is cataloging physical and digital items related to Sullivan’s ouster and reinstatement, including signs used at the protests and other events, and posts on online news sites and Twitter.
As of this week, U.Va. digital archivist Gretchen Gueguen collected about 80,000 tweets and catalogued more than 260 online news articles, about 120 blog posts and 56 videos, the university said.
The library plans to set up an exhibit of the events for students returning in the fall.
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