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Frawley reflects on firing, future
Ousted University of Mary Washington President William Frawley addresses his firing for the first time in a first-person account in The Washington Post

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Click here to read Frawley's column, titled 'EXECUTIVE MELTDOWN: I Needed Help, Not Ostracism,' printed in The Washington Post.

Date published: 12/3/2007


Ousted University of Mary Washington President William Frawley accused school officials of a lack of compassion after his "calamitous breakdown" in a first-person account in yesterday's Washington Post.

"I know that my actions cracked the trust that the UMW [board of visitors] and community had placed on me," Frawley wrote in the Outlook section of the Post. "But their hard-edged reactions also cracked my trust in them."

He claims to have accepted a severance package in exchange for his resignation, but "in a surprise move, it was pulled off the table that same day, and I was fired," he wrote.

He wouldn't detail the severance package in an e-mail to The Free Lance-Star yesterday and said he couldn't comment on potential legal action against UMW.

UMW Rector Bill Poole said yesterday that he had read Frawley's Post piece and that he would not comment until he talks with other board members.

"Whether we respond at all, I don't know," he said. "In some ways, once you start responding, then it goes back and forth."

Frawley was fired "for cause" April 30 shortly after being charged with driving under the influence twice in two days in Fairfax County and Fredericksburg.

"I was instantly left with no salary or benefits, no severance, no tenure," he wrote. "Our zero-tolerance times have seemingly produced zero tolerance for tolerance."

He was found guilty of the charges in September and UMW announced it had ended mediation with Frawley the next month. The two sides reached no agreement.

Frawley told The Free Lance-Star that he accepts "full responsibility for all my actions and have done so all along. I thought it important to understand the full context of events, which is why I wrote the piece."

In the Post piece, Frawley describes his version of the events that led to his firing, admitting that he had consumed wine before he drove. He wrote that he's thankful he was the only one hurt.

"For 45 years, I had self-treated a case of undiagnosed depression with compulsive work and, lately, alcohol," he wrote. "New heart problems and allergies added to the mix, as did the stress of separation from my family, which remained in Maryland."

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