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THINGS have turned ugly in Charlottesville, where U.Va.'s Board of Visitors gave President Teresa Sullivan the heave, touching off protests, a resignation, and gubernatorial brow knitting. Yet her departure itself was low-key and dignified as befits an institution founded by Thomas Jefferson.
The board asked for Ms. Sullivan's resignation simply because its vision and hers didn't line up. That was it. There were no flipped cars. No midday drives over a bridge with a tire or two missing. No sparking rims. No guns-drawn police stop. No excuses about how "unusual" it was to be arrested for DUI twice in two days, and no beefs on Page One of The Washington Post about "lack of community support."
Also: no fake emergency calls from a campus parking garage to "test" the university's emergency-response system. No $28,000 mahogany bookcases. No failure to connect with students. No refusal to shake hands at graduation. (Swine flu! Aarrgg!)
Yes, when it comes to cutting loose presidents under garish circumstances, U.Va. can't hold a candle to the University of Mary Washington. On the other hand, Mr. Jefferson probably likes it that way.