Did Goldman Sachs Oust UVA’s President?!

Did wealthy business school grads and powerful Goldman Sachs alums conspire in the firing (“resignation”) of Theresa Sullivan, the University of Virginia’s president of just two years? Some people seem to think so!

[Darden School Foundation chair and alumnus Peter Kiernan, formerly a partner at Goldman Sachs] sent an email in the wake of the announcement revealing that he’d been working on “this project” with [Board of Visitors Rector] Dragas for several weeks at the behest of “two important Virginia alums.”

But why??

Another concern is that Goldman Sachs, which recently took a major ownership position in a group of online universities, might find a role at UVA. After all, Dragas noted in her remarks that online classes have recently been “legitimized” by some “elite institutions.”


“[President Sullivan] understands that universities are built for the long haul, to interpret the wisdom of the ages and look 100 years into the future,” says [prominent UVA-based media scholar Siva] VaidhyanathanVaidhyanathan. “It’s not supposed to work like Goldman Sachs. Unfortunately, the guys at Goldman call the shots at UVA.”

Stories are most fun when only a little information has leaked — anything can happen! The ouster will likely turn out to be something totally banal and boring (“I wanted my cousin to have the job”), and the Goldman Sachs thing will just be a coincidence, because: What powerful organization of rich people doesn’t have at least a few Goldman folks on it. But for now: I love a conspiracy. Plus: IT COULD BE TRUE. Also I went to UVA, so when we’re living the United States of Goldman Sachs, hopefully I’ll get points for that (like a tax credit? or something?).

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