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Democratic LG Candidates Weigh in on UVA Rector Helen Dragas

by: lowkell

Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 15:39:42 PM EST


(UPDATE: I'm hearing that the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools (SACS), which recently put UVA on "warning," is itself under investigation by the US Department of Education... - promoted by lowkell)

In this morning's news roundup, I linked to the Virginia Pilot article on University of Virginia Rector Helen Dragas, and specifically her "tough road to confirmation in the General Assembly after spearheading a controversial effort last June to oust U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan." I saw that Sen. Ralph Northam, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Virginia LG, was quoted in the story, sounding somewhat "sympathetic" (the article's adjective) to Dragas. I wanted to check with Northam's people, as well as with the other Democratic LG candidate, Aneesh Chopra, to find out more.

I first spoke with Aneesh Chopra's campaign. Their position is basically that, knowing what he knows now, he would not support Dragas' reappointment to the UVA Board of Visitors. Of course, they emphasized to me, that if Chopra was in a position to vote on this, he'd want to sit down with Dragas and hear her side of the story. He'd also want the entire process to be conducted with openness and transparency, both of which his campaign emphasized are very important to him.

As for Sen. Northam, his campaign told me that more than anything, he wants a fair, transparent process. They noted that a LACK of transparency was a big part of the reason the situation turned into the problem that it did. Thus, Sen. Northam believes there should be a full, fair public hearing on this issue before the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee. Northam also wants to speak with Dragas again (he's spoken with her previously but has additional questions/concerns),  as well as to talk to UVA President Sullivan and to other members of the UVA Board of Visitors, so he can get the full story. Having said that, Sen. Northam clearly believes that Dragas made some "grave mistakes," and he has "a lot of reservations" about her reappointment. He's heard a tremendous amount from constituents on this issue, and people clearly feel VERY strongly about this subject. In the end, Sen. Northam will listen to his constituents, as well as to the facts, and then make a decision.

My position? I agree that Dragas should receive a fair, open hearing. I agree that all facts that should be heard. But having said all that, I find it difficult to imagine what facts could possibly emerge that would outweigh the damage - both actual and perceived - that's already been inflicted due in large measure to Dragas' ham-handed, arrogant, foolish, irresponsible behavior. Thus, barring some astounding revelations, I would strongly support Dragas' reappointment to the UVA Board of Visitors being REJECTED by the General Assembly.  

lowkell :: Democratic LG Candidates Weigh in on UVA Rector Helen Dragas
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The Actual Problem (0.00 / 0)
The problem with people like Helen Dragas being appointed to the Board of Visitors of state schools and universities is that they are being rewarded for having made the "correct" campaign contributions. In other words, they need not know jack poo about higher education. They only have to know how to sign the checks to politicians...That's no way to run a university.

Here are her Virginia donations since 2002 (0.00 / 0)
courtesy of VPAP:

$7,000 Wagner for Lt Governor - Jody
$5,000 Moving Virginia Forward
$4,000 Wilson for Virginia Beach City Council - Rosemary
$2,500 One Virginia PAC
$1,000 Ward for Chesapeake City Council - Ella P
$1,000 Kaine for Governor - Tim
$800 Winn for Norfolk City Council - Barclay
$500 Blevins for Senate - Harry
$250 Mathieson for Delegate - Robert
$100 Yes Campaign

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[ Parent ]
She's also given tens of thousands of dollars federally (0.00 / 0)
According to the FEC:

Contributions to Political Committees

DRAGAS, HELEN
VIRGINIA BCH, VA 23451
DRAGAS GROUP THE

  FORWARD TOGETHER PAC
11/28/2005 5000.00 26990230528

DRAGAS, HELEN
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
DRAGAS MANAGEMENT CORP

  FORBES, J. RANDY
   VIA FORBES FOR CONGRESS
05/05/2009 1200.00 29934252862
05/05/2009 1200.00 29934252862
06/25/2009 1200.00 29934252863
05/20/2010 1200.00 10930981752

DRAGAS, HELEN
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23462
DRAGAS MANAGEMENT CORP

  FORBES, J. RANDY
   VIA FORBES FOR CONGRESS
02/26/2007 2300.00 27990540505
02/26/2007 2300.00 27990540506

DRAGAS, HELEN
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23462
DRAGAS MANAGEMENT CORP.

  BUILD POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS (BUILDPAC)
12/02/2005 1000.00 26970037941

DRAGAS, HELEN
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23462
THE DRAGAS COMPANIES

  BUILD POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS (BUILDPAC)
11/02/2006 1000.00 27930035474
01/11/2008 1000.00 28930818705
12/16/2008 1000.00 29990885527
12/31/2008 1000.00 29990885527

DRAGAS, HELEN E
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
DRAGAS COMPANIES

  KELLAM, PHILIP JEFFERSON
   VIA KELLAM FOR CONGRESS
09/28/2006 2100.00 27931234313

DRAGAS, HELEN E
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
THE DRAGAS COMPANY

  FORWARD TOGETHER PAC
05/04/2006 5000.00 26950184715

  WARNER, MARK ROBERT
   VIA FRIENDS OF MARK WARNER
09/30/2007 2300.00 27020351345
09/30/2007 2300.00 27020351325
02/09/2011 2500.00 11020162098

DRAGAS, HELEN E.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23462
DRAGAS MANAGEMENT CORPORATION

  NYE, GLENN CARLYLE III
   VIA FRIENDS OF GLENN NYE
10/10/2008 2300.00 11931829751

DRAGAS, HELEN E. MS.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
THE DRAGAS COMPANIES

  FORBES, J. RANDY
   VIA FORBES FOR CONGRESS
05/04/2005 1000.00 25970968489

DRAGAS, HELEN E. MS.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
DRAGAS MANAGEMENT CORPORATION/REA

  ROMNEY, MITT / RYAN, PAUL D.
   VIA ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT INC.
12/07/2011 1000.00 12952879707
12/30/2011 1500.00 12952879708

DRAGAS, HELEN E. MS.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
THE DRAGAS COMPANIES

  FORBES, J. RANDY
   VIA FORBES FOR CONGRESS
09/26/2003 1500.00 23992070231
12/15/2003 500.00 24990390196
12/15/2003 1500.00 24990390196
02/27/2004 500.00 24990991916
03/14/2005 2100.00 25980464336
04/27/2006 1100.00 26950139475

Total Contributions:    46600.00

Joint Fundraising Contributions

 These are contributions to committees who are raising funds to be distributed to other committees. The breakdown of these contributions to their final recipients may appear below

DRAGAS, HELEN E.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
THE DRAGAS COMPANY

  WIN VIRGINIA 2008
09/09/2008 2000.00 28992301918

DRAGAS, HELEN ELIZABETH
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
DRAGAS MANAGEMENT CORP

  VIRGINIA VICTORY 2008
02/05/2008 5000.00 28931115688

Total Joint Fundraising:    7000.00

Recipient of Joint Fundraiser Contributions

 These are the Final Recipients of Joint Fundraising Contributions

DRAGAS, HELEN E
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
DRAGAS MANAGEMENT CORP

  DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
02/05/2008 5000.00 28020122594

DRAGAS, HELEN E.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
THE DRAGAS COMPANY

  DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF VIRGINIA
09/30/2008 2000.00 29933630518

Recipient Total:    7000.00

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