In response to crisis, Sullivan sends email

University president uses that one Jefferson quote again

In a step typically reserved for major controversies, University President Teresa Sullivan sent an e-mail to the student body Tuesday with the subject line of the e-mail reading “An Important Message from President Sullivan.”

According to the e-mail, Sullivan was responding to “whatever the hell is going on now.”

“As I sit at my desk in my blue pantsuit — you know the one — I want you, members of our community, to know I care deeply about recent events,” Sullivan said. “In fact, I have been so moved that I felt compelled to send this e-mail.”

After outlining the safeguards the University has in place to respond to the tragedy, Sullivan reminded students to utilize Counseling and Psychological Services as a resource at this time.

“CAPS workers are ready to do anything from helping and listening to listening and helping,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan announced several measures the University will implement to mitigate the tragedy, though she noted these measures would end immediately after national attention shifts away from the University.

Before describing these measures, Sullivan referenced University founder Thomas Jefferson, detailing at length his vision for the University and how the school upholds that vision today.

“It seems pertinent that we quote Jefferson at this time,” Sullivan said.

The quote she included — “it is more honorable to repair a wrong than to persist in it” — was also included in several other e-mails from the administration this academic year.

Sullivan has not responded to widespread criticism that this idea is just too obvious for words, nor has she responded to criticism that aligning the administration with Jefferson has several negative implications.

Sullivan assured “the University community” — the recipient of the e-mail — that no action would be taken by her beyond sending this e-mail.

“Please note that this is the only correspondence you will receive from me, and that this is likely the extent of the action we will take in response to current developments,” Sullivan said. “As soon as national media lose interest, we will return to our day-to-day work.”

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