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Gov. Youngkin appoints four new members to the Board of Visitors

Three of the appointees have donated to Youngkin in the past

The Board, which consists of 17 total members who are appointed by the governor, meets four times per year and facilitates long-term planning of the University.
The Board, which consists of 17 total members who are appointed by the governor, meets four times per year and facilitates long-term planning of the University.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced the appointment of four new members to the Board of Visitors Wednesday —  Paul Harris, previous Virginia House of Delegates member,  Paul Manning, previous member of the President’s Advisory Committee board, John Nau III Class of 1986 alumnus and previous Board member and Law alumnus, and Rachel Sheridan, vice president to Virginia Athletics Foundation. 

Nau, Manning and Sheridan have all made sizable donations to Youngkin’s political campaigns, with Nau donating $200,000 this year alone. There is no record of Harris’ financial contributions, according to the Virginia Public Access Project — a non profit that provides funds to share free and non-partisan government and political information.

The four new appointments will become effective July 1 and new members will attend the next Board meeting Sept. 14. The new members will replace previous members Louis Haddad, Angela Hucles Mangano, James Reyes and rector Whittington Clement, who were all either appointed or reappointed by former Gov. Ralph Northam in 2019. 

The Board, which consists of 17 total members who are appointed by the governor and approved by the General Assembly, meets four times per year and facilitates long-term planning of the University, overseeing committees such as audit, finance and academic and student life. The Board makes many decisions that affect student life including tuition raises — the Board also holds final authority over a number of faculty actions such as new professor hires and tenure review. Terms last four years and members may be reappointed for one additional term.

Harris is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and currently a business executive at Huntington Ingalls Industries — the largest military shipbuilding company in the U.S. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hampton University and a juris doctor degree from the George Washington University Law School. 

Manning lives in Charlottesville and currently serves as chair and CEO of PBM Capital Group. He previously served on the U.Va. Health Foundation board, the board of the Strategic Planning Committee and the President’s Advisory Committee board. 

Manning and his wife donated $100 million to the University in January to help fund the Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology, which plans to focus on research in drug delivery and gene and cellular therapies. 

Nau graduated from the College in 1968 and previously served on the Board from 2011 to 2015 after his appointment by former governor Bob McDowell. He also serves as founder and president of the Nau Foundation, a grantmaking organization focused on education and the study of American history, which donated $17 million to the University last summer. Nau is the current chair and CEO of Silver Eagle Beverages. 

Nau donated $13 million to the Undergraduate and Graduate Colleges in 2015, the majority of which went towards the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History. Nau also previously donated a $11 million lead gift to the University for the construction of Nau Hall. 

Sheridan, a College and 1998 Law alumnus, is the vice president of the Virginia Athletics Foundation which supports the student-athlete experience through scholarships and operational assistance. Sheridan is also a current partner at Kirkland and Ellis law firm.

In an interview with U.Va. Today, University President Jim Ryan said the University has made progress towards its 2030 Strategic Plan goals, but that there is more work to be done for the newest Board appointees. 

“I’m grateful for the service of our outgoing Board members toward these efforts, and I am looking forward to collaborating with our newest Board members as we continue to work to make the University the absolute best version of itself,” Ryan said. 

These four new members mark Youngkin’s second round of appointments to the Board as Governor. The first, announced last June, were met with backlash over the appointment of College and Darden alumnus Bert Ellis to the Board. The appointment — confirmed Feb. 7 by the Virginia State Senate — followed months of controversy over his history at the University. 


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