Teresa A. Sullivan

Teresa Sullivan stepped down as UVa president last year after eight years in the position.

The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Former University of Virginia president Teresa A. Sullivan will become the interim provost at Michigan State University, returning to her alma mater, the university announced Monday.

Sullivan stepped down as UVa president last year after eight years in the position. She’ll begin as interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs Oct. 1, according to a university news release.

“Terry has a wealth of experience as a provost and previous university president and will help us tremendously as we weather through our changes at Michigan State, as well as our search for a new provost,” Samuel Stanley, president of Michigan State, said in a statement.

Sullivan previously advised the Michigan State Board of Trustees in its presidential search that led to Stanley’s hiring.

The university still is grappling with the consequences of its handling of cases involving Dr. Larry Nassar, the former national team doctor of USA gymnastics. He pleaded guilty to child pornography charges last year, and hundreds of women, most of whom were gymnasts, accused him of sexual assault.

Michigan State’s previous provost, June Youatt, resigned early this month after the U.S Department of Education fined the institution $4.5 million and specifically called her out for failing to take action, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Sullivan will serve as interim provost for the rest of the academic year while the university conducts a national search, according to the release.

“I love MSU, and I’m committed to helping where I can,” Sullivan said in a statement. “I intend to work with the faculty, staff and students to further the university’s academic and research mission. Supporting the success of the faculty and the students is the most important focus of the provost, and I’ve made it my life’s work and mission to achieve these goals at all universities I’ve had the honor to serve.”

Stanley said in a statement Sullivan’s experience is “hard to beat.”

“We are grateful to her for stepping into this role,” he said. “Her external view point, combined with the understanding of faculty and governance structures, is invaluable.”

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