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10 Aug 2017
Audio Overview
John Alexander

Note Audio not available.


Albie: Annnnd we’re starting over.


Susan: Do you wanna wear the headphones… for it?



Albie: [Laughs] We’re starting over.. 


Susan: [laughs again] Okay. And that music in the background, that’ll be fine?


Albie: I don’t think you can hear anything.


Susan: They sound lovely, but anyway. Um.. Sooo okay, take two. I’m Susan Gravatt, and it is October 4th, and I just wanted to get together and talk a little bit with you and hear about um.. how you felt about um this past summer and UVA and get your thoughts. So if you could introduce yourself and spell your name as well.


Albie: Sure. I’m Albert Tabackman. That’s spelled A-L-B-E-R-T T-A-B-A-C-K-M-A-N.


Susan: And you go by…?


Albie: Albie


Susan: Albie.. Okay. All right. Well, good to have you hear and talk a little bit with you. So I guess I wanted to ask first how..what brought you to Charlottesville and how long you’ve been here?


Albie: My wife and son and I moved to Charlottesville about twenty years ago. And we moved here because we started a business in West Va, and we opened a branch of it here in Charlottesville.. And so … and our son went to school in Charlottesville, and eventually he actually went to UVA and graduated about ten years ago in media studies.


Susan: Oooo my major, too. Umm..


Albie: He was in the first class of media studies


Susan: Oh wow, that’s so exciting. Um soo.. I guess that also brings me to my next question what was your main motivation for getting or how were you involved with UVA first of all?


Albie: So my involvement with UVA is first through my son as in he is an alum.


Susan: So that’s where it started


Albie: Cause he’s an alum… he’s an alum. And over the years, I’ve taken numerous classes at UVA in many departments.  In biology, chemistry, mechanical engineering, medicine.


Susan: All over the Board!


Albie: All over the Board. [laughs]


Susan: Wow, okay.


Albie: In both graduate and undergraduate levels, just for fun.


Susan: Oh wow. that’s awesome. I guess to kinda get at the heart of this interview, how uh.. how were you involved with the events of this past summer, specifically the 17 days in June, as they have been called? What was your role in all of that?


Albie: Okay.. well… as everyone else who is a member of this university family, umm, I guess it was on the 9th of 10th of June, we got an e-mail, announcing that the president had resigned.. I guess it was my birthday, so it was a special day for me.


Susan : Awh!


Albie: So I thought that was odd. I mean, it’s an unusual thing for a president of a university to resign. But.. and there was still all of the strangeness that had happened at Penn State.. In our minds.. in the weeks, preceding this, weeks, months preceding this and the craziness. And uh so when I read that she had resigned, I thought it was a little odd. But something was weird. I mean, that doesn’t usually happen. And then I saw the rector give her brief statement to the press..


Susan: You actually saw… er… ?


Albie: Well, no. I saw a video of it online or something…  It was probably online. I happened to see this. Annnd.. it was even stranger to me. She was.. she was very obtuse in the way she presented it, she didn’t make a lot of sense, and it was clear she was not saying what really happened and left it to philosophical differences.. You know, That.. the president was a wonderful person.. blah blah blah, but they had mutually agreed. The only thing I could think was… okay either she’s a pedophile or.. or.. or she’s having an affair with uhhh.. or some crazy thing.


Susan: [laughs ]



Albie: Something very crazy, very bizarre. But it must have been going on for [a while for] them to walk in out of the blue…


Susan: So it seemed very unprecedented to you.


Albie: Yeah, yeah… And I just thought. "My god." I didn’t know the president, um I hardly… I hardly even thought about the president. I knew Casteen.. I knew Casteen fairly well. But I hadn’t really made any effort to meet president Sullivan. The only thing that I knew about her was that my son had come back for his tenth reunion a couple weeks before.


Susan: Okay.


Albie: And he met President Sullivan, and she came to all the reunion groups, and he was very impressed with her and decided to give money to the school..


Susan: Wow.


Albie: And he was just like..  he was just so impressed with her as a person. So it all seemed very strange to me.. Umm.. So that that was how I found out about it. And umm.. I'm trying to think of when my take on it completely changed..


Susan: Because initially you didn't really have a take...?


Albie: Yeah, other than it was bizarre and there must have been a reason. You, know, nobody was saying. nobody was saying.. It was a dark thing. we don't want bad publicity for UVa. Sullivan must have done something outrageous. And clean it up before it messes all over the place.


Susan: Do you think that kinda language that they used, "philosophical differences of opinion," in just the way that it was presented made you all the more curious bout it because it was so like.. unexpected?


Albie: Yeah, I think that.. I don't think that I got furtherly involved until..... I'm trying to think of the exact sequencing.. But it may have been the announcement with Kiernan's e-mail. I'm trying to think which day it was.. Because there was an initial rally a few days after the announcement, and my other son and grandchildren were visiting me at the time, and we heard about the rally. And by this point, we were.. we had come to the conclusion that there was something not right about this whole thing and that it was not that Sullivan should be out but that this was a coup. And uh.. I think it had to do with the publication of Kiernan's letter, suggesting that he had connived in this whole thing and had uh... with the governor involved with it, and quote two rich alum [chuckle]. We were thinking that this must really be a coup. And we inquired about Sullivan from other people and everyone had wonderful things to say about her


Susan: You just inquired more or less... within the UVA community?


Albie: With people we knew.. Yeah. Both. So there was a.. there was the announcement that there would be a rally on the lawn. This was probably about the 14th, I think. I'm just guessing now. And my wife mentioned, said to somebody, "You know that I'm gonna go and if my employees wanna go, then I'll close the store and they can all go because I think they should have the right to do that." Well, somebody picked up on that, one of the papers, and they called her and she said yes. And then another paper called, the Lynchburg paper called..


Susan: Wow.


Albie: 'Cause they had heard this story from either the Daily Progress or the Hook who had first spoken..


Susan: Who had first contacted your wife...


Albie: Cause she's a kind spokesperson for the downtown mall. She's the president of the downtown mall association..


Susan: Oh, I didn't know that.


Albie: So um.. So she's often the spokesperson. The.. the fact that she said she would close the stores and now somebody's calling her on that and then the morning of that first rally, someone from California called her at 7 in the morning.


Susan: Whoa!


Albie: And said .. you know, she's a mother


Susan: At UVA?


Albie: At UVA.


Susan: Okay.


Albie: And she said, "I am so impressed with you, and I am behind you 100.. Thank you so much for doing this and bringing attention.." blah blah blah. So now my wife couldn't keep the store open.


[Susan and Albie both laugh]


Albie: She had to shut the store, she realized! You know, she was very moved by that, that people were reading this all over the country, you know, that the word was out everywhere. So we went to the rally, aaaand there were quite a number of people there, at least a thousand, maybe two thousand. WTJU was broadcasting live from the rally, but they hadn't set up a sound system for the rally itself. They were just sort of protesting in the corner.


Susan Oooh, okay.


Albie: And so people couldn't hear what people were saying to WTJU, and they started trying to hook up the speakers. Very awkward. Things were not going very well. And my wife and I have been, we've put on concerts, we've put on festivals..


Susan: So you were familiar with that kind of equipment?


Albie: We're familiar with how you do this. We've been in lots of rallies and protests over our lives.


Susan: Okay.


Albie: So we know how to do it.


Susan: How to get it done!


Albie: How to do it. And we were saying, we were standing there saying, "This is not how you do it. This is NOT the way.." You know, this is too bad um.. they need help, whoever's trying to do this needs help. So that rally sorta ended, but as I said, it was really hard for people to hear but now there was clearly a lot of energy around campus. You know, people came, whole schools walked in from different corners, you know, departments


Susan: Would you say that the rally itself, what was the body of people like that made it up?


Albie: It was sooo mixed.


Susan: Very mixed?


Albie: Very mixed. There were students and faculty and staff.. and townspeople and my grandchildren! And you know, I mean..


Susan: It was just the thing to attend.


Albie: Yeah, everyone was just talking, "What is going on? What the hell is going on here? We've gotta stop this. Who are these people?"


Susan: Do you know who organized it? Um.. like who were the main speakers?


Albie There were no speakers. 


Susan: No speaker


Albie: This wasn't that kind of rally. It was just be on..


Susan Just be a presence.


Albie Just be on, be on the lawn.. at 3 o'clock, whatever time it was Just..  gather there. George Cohen eventually did speak. But you could hardly hear him, I mean they were trying to figure out some way for him to talk, he was, you know, reading a statement.


Susan: That no one probably heard.


Albie: Right, right. it was very hard to hear. So.. so.. eventually that ended.. And Susie McIn.. Mc..


Susan: McCarthy?


Albie: McCarthy, thank you. Susie McCarthy, um, who was a grad student in political science, started a Facebook page


Susan: Before this event?


Albie: No no, just around that time, it could've been right about then. We became aware of it, that there was this Facebook page, which was this point at which to rally and organize people and get comment about what was going on. And eventually it turned into, it changed its name a couple of times, and eventually, there was a uh.. an action suggested, which was another rally. A rally for honor.


Susan: To follow up that initial one?


Albie: Yeah yeah to be more organized. So Susie was up in DC, she had a summer internship in DC, so she wasn't even here while they were doing this, and Joan and a number of other people were posting on the Facebook page.  #00:14:17.5#


Susan: What kind of posts, just like news article posts er..? #00:14:22.6#


Albie That and also suggestions about what to do and Joan.. #00:14:26.2#


Susan: How to organize.. #00:14:30.2#


Albie: If we're gonna do this, we need an actual organizational structure. #00:14:35.7#


Susan: Yeah, yeah some kind of strategy. #00:14:32.9#


Albie: -- to have the rally be successful, and the first one was not. If you wanna do this, you need to have a way to do this successfully, and so Susie then asked Joan if she would take care of that? #00:14:48.8#


Susan: Okay, so she was the administrator, more or less, here? #00:14:55.8#


Albie: Yeah, yeah in Charlottesville. So she would organize the on the grounds part of it, and Susie would organize the speakers. #00:15:06.6#


Susan: And just set them up to attend? #00:15:06.7#


Albie: Whoever. She would get the speakers, she would organize who the speakers were, and then we would run the.. #00:


Susan: The efforts to make it happen? #00:15:16.6#


Albie: Yeah. So um.. Through Susie, we connected with several other people. Susannah Nicholson, a couple of our friends, we involved in it. Walter Heinecke became involved, and we met and decided, you know, what each of our skills were and how we should go about it. #00:15:47.2#


Susan: How many people roughly? #00:15:48.5#


Albie: About 5 or 6. #00:15:49.2#


Susan: So not a very large group at all? #00:15:50.1#


Albie: Oh, no, no, no. It was 5 or 6 people. And we contacted other people and looked for volunteers. Kay Slaughter, who was previous mayor of the city and is a lawyer and I guess she is probably retired now. But she was the head of the Southern Environmental Defense Fund. #00:16:16.7#


Susan: Oh wow. #00:16:14.2#


Albie: So Joan contacted her, or she contacted Joan, through the Facebook and wanted to be involved.. A few other people. So we contacted the university, for one, the grounds department. For the lawn. We got them engaged.  #00:16:46.4#


Susan: And they were... #00:16:51.2#


Albie: They were okay. #00:16:51.3#


Susan: Set to do this? They were behind the efforts to do this? Allowed it to happen? #00:16:56.7#


Albie: They allowed, they helped. They made the necessary.. We had to pay them for their time. #00:17:01.7#


Susan: Where did that money come from? #00:17:06.3#


Albie: We just put it out.  #00:17:03.3#


Susan Wow.


Albie: Umm so we had to pay hourly rates for somebody, for the electrician to stand there and stuff like that. But we met with this guy who was in charge of that, with Ryan whose last name I don't know. And um.. So we arranged for electricity, ethernet connection, for garbage pickup. We talked to the police, we arranged for emergency services to be available for.. #00:17:37.7#


Susan: So there were a lot of different organizations and groups involved in this? #00:17:38.5#


Albie: Yeah, yeah. And then, we arranged for the live streaming, which we actually hired a videographer to do that. We didn't know anything about it at the time, so we hired somebody. And then we arranged for the sound system, and um.. We first called our friend Gary Green, who is the sound person at the Paramount Theater, and he was busy for that period, he couldn't do it, so he suggested a different friend of his, Gary Kirby. So we spoke to Gary Kirby, and Gary Kirby said that he could do it but that it would be $800, and we said fine, whatever. He says, well I, I'll do it for half that price cause it's a non-profit kind of thing, so we said fine, we'll pay you for that. Um.. When he actually came and did it, he didn't charge us anything. He became involved in it, and didn't charge for it. He was happy to provide this service. So he set up a very sophisticated sound system.  #00:18:47.3#


Susan: So speakers could be heard for future rallies. #00:18:53.8#


Albie: Yeah, yes. Gary, he set it up and took it down, but we had the sound system for that, for that rally. #00:19:00.5#


Susan: So how many events following the first one that you attended, I guess were you responsible for sound? #00:19:09.5#


Albie: Well, that was the only one we were involved with. After that, we asked to be involved and were kind of shunned away. Everyone said no, it was all taken care of.


Susan: So who was taking care of...? #00:19:32.8#


Albie: I'm not so sure. I think it was Susie.. #00:19:32.3#


Susan: So they did organize other events? #00:19:32.6#


Albie: Well.. it was and it wasn't.. It wasn't. #00:19:40.5#


Susan: In what ways was...? #00:19:40.6#


Albie: I think the next one was actually organized by the faculty senate, and they didn't want our help and they were not organized at all. And eventually, they managed to get a sound system the last second. It was a little sound system. Not adequate.


Susan: Not powerful? #00:19:59.6#


Albie: Not adequate. It was not.. They couldn't figure out how to plug it in. They got.. they had.. #00:20:00.5#


Susan: Very eventful technical difficulties, it sounds like. #00:20:07.7#


Albie: Yeah, it just.. In our organization of it, we set up a section for the press, we had tables for the press, and Wi-fi set ups for the press. Section for the speakers. And the ability to organize the speakers and somebody on our staff #00:20:28.8#


Susan: Very systematic #00:20:28.0#


Albie: Absolutely. We brought in thousands of bottles of water. #00:20:40.0#


Susan: Wow. #00:20:41.8#


Albie: Um.. Had that on ice and sitting there. We organized with the music department, volunteers, who formed the transparency band. UVA transparency band, for them to come


Susan: And they stayed pretty much the duration? #00:21:03.1#


Albie: They were there.. The whole, this one rally, including Steve Peck, who is - I think it was Steve Peck- who was a grad student who we kinda used as a point person for that. And then John D'earth. #00:21:14.5#


Susan: Oh he is very well-known around here. #00:21:20.8#


Albie: Yeah, yeah so he was there and about 10 other people ranging from age 6 to 70., I dunno 80, who knows? #00:21:32.4#


Susan: So how many...? #00:21:34.6#


Albie About ten people in the band. Yeah, so there's films of that. It was very cute. And we set them up in the back of the crowd as opposed to in front. It worked out fairly well. Um.. what other things did we organize there? Oh.. There was the heads on a stick portion of the rally, in which people -- somebody else organized this -- but we made sure that it happened. #00:22:04.4#


Susan: So that was not at a separate rally? #00:22:08.7#


Albie: No, no it's the same rally. Someone had the idea that people who couldn't attend because of course this happened just after school let out.  #00:22:17.6#


Susan: So many people were gone. #00:22:13.5#


Albie: Everyone was gone, all the students, most of the students were gone A lot of the faculty were off around the world doing what they do. And so someone online whose name I don't recall made a suggestion on the web page, the Facebook page, that people send in photographs of themselves #00:22:40.4#


Susan: From wherever they.. #00:22:42.3#


Albie: From wherever they were. To be virtual members of this rally. And so hundreds of people sent these in, and one person organized it and stapled 'em on stakes and punched them all into the ground #00:22:54.3#


Susan: So what did most of the pictures, what did they look like? #00:22:59.1#


Albie: They were just pictures of people's faces holding a sign, "I'm with Teeresa." #00:22:57.7#


Susan: Anything, that, would you say that there was like one particular leaning, like a side, that most of the pictures took? As in they were like, "Oh, I'm for Sullivan." #00:23:06.4#


Albie: Oh they absolutely, everyone in this entire place was for Sullivan. There were no one, there was no one. I don't remember a person on this campus that was not for Sullivan. Oh, no, no, no, this was not a two-sided event at all. #00:23:26.8#


Susan: Were most of them like, against the Board of Visitors or they more or less promoted Sullivan? #00:23:35.9#


Albie: At this point, the purpose of this rally was to get Sullivan reinstated. That was the point, the whole point. Previous to this, previous to the rally, the faculty senate had met and had taken a vote and they had some conclusions from their meeting. And their conclusions, if I recall correctly, were one, the reinstatement of the president, the dismissal of all members of the Board of Visitors who were involved in the coup. #00:24:20.9#


Susan: So basically, like, the entire Board? #00:24:27.4#


Albie: Well, I don't think it said that. We don't know who was involved. This was the problem. Um, and a change in the governance and in the appointment structure of the Board of Visitors #00:24:42.1#


Susan: Was that mostly to avoid...? #00:24:41.1#


Albie: That this shouldn't happen again. So this shouldn't happen again. So they made a statement that these were their demands, and there was a vote of no confidence in the Board of Visitors, specifically saying "This is a vote of no confidence." Very powerful statement. They then, I mean, there were more things. So anyway, the place where we were most involved to start with was this rally. We've been involved in a lot of other parts of this. We paid attention while other things were going on. The faculty had a meeting over at Darden or the law school, I'm not sure which one, I didn't attend a few. #00:25:29.2#


Susan: And this is over the summer..? #00:25:30.3#


Albie: Oh yeah, yeah. This was during the interim, in the seventeen.. #00:25:40.3#


Susan: -- Seventeen Days in June! #00:25:36.8#


Albie: In the seventeen days in June, about in the middle, immediately following the "resignation," the provost and the vice president for something or other, Strine, whose position I can't remember exactly what he is.. But he's.. whatever. #00:26:14.0#


Susan: He's in the higher ranks. #00:26:09.5#


Albie: He was the number two person in the administration. These were two people who were brought to the school by Dr. Sullivan, they were her assistants, Simon and Strine. And immediately following the ouster, they wrote a letter saying, "It's time for us to all get together and move forward." And you know, everything's gonna be fine and we all need to rally forward.


Susan: What did moving forward mean? #00:26:47.8#


Albie: Without the president. We're gonna find a new president. #00:26:48.1#


Susan: So they were fine without her? #00:26:53.3#


Albie: They were fine without her. And that was a strange thing. It was a tightly composed letter, it was just a little strange. #00:27:02.5#


Susan: So this was like a public.. Anyone could read it? #00:27:08.9#


Albie: This was sent to everyone, it was sent to you! It was sent to every student. So um.. that was peculiar, that these two people who were right hand and left hand person clearly were turning against her immediately. They went right down. So within a few days, Simon appeared at this meeting of the faculty at the Darden, and he said, "I'm not happy with what's happened here, and I'm ready to quit if this doesn't, if she's not brought back on Board. This is outrageous." So he [inaudible].. Strine did not.  #00:27:51.2#


Susan: So he always stuck by...? #00:27:49.3#


Albie: Strine, yeah.  #00:27:52.2#


Susan: That had to have led to some tension there.


Albie: Yeah, yeah, so... The next things that happened were, there was another rally that was a silent rally. This was the, after the rally for honor, there was this silent rally that the faculty organized, was disorganized with, and it seemed odd to us to have a silent rally.


Susan: When is a rally silent? #00:28:32.2#


[Both laugh.] #00:28:37.3#


Albie: Yeah, right? How can you have a silent rally? #00:28:31.4#


Susan: It was very different. I think they may have called it a vigil or.. Kinda an interesting term. It was very somber. #00:28:39.5#


Albie: It was odd. Anyway, and then there was a final, a final rally. Well, let's go back. During the rally that we organized, Dr. Sullivan came to address the Board. This was to discuss.. I'm totally confused now. Whether that was with the interim president.. #00:29:22.2#


Susan: Once he had been..? #00:29:25.4#


Albie: No, no, when they were gonna meet at the.. There was a rally, the meeting that lasted until 2 in the morning.  I think that's when it was. It may not have been. It may have been the vigil in which.. #00:29:37.6#


Susan: Okay. One of those. #00:29:42.6#


Albie: In any case, I think in our rally, Dr. Sullivan came to speak to the... #00:29:46.5#


Susan: Whoever was there? #00:29:51.4#


Albie: No, no, to the Board of Visitors. She came to ask, to address the Board of Visitors, and the rally was at the time when the Board of Visitors were gonna meet.. #00:30:01.3#


Susan: Was that coincidental..? #00:29:59.4#


Albie: That we met then? #00:30:05.9#


Susan: That, yeah, that those two things happened? #00:30:01.3#


Albie: Yes, they were intentional, no they were intentional that the Board was there. So the.. Sullivan came from one of the pavilions and walked down the lawn, and the entire group that were there..


Susan: There were so many photos of that online... #00:30:25.1#


Albie: So many people were crazy, everybody was happy and clapping and screaming and, you know, crying.  Crying thinking about it! #00:30:36.1#


Susan: Such an emotional day! #00:30:41.7#


Albie: It was a very emotional day. And she walked through, and then after she spoke, she came back out. And she said, you know, something to the effect of that she'd spoken to the Board of Visitors and that her comments would be released electronically later in the day. #00:30:53.8#


Susan: So she didn't really open up anything at that time? #00:31:01.3#


Albie: She didn't, no, she just said thank you for your all being here. But, and then she left, everybody was cheering her again. Uh when, when the final rally happened, which was the reinstatement time. #00:31:18.4#


Susan: Were you actually at that.. Were you there? #00:31:16.0#


Albie: Oh yeah, I was at every one. #00:31:21.2#


Susan: You were at, you were in attendance for each one? #00:31:29.4#


Albie: Oh yeah,  #00:31:26.2#


Susan: And Joan your wife was there as well? #00:31:26.6#


Albie: Oh yes, absolutely. So so during that one, we.. it was.. So here's the piece that I can tell you, is that we have inside information before this, during this whole thing. People who had more information than the public had,  and we were privy to that. So we knew that the deal was already done, the day before. #00:32:00.4#


Susan: Before...? #00:32:04.7#


Albie: Before the reinstatement. #00:32:01.2#


Susan: Before the reinstatement. Okay. #00:32:03.3#


Albie: We knew that she was, that she was gonna be reinstated.  #00:32:05.3#


Susan: Okay. That it was going to happen. #00:32:07.2#


Albie: Yes, that it was going to happen. So we knew that. #00:32:10.8#


Susan: How well known was that? #00:32:10.6#


Albie: It wasn't. No, no, no there.. #00:32:16.2#


Susan Very small, select group of people. #00:32:19.1#  #00:32:21.2#


Albie: Yeah, yeah. So we happened to know that.  #00:32:18.1#


Susan: And your reaction to that, you were pleased.. You were very happy? #00:32:23.1#


Albie: Oh yeah, yeah, we were delighted. had to happen. We also knew that, the other piece we knew, was that... no, I guess we didn't know that. That's something else.  Anyway, so we knew ahead of time, but we didn't broadcast that. The thing that was, that kinda shocked us, was that when they took the vote, it was a unanimous vote.  #00:32:53.5#


Susan: Were you expecting that or...? #00:32:59.5#


Albie: Well, we didn't know if it was gonna be a unanimous vote, except that I didn't see how it could not.. I didn't expect Dragas to actually vote for her. I couldn't figure out how that was gonna happen.. I mean, I knew that they had eight votes, and I knew who the 8 people were at the time. #00:33:11.4#


Susan: So you knew it would pass? #00:33:08.7#


Albie: I knew it was gonna pass.  #00:33:19.6#


Susan: But whether she would be on that bandwagon was to be seen. #00:33:13.8#


Albie: Yeah, I had no idea that she was gonna do that. And I was totally caught by surprise when they immediately took a second vote of confidence in Dragas, a unanimous vote to show their confidence in Dragas, which made no sense.


Susan: How.. do you know how protocol that is to do? It seemed unusual. #00:33:39.9#


Albie: Well none of these things have ever happened before... #00:33:44.8#


Susan: So maybe there is no precedent. #00:33:46.9#


Albie: There was no precedent that I know of. And it just seemed totally bizarre. That seemed totally bizarre to me, why they would do that #00:33:53.1#


Susan: Do you think they maybe wanted to project some unity or why...? #00:33:57.4#


Albie: Yeah... I don't know. it's a PR, a PR stump. #00:34:01.0#


Susan: [Inaudible] #00:34:01.7#


Albie: [laughs] I don't know how that could have happened. And recently we found some piece of information about that... Yeah, I know that it may not even have been clear to everyone in the room when it started.


Susan: That that... #00:34:31.4#


Albie: That it was gonna happen, that that was gonna happen. #00:34:36.6#


Susan: Do you know whose decision...? #00:34:36.0#


Albie: But I think, cause I know one person who's on the Board didn't know that.


Susan: Who suggested it in the actual round table? #00:34:45.5#


Albie: They just, they all said yeah. #00:34:52.6#


Susan: Who suggested about the uh.. like affirming Helen Dragas, though? #00:34:53.5#


Albie: Oh, who made the motion?  #00:34:55.3#


Susan: Yes, yes. #00:34:58.4#


Albie: Who made the motion... I think it may have been Fralin, I'm not sure. Fralin made the motion to reinstate, but I'm not sure who made the... I think he then made the motion to bring things together and to bring it to closure, and um.. I can't say for sure. I've forgotten that now. I've watched that video numerous times. #00:35:22.7#


Susan: Yeah, it's an interesting one to watch. #00:35:15.0#


Albie: Yeah, yeah, so anyway.. #00:35:28.3#



Susan: I can't recall who it was either.. #00:35:30.5#


Albie: I don't know.. Since then, so then everything's happy. Our feeling, however, was that the demands of the faculty senate really had been ignored. And that people, the Board, thought this would be the end of it, and that, hey, your president's back. Everyone's gonna be happy, let's hug. #00:35:59.3#


Susan: And Helen Dragas is back, too. 


Albie: Helen Dragas is hugging Sullivan and standing there while Sullivan gave her great acceptance speech to the crowd, and it was, you know, it was a hug fest.


Susan: So you were there.. How believable did it all seem to you, even just from... being removed from the situation and looking at it? What was the atmosphere between those two?


Albie: It was staged, so it all seemed very staged. It was unbelievable. It made no sense.  #00:36:35.2#


Susan: [inaudible] #00:36:39.4#


Albie: My feeling, the way I saw it was, this is equivalent to telling a rape victim that they have to make up with their rapist. #00:36:51.2#


Susan: And just move on? #00:36:55.7#


Albie: And move on.


Susan: And it's done. Forget about it. #00:36:57.8#


Albie: Forget about it, forget about it! {laughs] That's what it felt like. It was like, I couldn't believe, how were they gonna work together? How can this, you know, how could she...? #00:37:12.8#


Susan: So were you surprised that they came back...? Did you...? #00:37:12.8#


Albie: I actually was thinking at the moment, I was listening to the broadcast of the meeting inside, we were standing outside. #00:37:25.7#


Susan: And it was broadcast...? #00:37:28.6#


Albie: It was broadcast on radio. I was listening on a little radio. #00:37:31.0#


Susan: So people were all standing there. But listening to it in different ways. That's interesting. #00:37:39.8#


Albie: It was live-streamed sorta, but I didn't have a way to see it, I didn't have a good connection. And eventually, I happened to have an old radio sitting there, which wasn't very good.. #00:37:43.9#


Susan: So you took it with you to the rally? #00:37:50.6#


Albie: I had all kinds of junk. Anyway.. So I was really under the impression that Dragas was gonna resign at that moment. #00:38:01.5#


Susan: Did you think that was the right thing to do? #00:38:01.9#


Albie: Absolutely. I thought they would reinstate Sullivan and Dragas would resign, and everything would go away then. That would probably have satisfied everyone..  #00:38:16.4#


Susan; Except for Dragas maybe.. #00:38:19.4#


Albie: But it would've.. #00:38:20.3#


Susan: It would've quieted the masses within days I'm sure. #00:38:23.4#


Albie: Would've quieted down. Okay, this is all crazy. Let's get on with the show, get on with our business. But when she didn't and instead got a unanimous affirmation, it was like, "What the hell is going on here?"  #00:38:35.5#


Susan: So how did the crowd react to..? #00:38:41.8#


Albie They thought it was crazy. #00:38:41.1#


Susan: Was there noticeable upset? Were they mad, confused, both? #00:38:49.4#


Albie: I think so. But then Sullivan came out, and everyone was very happy to have her speak. #00:38:55.6#


Susan: Nice to see and have the image of this, but how was it really..? #00:39:00.2#


Albie: Yeah, yeah, but there was something else going on. And so we, Joan and I, figured this really hasn't ended. They may think it's ended now, but this hasn't ended. There's something else going on. I mean, the next possibility is that Dragas would not be reappointed. #00:39:24.8#


Susan: At that time, even though, she was back, did you think that was the next move that would happen, since the governor had sort of hinted that that could... that that was a possibility? #00:39:38.0#


Albie:Well, he didn't explain anything. So let me tell you about the governor, my take on the governor. #00:39:41.5#


Susan: Uh oh. #00:39:43.2#


Albie: So the governor was out of town, he was off in Europe on a trade mission when this all happened. #00:39:48.6#


Susan: From the initial email? #00:39:52.0#


Albie: Before the initial email. He was gone for a week before that. Then he came back on the 20th and never came to Charlottesville. #00:40:05.8#


Susan: Did you find that..? #00:40:08.8#


Albie: I found that odd. Here we have, this was in the middle of this craziness. Rallies happening, students out there. #00:40:15.0#


Susan: Do you think it would have helped this situation, the way the public perceived this if there had been...? #00:40:19.2#


Albie: He made no comment #00:40:20.7#


Susan: But if he had, would that have helped people, appease them, do you think? Or.. Do you think people wanted to hear from him, I guess? #00:40:29.6#


Albie: I think they did. This is his problem. #00:40:35.8#


Susan: The University of Virginia, he's the governor of Virginia. #00:40:35.6#


Albie: Yeah, right! He appoints all these people, and this is his problem. Something's not right here. And instead, he ignored that, and instead, two days later, he went to Provo, Utah. #00:40:47.7#


Susan: Once he returned to the state? #00:40:54.3#


Albie: To Richmond.  #00:40:53.8#


Susan: Okay. #00:40:55.5#


Albie: He left.  #00:40:54.9#


Susan: So you would've thought he would come here? #00:40:59.3#


Albie: He didn't come here and say, you know, let's get together. Let's bring the parties together to something, to try to get a hold it. #00:41:06.0#


Susan: Maybe some kind of negotiation? #00:41:10.3#


Albie: Something. I dunno what he... But you know, something. Make a statement. But nothing. He left for Provo, Utah, to meet with Mitt Romney. That was a strange thing to do in the midst of all chaos. #00:41:23.5#


Susan: It's his own state [Virginia]. #00:41:25.1#


Albie: Yeah, his own state. And then from there he left, and he went to San Diego. #00:41:32.0#


Susan: He's quite the world traveler. #00:41:37.3#



Albie: For a retreat with the Koch Brothers. Then he came back and said, "I want this settled by Tuesday."If you can't come up with a definitive settlement by Tuesday, I'm gonna fire you all. And ask for all your resignations. For the Board of Visitors.



Susan: Not for Teresa Sullivan? #00:41:54.7#


Albie: No, she already resigned. She's out.  #00:42:00.9#


Susan: Did he make any comment about....? #00:42:00.9#


Albie: He just wanted it taken care of and to get out of this. Just end this thing, one way or the other. I don't care, just end it. That was a very strange way of dealing with this. Anyway, so that was.. The question I continued to ask is, "What was the governor doing or thinking here?"  #00:42:33.5#


[ long pause as group walks past interview area] #00:42:39.3#


Albie: What was the governor doing? I became very suspicious that the governor was in cahoots with this whole thing, that he's highly involved in this. And that it seemed... Looking at the forwarded letters and emails, that the Cav Daily got in the midst of this.. They'd gotten all these packets of letters from him and from Dragas and you know.. And in the Dragas letters, it says, "We have to do it today." This is the time.#00:43:16.6#


Susan: And who was saying this? #00:43:17.6#


Albie: Dragas was saying this to Kington. "Now's the time, we have to do it this weekend." Well, why would you have to do it this weekend? The only reason you have to do it this weekend is because the governor's out of the country. #00:43:22.1#


Susan: And the students still gone. #00:43:30.2#


Albie: The students are gone... But it could happen the next week. #00:43:35.3#


Susan: But it seemed unusual timing? #00:43:32.7#


Albie: It seemed to me, my hunch on it, was that they needed to do it while the governor was out of the country for his ability to have deniability. "I wasn't there." #00:43:50.2#


Susan: "I don't know anything." #00:43:50.2#


Albie: "I didn't know anything about this. I don't know, I wasn't there." #00:43:54.4#


Susan: [inaudible] #00:44:01.1#


Albie: Yeah, I think so. They only had a window of opportunity while he was out of the country, and he was coming back the next week. So they had to take care of it so that he would not be implicated in the coup. So.. That's a whole 'nother story. Anyway, and then it fit in with his then going off to the Koch Brothers. The Koch Brothers are the funding source for a group called ACTA, which is trying to privatize public universities. #00:44:46.7#


Susan: Everywhere?


Albie: Everywhere in this country. That's their goal is to.. #00:44:50.2#


Susan: Why? #00:44:51.9#


Albie: That's what their goal is. That's their mission. It is a neoliberal mission. #00:44:59.0#


Susan: Buzzword. #00:45:00.5#


Albie: They are the ones who have been given the money to do this. And so they did a training for the UVA Board of Visitors last year. #00:45:13.2#


Susan: Last... fall? #00:45:12.6#


Albie: Yeah, the previous year. They'd given them training. #00:45:16.4#


Susan: So there are lots of ties among all of these groups. #00:45:20.5#


Albie: So it's very suspicious, with you know to us, what these ties were and why the governor was going off to see the Koch Brothers rather than dealing with his... #00:45:30.5#


Susan: Especially at that time. #00:45:29.6#


Albie: At this moment. #00:45:35.0#


Susan: It would not seem beneficial to him to do that. #00:45:35.1#


Albie: Well, he got his orders. I don't know. Maybe he got his orders from them of how to deal with this, and they told him to go back there and stop this thing. So anyways, since the reinstatement, we have stayed very active and what we've decided was that the critical thing is somehow bringing some light on the Board of Visitors, the light of truth for transparency. #00:46:13.7#


Susan: In general or..?


Albie: Because the way they handled this was so against the rules, their own rules, they carefully manipulated the rules so that they would not break them, maybe. We don't know.#00:46:28.1#


Susan: Kinda skirt around them? #00:46:30.5#


Albie: We are not sure.. Calling on the attorney general to allow them to have an emergency meeting on this, the day that they fired her. There was nothing emergent about it. But in order to be able to do it without having a public meeting, they had to get his permission, which he did [give]. Implicates him. #00:46:58.4#


Susan: For whatever reason he did that... #00:47:01.6#


Albie: Right, well, yes, he has his own connection with this whole story. Yes... Continuing on, so my continued involvement has been to live stream all the Board of Visitors meetings since that time.  #00:47:22.4#


Susan: So how do you have the ability to do this? #00:47:26.2#


Albie: Well the meetings are open meetings. They're public meetings. #00:47:28.8#


Susan: And you've only been streaming them since everything happened? #00:47:30.6#


Albie: No. Nobody's ever done anything. It turned out when we asked to see the minutes of previous meetings, which are avaialble #00:47:39.1#


Susan: So they do have minutes? #00:47:41.5#


Albie: The minutes are there. The minutes are a line. So the minutes... #00:47:47.9#


Susan: They are a minute! #00:47:50.5#


Albie: A minute could be read in a minute. #00:47:47.4#


Susan: Really?! #00:47:51.5#


Albie: Really! So they might have meetings for hours, and the minutes.. #00:47:53.8#


Susan: Who knows what's going on? #00:48:00.1#


Albie:You don't know what goes on. All you know is what was voted on... #00:48:04.7#


Susan: What the conclusion was.. #00:48:08.4#


Albie: Of it. And that somebody made a proposal.. Blah blah blah. It was seconded, it was unanimously approved..  #00:48:14.8#


Susan: So since this summer how many meetings have you been to...? #00:48:11.9#


Albie: So the initial meeting was supposed to be in July. #00:48:24.4#


Susan: The first meeting with everyone together again. #00:48:28.7#


Albie: Following all of that. Supposed to be in July. They cancelled it. They postponed it. It was supposed to be here in July. And it is.. it was not supposed to be an official meeting. Not one of their regular Board meetings they have. Because they get new Board members every year in July, July 1 is generally when the new Board members are selected. There was supposed to be in the middle of July an orientation meeting for the new Board of Visitors. #00:49:04.4#


Susan: How many..? #00:49:05.4#


Albie: There should be about 4. This time there were 5 or 6 because Kington resigned. And they added an additional one. They increased the number from 16 to 17. That meeting, because of the turmoil on campus, was postponed. And they wouldn't tell us when it was gonna be or where it was gonna be.


Susan: Is that allowed? #00:49:32.3#


Albie: The public meetings have to be announced 3 days ahead of time. #00:49:39.5#


Susan: But they wouldn't say before then? #00:49:43.1#


Albie: No. So they waited until 3 days ahead of time. And it was in August, and they had decided to have it in Richmond, not here. Because there was no place they could do it here.


Susan: Of course... Because all the buildings aren't vacated.. Of course.So packed. #00:50:04.1#


[both laugh] #00:49:59.5#


Albie: Well, yeah, they can do it at places like Morven, which is the clear place to do it. The clooky farm on Carter Mountain. That's what it's for. It's a convention center there, conference. #00:50:14.6#


Susan: So there were plenty of places that could've been here, but for whatever reason... #00:50:17.7#


Albie: They decided they couldn't -- They said not to do it here. Because maybe the governor wanted to speak to them. Well he didn't. In the end, he never came to the meeting. And he couldn't come here... It's an hour away [somewhat sarcastic tone].


Susan: Yeah.. .Not too far.. #00:50:33.3#


Albie: Yes, so we found out that they were having a meeting there. So they have the orientation for the new members, and that's followed by the, what's called the retreat, which is an annual thing. This is where ACTA did the retreat the previous year. This year, they called in a member of some organization like ACTA, but it's a... not a right-wing organization of college governance. They brought in the retired chancellor of Michigan University system or Washington State University system. #00:51:29.1#


Susan:And how.. what was their tie? #00:51:29.7#


Albie: He was to facilitate a discussion of what is good governance. To teach them what good governance is. How to organize themselves in a better way.  #00:51:40.5#


Susan: Did good governance mean being more transparent? #00:51:46.0#


Albie: Well, it came down to transparency. What your responsibilities really are and what they aren't. What you shouldn't be involved in. #00:51:54.7#


Susan: And everyone on the Board of Visitors... #00:51:55.6#


Albie: Everybody was there.  #00:51:51.5#


Susan: And Teresa Sullivan was there as well ? #00:51:57.4#


Albie: {nods[ Yes. #00:51:58.2#


Susan: And those were the main...? #00:51:56.7#


Albie: Now I should say that everyone except RJ Kirk was there. #00:52:06.0#


Susan. And was he a new member? #00:52:08.0#


Albie: No, he was an older member. So he wasn't at that meeting, and he hasn't been at any meeting since the ouster.  #00:52:14.4#


Susan: Can you do that? #00:52:16.4#


Albie: He was involved in the ouster. He's one of the key figures, I believe, in what happened, and he is not... #00:52:23.8#


Susan: Has he made any statement? #00:52:24.6#


Albie: He has not appeared. #00:52:27.0#


Susan: But he's still on... #00:52:27.5#


Albie: They don't even mention him. #00:52:27.1#


Susan: He's still technically a member of the Board. #00:52:32.4#


Albie: He's still technically a member. In looking at emails during the episode, all his emails to Rector Dragas are, "Call me." #00:52:44.9#


Susan: It's just... That was it? So he hasn't really said that much in writing? #00:52:45.4#


Albie: He won't put anything down in writing. #00:52:52.1#


Susan: But it's just assumed that...there was more? #00:52:55.3#


Albie: I dunno. He was involved. Um.. So anyway, we had been videotaping these meetings.. #00:53:07.3#


Susan: So how many again is it? #00:53:10.1#


Albie: So we did the... one in August, orientation, which was two sessions. It was two hours over two days. Two hours and two hours. About 4 hours total. And then in the afternoon of the second day was the beginning of this retreat with the facilitator. And then the next day was the conclusion of the retreat. So we were there 100% of the time filming it. #00:53:37.2#


Susan: And they were fine with.. I mean... #00:53:41.4#


Albie: I wouldn't say they were necessarily fine. Before we started, Mr. Goodwin came up to us, and he was a new advisor to the Board, he'd just been appointed as advisor to the Board. And he came up to Joan and I, and he said, "I know you have a right to do this, but I don't think it's a good idea. I don't think you should be doing this, and I think it interferes with our ability to govern and to talk freely." And he was the only one who said anything like that. #00:54:12.7#


Susan: But everyone else was...? #00:54:18.6#


Albie: Everyone else ignored us.  #00:54:20.5#


Susan: It's just like you were in the room but not part of the room. #00:54:23.4#


Albie: And there were other members of the press there with their cameras that came and went. And they had tables set up for the press, for the written press, who were there as well and attended much of the meeting or all of the meetings. There were executive sessions or private, secret meetings called during these two sessions, both sessions. #00:54:50.0#


Susan: And you're not allowed to hear that at all? #00:54:53.6#


Albie: We had to leave the room, take all of our equipment with us.  #00:54:55.1#


Susan: So when they call for a private session, what makes that different or special? #00:55:02.3#


Albie: So they read a statement before they call private session 'cause in the open meetings section of the legislative documents, they are very specific about which things can be in a private discussion, have the rights to be not done public. And so they have to specify each time what those things that they're gonna talk about are. #00:55:33.3#


Susan: And do they say that in public? #00:55:39.2#


Albie: In a public, they have to read... Somebody reads a statement. Some lawyer writes a statement and hands it to one of the members, and it's like show and tell.  #00:55:49.4#


Susan: So you get the headlines almost of what will be said, but you don't get any details? #00:55:54.7#


Albie: The headlines are, "We are, according to section 2337.007A of the something of Virginia, code of Virginia, we will now go into closed session in order to discuss personnel matters and matters of judiciary blah blah blah that have to do with the hospital, and it may impact the hospital's ability to make a contract, if they were open to the public." #00:56:30.2#


Susan: So then you just pack up your stuff? #00:56:30.7#


Albie: You pack up your stuff. Then they come back and say, "We are out of the... you know, we are back to the open session. We discussed..." #00:56:38.4#


Albie: And they say the same thing over again. #00:56:40.6#


Susan: But not the details. #00:56:40.2#


Albie: No, we're.. The only things discussed in the thing were... and then they list it again. #00:56:41.0#


Susan: And so all of the members of the Board are present for that? And Teresa Sullivan? #00:56:49.8#  #00:56:46.3#


Albie: It can be. It can be anyone they want. #00:56:55.7#


Susan: And do they say, "You and you stay, and you can't.."? #00:56:55.8#


Albie: Yeah, oh yeah. And even in the middle of their secret meetings, they say, "You come in here, you go out." #00:57:07.9#


Susan: LIke throughout the meeting? #00:57:07.0#


Albie: Throughout the meeting. We waited outside. They'd say, we want so and so to come in now to talk. #00:57:14.3#


Susan: And does Helen Dragas make these calls? #00:57:21.3#


Albie: She's in charge. #00:57:16.8#


Susan: She's the one who makes... #00:57:20.8#


Albie: She's in charge, yeah. She doesn't necessarily wanna be the one that walks out and says.. #00:57:26.3#


Susan: So she can't, can anyone else say, Helen Dragas you can't stay right now? #00:57:31.2#


Albie: No. She's in charge. She's always in charge. So they did that several times and refused to talk to the.. Following one of these meetings, it was interesting, the press was there. The people from the Washington Post, from the Hook, from the Times-Dispatch, from the Daily Progress were all there during this entire meeting. And they would try to talk to members of the Board. At first members of the Board were sort of friendly. At a certain point, the only answer they would give, you know, "So and so, I'd like to ask you about something, about..." They'd say, "Only the rector can speak for the Board." That was the only answer you could get. Only the rector. And then you'd go to the rector, and she'd say, "I have nothing to say.". #00:58:35.8#


Susan: So no one can speak for the Board! #00:58:39.0#


[both laugh[ #00:58:37.5#


Albie: Nobody can speak for the Board! The Board is silent. It became clear that the Board was silent #00:58:44.8#


Susan: Did not want to talk. #00:58:48.4#


Albie: Okay, that something had happened. And then, we, a month later, in September, we went to the actual standard meeting that took place here on campus. And this one was very interesting. By this point, they'd sort of forgotten that we were there. #00:59:03.6#


Susan: Which is a good thing for you all. #00:59:08.4#


Albie: A very good thing for us. So we had the cameras going, just sitting in the corner not being, you know, saying anything. And you know, towards the middle of the second day of this, they were having committee reports. So there were a dozen committees. And they'd had the finance committee and the hospital committee and the athletics committee and et cetera. And then it was time for the educational committee. And the educational committee was chaired by Dr. Long. Now, we've since found out why Dr. Long is on the Board. And it turns out that Dr. Long is on the Board because he is the governor's personal physician. That's how he got appointed. #01:00:13.2#


Susan: Oh.. Okay. Connections these days. The things they will get you. #01:00:18.0#


[both laugh] #01:00:22.5#


Albie: So he said, my committee is gonna be very different. Mine's going to be a lot different from these others. The others had these PowerPoint presentations. And he says, you know, we're gonna do it a little different. And he started talking, and he said, "You know, I have been meeting with the chairman, president, of the faculty senate, George Cohen, and with George Martin, who's also a Board member. And we've gotten together and had coffee and had some interesting discussion, and so I've invited him to come and talk to us." And I was like, "Whoa. Really?" You know, they didn't let anyone talk to the Board, but they brought George to talk. And George got up and talked, and he said, essentially what he said was, he gave a history of the event and how it is unresolved.  #01:01:34.8#


Susan: And was he someone who was on the Board throughout this whole process? #01:01:37.3#


Albie: Right, right, George Cohen.  #01:01:40.8#


Susan: Cohen! Oh, okay, I thought you were talking about George Martin. #01:01:43.7#


Albie: No, no they invited George Cohen to speak to the Board. He invited him as his presentation to the whole Board, Dr. Long brought George Cohen to speak to the Board. Nobody's allowed to speak to the Board unless they're asked. It's not an open discussion. I can't raise my hand and say [inaudible]. You know, I can't say that. Nobody can say it except members of the Board. Thus they say their secretary, they ask them to say something or you know, the head of their department, you know some department, they'll ask them to present something to the Board for their information. So here he presented George Cohen to speak to the Board. And George said, "We would love to heal this wound that has happened, but we can't do that until we understand what happened. And as long as you stonewall, there's no way the faculty will give a vote of confidence to this Board." #01:02:44.7#


Susan: And to this day, has there been...? #01:02:45.7#


Albie: So at that moment, I was watching, across from me, was Goodwin, who's the advisor recently appointed advisor, and next to him was, a new member of the Board, Bobby Killberg. And I'm watching them, and they're very agitated during his whole speech. They were like, out of their seats, and you know, I was like watching them just... agitated and just all of a sudden he finished and he sat down. And Goodwin screamed out and says, "Can we discuss this, can we discuss this?" And Long said sure. And Goodwin then went through this bizarre thing that he said, in which he equated the things that had happened here to his marriage. And he said, "I've been married for 46 years, and if every time I had a little spat with my wife, you know, we'd beat that mother to death, I wouldn't be married."  #01:04:06.9#


Susan: That's not the same... #01:04:09.6#


ALbie: It's not the same! Plus, the images he's giving! Little spat. Beat that mother to death..?! We said, "What is he thinking?"And then he says to George Cohen, George Cohen is Jewish, and is a prominent Jewish leader in this community. He says to George Cohen, he says, "George," -- and you know, he didn't talk, he's just pointing. He says, "I think you might do well to get together with Dr. Long and his preacher cause I know his preacher. He's a very good Christian. And I think if you got together with him, you could do some healing on yourself."  #01:04:59.7#


Susan: So many things happening all at once! #01:05:04.3#


Albie: So I had this all on film, right? This would have just disappeared. This is why we were doing this, for this one minute. #01:05:04.4#


Susan: So if you all hadn't... Cause I've read these comments before. But if you all hadn't been there, those comments would've been... Never heard? #01:05:20.5#


Albie: Gone. Never heard. So then, Bobby Killberg said, "I wanna talk, too!" She was sitting next to him, and she says, "I wasn't here during this thing, and I don't wanna know what happened. And we need to leave this behind us and forget about it, you just need to forget this whole thing." And then she turns to Sullivan and she's waving her finger at Sullivan who's sitting opposite her and she's saying, "Teresa, we all agreed at our last meeting that we were not gonna talk to the press. And when you go out on these speaking tours and people talk to you, you need to tell them you're not gonna say anything before they ask you." And Teresa says, "Well, you know, I present a very forward-looking.. You can read my comments, they're all very forward-looking." Blah blah blah #01:06:26.8#


Susan: Well, she also wasn't the person who invited the person to speak anyways. #01:06:30.0#


Albie: No, no, not him. #01:06:33.2#


Susan: But I'm saying, it seems as though she's almost being blamed for the Board being called out. #01:06:39.0#


Albie: Yeah, but she was getting onto something else. She's saying that Teresa Sullivan, you're going around, talking to alumni. #01:06:50.2#


Susan: And they're asking questions. #01:06:50.3#


Albie: Yeah. Don't, you can't take those questions. We've agreed that you can't answer those questions. And so you just tell them ahead of time that you're not gonna answer any questions. And she was like [look of awe]. And Sullivan just sat there, took a drink, wouldn't even answer her. #01:07:07.4#


Susan: Let it go. #01:07:09.7#


Albie: But it was, let it go. It works. I mean, she's her boss. She's in a very awkward situation. The Board is her boss. Anyways, so that's what we've learned so far. It's continuing on.


Susan: So far, it's been a pretty [inaudible] learning experience. #01:07:27.4#


Albie: So.. blah blah blah.  #01:07:31.7#


Susan: I think you actually covered most of my questions. And then you came up with some good ones that I didn't even have on this here sheet of paper. Um.. I guess to wrap up, I just wanna ask one kinda quick question. What exactly compelled you to take this class in particular?


ALbie: So... #01:07:58.4#


Susan: Because you're already involved in some ways,. #01:07:55.5#


Albie: Yeah, and well we had a few reasons I guess. And that is, one, was that we've been working with Walt on this whole project ahead of time. #01:08:12.3#


Susan: And you knew him long before this? #01:08:16.5#


Albie: Months. He's a friend of a friend. Met him a few months right before this. #01:08:20.9#


Susan: But you know him significantly better.. #01:08:25.6#


Albie: But now, we spent a lot of time together during this whole thing. Arranging a rally and doing all those things. You know, it was camaraderie. So.. we each had very different skills that we brought to this, and Walt was... Walt is very good at defining the issues, at being able to articulate them in writing. My skill is getting things done. You know, taking care of... #01:09:04.7#


Susan: Like sitting in on the Board of Visitors meeting #01:09:06.6#


Albie: And getting equipment, doing things, to make sure that, you know, turning out posters. We published hundreds and hundred of those posters at the rallies, flyers, posters, and stickers. So I like to do that. Joan is very good at organizing and getting people together. Anyway, the class, so when he announced that there would be this class, we just thought it was just a great idea, and we wanted to support it as much as we could. And since we had so much experience during the summer with this, we were so close, personal experience. We could bring that to the class. #01:09:46.0#


Susan: Help people like me learn about what was going on. #01:09:53.7#


Albie: So we'd be a resource as much as taking the class. #01:09:52.4#


Susan: Well you all have been. #01:10:00.0#


Albie: We like to take classes. #01:10:00.5#


Susan: [inaudible] #01:10:07.7#


Albie: I was a student for many, many years.  #01:10:10.8#


Susan: I would love to be a student for many, many years. #01:10:12.0#


Albie: I'm not very good at it anymore. I mean, brain-wise, I'm gonna turn the...