BY BRYNN BOYER AND ANNE ELDER
Sixteen days after announcing her resignation, the Board of Visitors announced that Judy Hample will be leaving her post as president sooner than originally planned.
The announcement that Hample will be stepping down as of April 1 came after a BOV meeting on Sunday, March 7.
However, BOV Rector Nanalou Sauder said that the board did not ask Hample to leave earlier than previously announced.
“The Board of Visitors did not ask her to leave and we had not discussed her departure either,” Sauder said. “It was out of the blue.”
Hample said in a press release,“I offered to step down early so that the acting president can begin his or her term earlier, and so that the university can continue to move forward without the distractions inherent in a prolonged period of transition.”
From April 1 until June 30, the original date of her resignation, Hample will be on academic sabbatical.
As per the terms of her original university contract, Hample is entitled to one year of sabbatical leave after seven years of employment. However, the contract states that she may only take sabbatical if she has not been terminated by UMW or resigned from her employment.
According to George Farrar, the vice president for university relations, the academic sabbatical is based on an agreement reached last week between Hample and the BOV.
During this period, she will support the BOV and the yet-to-be-named acting president, consulting on the establishment of the Colleges of Business and Education and on continuing the implementation of the strategic plan, said Farrar.
Hample will continue to be paid through June 30.
“I’m really confused as to what’s going on,” sophomore Nancy Belle said. “I feel like there’s a lot more to the story now that she’s leaving early than we originally thought, [more] than the administrators are telling us.”
Now, the BOV has three weeks to find an acting president.
The BOV is expected to name the acting president at an executive committee meeting on March 17, according to Sauder.
Rick Hurley, executive vice president, said he agreed that Hample’s decision would allow for a smoother transition for the acting president.
Hurley, who served as acting president after President William Frawley was fired, said the BOV had not spoken to him about taking over for Hample.
Sauder said she had no comment on whether Hurley was being considered for the position again or not.
When asked if the acting president would be found within the UMW community or from somewhere outside UMW, Sauder did not have any comment.
Hample will not be at commencement on May 8, Farrar said.
Senior Meganne Lemon said she didn’t have an opinion on Hample’s resignation or the fact that she won’t be at graduation.
“I’m really ambivalent about it all,” Lemon said.
But other students said Hample’s early resignation was welcome news.
“I was literally jumping for joy and screaming down the hallway in celebration,” sophomore Cole Eskridge said.