Tudor Investment Corp.'s Paul Tudor Jones has been very active at his alma mater, the University of Virginia, in recent years, paying for the school's new basketball arena and pledging $12 million for a "contemplative center." But his most recent—alleged—project could go up in smoke tomorrow.
According to media reports, Jones, who graduated from U. Va. in 1976, had a hand in forcing the resignation of the school's president, Teresa Sullivan. But that move has led to a virtual rebellion on the Charlottesville campus, with 10 of the school's 11 deans and its Faculty Senate demanding she be reinstated. U. Va.'s Board of Visitors, whose leader, Rector Helen Dragas, led the push to push Sullivan out, will vote on that proposition tomorrow.
Jones is not among the outraged at Sullivan's ouster. In fact, he contributed an op-ed piece to the school's newspaper, the Daily Progress, cheering it, saying it was "time for a revolution."
"President Sullivan's departure is a clarion call from the Board of Visitors that business as usual is not acceptable anymore," Jones wrote. "Why be good when there is outstanding to be had?"
Jones criticized U. Va.'s falling U.S. News and World Report ranking and its competitive weakness—read: money—against the U.S.'s best private universities. But Jones, whose column was published a week after Sullivan's resignation was announced, may have known about it long before then.
On the day Sullivan was ousted, June 10, another financier, venture capitalist Peter Kiernan, resigned as chairman of the U. Va. business school, writing that several weeks before, he was contacted by "two important Virginia alums" who asked for his help on a "project" with Dragas—meaning Sullivan's removal was hardly the confidential, personal decision its was portrayed as being. One of those two, Charlottesville's The Hook reports, was Jones.
And Jones, reportedly considering a nine-figure gift to U. Va., apparently lacked faith that Sullivan had the "strategic dynamism," as Dragas put it, to raise enough money for the school.