Probably not… but damn sure if it isn’t fun to consider:
Back in the ’70s, Sabato was Student Council president and a Rhodes Scholar, and became a popular teacher, author, adminstrator, and even a two-time Emmy winner.
“When I saw that article, I thought, ‘Whoa. Who is more loyal to UVA than Larry Sabato?” said Spanish scholar David Gies, part of a faculty still wary after a failed effort to topple Teresa Sullivan, the current president.
Sabato himself demurs in the local NPR piece, but UVA could do far worse.
Of course, any new UVA president will have to tackle several challenges up front: the UVA “slush fund” scandal still isn’t dead, fundraising will continue to be critical, new development that could only be described as opulent along the Ivy Road business corridor are shockingly contrasted against tuition hikes and the immense size of UVA’s endowment.
Most of all, the gauntlet thrown down by Helen Dragas in the effort to modernize UVA’s presence on grounds and across the nation — most notably as competition against online education outlets such as Liberty University and MIT heats up — cannot stay swept under the rug forever.
Could Sabato pilot the shoals? In some ways, the noted political professor could be uniquely suited to do so, giving reassurance to the UVA faculty while attending to the very heart of what UVA is and ought to be.
Given the immense size of UVA’s bueaucracy, Sabato would not be one man in the fight — he would be surrounded with a coterie of staff whose sole job would be to pul someone of Sabato’s stature in front of a donor… and make the case convincingly.
After all, isn’t that the majority of what politics is?