This is an unquestionable victory for those of us interested in truly public higher education that is something more than a training ground for American corporate capitalism.
However, as I stated previously, this is just one battle of hundreds raging right now as corporations look to remake higher education. Sullivan will still face major pressure from Board of Visitors (and it’s not like future Bob McDonnell appointees to the BoV are going to be anything other than corporate hacks) to implement corporate-friendly changes and eviscerate departments like German and Classics in order for new majors in Strategic Dynamism or whatnot.
One would hope that Sullivan now becomes a national voice for public education, like her co-author Elizabeth Warren has stood up for consumer protections and the working-class in her public service. Whether she’s up for that fight, I don’t know.
As a side note, I’m glad this went down today instead of tomorrow, when the healthcare decision will come down from principled jurists like Antonin Scalia and Sam Alito.