University of Vermont

University Communications

UVM’s Board of Trustees Selects E. Thomas Sullivan as 26th President

The University of Vermont Board of Trustees has selected E. Thomas Sullivan, J.D. as the next president of UVM.

When he takes office on July 15, Sullivan -- who until last month served as senior vice president and provost at the University of Minnesota -- will become UVM’s 26th president in the 221 years since the university was founded.

“I am very excited both personally and professionally about this tremendous opportunity,” said Sullivan. “I think my background, experience, values and my aspirations are compatible with those of UVM. I find the university at a very important juncture in its history and I whole-heartedly welcome the challenge to work with the faculty, staff, and students into the next phase in the pursuit of greater heights of academic excellence at UVM.  I want to thank everyone for working so hard to advance the institution to its present strong, vibrant place as a premier small research university, with great promise for the future.”

Robert F. Cioffi, chair of both the board and the Presidential Search Committee, said the university is fortunate to have attracted the strong leadership abilities that Sullivan will bring to the job. “Tom Sullivan clearly possesses the academic credentials, the extensive leadership experience at both public and private universities, the demonstrated accomplishments in the implementation of strategic plans and major fund raising, and the personal energy and enthusiasm we need to take UVM to the next level of success,” Cioffi said.

Responding to the appointment, Governor Peter Shumlin said, “Vermont's jobs future depends on a strong partnership between the state and the University of Vermont, and I believe that future is bright. Tom Sullivan and I had the opportunity to meet face to face recently, and I came away from that discussion feeling very confident that he is the right choice to lead UVM. I look forward to working with him in a close and constructive partnership to the benefit of all Vermonters.”

Sullivan will be formally introduced to the community at a 10:30 a.m. event in the Silver Maple Ballroom in the Dudley H. Davis Center.  He will be available for news media interviews immediately following the event, and will participate in a campus reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Billings Library.

On Feb. 7 Sullivan completed his academic obligations as Provost at Minnesota, where he also is the Julius E. Davis Chair in Law.  He will move to Vermont in July with his wife Leslie, a UVM alumna, class of 1977. He is 63 years old.

Biographical sketch

Tom Sullivan became senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Minnesota in July 2004 and served in that role until Feb. 7, 2012.

He also served as the eighth dean of the University of Minnesota Law School from 1995 to 2002. Upon finishing his term as dean, he returned to full-time research and teaching. In June of 2003, he received the J. William Elwin, Jr., Award from the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education for leadership and contributions to law school development. At the University of Minnesota Law School, he has received the Stanley V. Kinyon Teacher of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2005, he was appointed the Julius E. Davis Chair in Law. He has chaired the ABA Section of Legal Education, and has chaired the Association of American Law Schools Section on Antitrust and Economic Regulation. On several occasions, he has been a consultant to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on judicial nominations to the Supreme Court, and to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on mergers.

He is a nationally recognized authority on antitrust law and complex litigation, having authored ten books and over 50 articles. He and co-author Professor Richard Frase published Proportionality Principles in American Law: Controlling Excessive Government Actions (Oxford University Press, 2009). He is the co-author, with Professors Herbert Hovencamp and Howard Shelanksi of Antitrust Law, Policy, and Procedure (6th ed., 2009) and co-author with Professor Jeffrey Harrison of Understanding Antitrust and Its Economic Implications (5th ed. , 2009). Most recently, he published Complex Litigation with Professors Richard Freer, Doug Floyd and Brad Clary (2010). He also published Private Antitrust Actions (Little, Brown & Co., 1996) with Douglas Floyd. He is presently writing a book entitled The Arc of Due Process in American Constitutional Law.

On two occasions he has been a visiting faculty member at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. He twice has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University in England. During the fall semester 2002, he was a visiting professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall). During the spring semester of 2012, he is a visiting faculty member at New York University. Before coming to the University of Minnesota, Sullivan served for six years as dean of the University of Arizona College of Law and as associate dean at Washington University in St. Louis. He began his career in higher education as a faculty member at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Sullivan graduated magna cum laude from law school at Indiana University in 1973, where he served as an editor on the Indiana Law Review. After law school, he clerked for a federal judge, in Miami Florida, and thereafter was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice in the Attorney General’s Honors Program. Before entering law school teaching in 1979, he was an antitrust litigator with the New York and Washington, D.C., firm of Donovan, Newton, Leisure and Irvine. Throughout his career he has continued to serve as a consultant on antitrust, complex litigation and Federal Court matters.