Gov. Bob McDonnell has reappointed embattled rector Helen Dragas to the University of Virginia Board of Visitors.
He also added two new "senior advisor" positions to the board, which has been dragged through controversy since firing then rehiring U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan this month.
McDonnell issued a lengthy statement with his appointments, which includes six total board members and two advisors to the 15-member board.
His statement described Dragas as a "strong and dedicated" board member who was unduly blamed during the firestorm surrounding Sullivan's termination after two years as U.Va.'s first female president.
"I am also concerned that the first female rector seemed to become the sole target of recent criticism," he said.
Calls for Dragas to resign were made this month by students, faculty and alumni who were angered by her quiet orchestration of Sullivan's firing, which came as a surprise and with little explanation to the public.
The Board did make several mistakes in the situation, but publicly admitted its faults and is ready to move on with reconciliation, McDonnell said.
"I have been heartened by recent statements made by president Sullivan, the Board of Visitors and by the faculty senate chair about their ability to work with the rector," he said.
The two senior advisors he appointed are Leonard Sandridge, a former executive vice-president of U.Va., and Bill Goodwin, a former board member and business leader.
McDonnell said their job is to help solve "strategic and communications challenges."
Drags thanked McDonnell for re-appointing her in a statement she issued through a public relations firm.
"The Board looks forward to working in a constructive and inclusive way with President Sullivan, along with students, faculty, alumni, and staff on tackling the broad challenges that face the University," she said.
The other appointees are Frank B. Atkinson, chairman of McGuire Woods Consulting; Victoria Harker, CFO for