UPDATE: VCU Board of Visitors reviews President Rao

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A consultant delivered his review of Virginia Commonwealth University's president to the school's board of visitors this morning during a closed meeting this morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The board paid $16,000 for the review of Michael Rao's performance during his first year and a half in office. The board will meet with Rao early next week.

VCU spokesperson, Pam Lepley, says such a review is normal at this point in a presidency. Last week the twelve leaders of VCU's Faculty Senate gave Rao a vote of confidence.

He took office in July of 2009, but faced controversy this month after a reorganization in his administration and when word leaked he made staff sign a confidentiality agreement.

Rao recinded the agreement Wednesday saying its use had been "misinterpreted." Here is an excerpt from his email:

After I assumed new duties as President of Virginia Commonwealth University, certain individuals, including you, were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement that was intended to protect the privacy of my family, particularly my children, in my home.  The confidentiality agreements have been the subject of recent scrutiny and criticism and, unfortunately, have been misinterpreted in terms of what I sought to be accomplished by these agreements.  I sincerely regret any undue burden or ill will that these agreements may have caused.  Therefore, I have decided to withdraw all such confidentiality agreements.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.