Les Wyatt surfaces | Arkansas Blog

Les Wyatt surfaces

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Les Wyatt, the former ASU president who's making $150,000 a year though living in Dallas and not teaching while on paid leave, has finally responded to one of Doug Smith's inquiries about his name turning up as head of an outfit marketing on-line courses for colleges and universities. His e-mail didn't answer all the questions about Wyatt's relationships or designs, if any, on doing business with ASU, but here's what Doug reported:

Former Arkansas State University President Les Wyatt has responded, sort of, to an Arkansas Times e-mail asking questions about his relationship with American University System in Washington. AUS had listed Wyatt as “president and chairman.” AUS is an on-line education firm that has listed Arkansas State as a client. The listings were removed from the website after reporters asked about them. ASU faculty have raised questions about a possible conflict of interest, since Wyatt is still on the Arkansas State payroll, now as a professor on “compensated leave.” Wyatt, now living in Dallas, had remained mum since the controversy broke out, but he has now replied to a Times e-mail that asked questions about his relationships with AUS and Arkansas State. He didn’t respond to specific questions, but wrote:

“Yes, I am proud to be the chairman and president of the American University System, which assists state universities deliver their online degree programs to potential students. Online education is part of the future for higher education. I believe this is the right path for students and institutions. Like many people in education, I initially doubted the online education concept. But I now recognize that there is a new world for learners as well as the faculty and traditional administrators. Here are the facts: This is the way that millions of young people and especially young adults want to learn. Degree programs and graduate degrees need to be available online and on demand. The mission of American University System is to help bring universities including Arkansas State to the forefront, making their high quality degree programs accessible to potential students.”

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