Resolved: Scott Roussel should resign from UCA Board | Arkansas Blog

Resolved: Scott Roussel should resign from UCA Board

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SCOTT ROUSSEL: Urged to quit UCA Board.
  • SCOTT ROUSSEL: Urged to quit UCA Board.
The faculty Senate of the University of Central Arkansas yesterday adopted a resolution urging Scott Roussel to resign from the UCA Board of Trustees.

It shouldn't take a resolution.

Roussel misled his fellow board members and the public in several ways.

He said UCA had gotten a "godsend" gift from Aramark, the campus food service contractor.

It got no such thing. Rather, Aramark agreed to provide UCA $700,000 in return for a no-bid contract extension.

The $700,000 was no gift. It was a loan — at a very favorable interest rate to Aramark, a couple of percentage points above the prime lending rate.

It was to go to raise to more than $1 million the amount pumped into the presidential residence for the now-departed Allen Meadors. The Board hadn't yet approved additional work on the house.

Roussel, in short, was the pivot on a sweetheart deal for a campus vendor to do some sweetheart work avidly sought by the UCA president and his wife. He didn't favor anyone else with his knowledge. (Except, I should add, a campus vice president who handled the paperwork.)

All this is reason enough for Roussel to resign. But the motivation for the faculty vote was Roussel's decision to continue to vote on Aramark contract matters, including a new deal, despite his conflict of interest.

Some gubernatorial leadership is needed. Gov. Mike Beebe, who reappointed Searcy homeboy Roussel to a term running through 2015 in 2008, should give his appointee a call and ask him what's more important, the image of UCA or Roussel's seat on the board of trustees?

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