Board member Scott Roussel of Searcy, under fire for his role in behind-the-scenes dealing on a contract extension, including some front money, with Aramark, UCA's food service contractor, has resigned from the Board.
He'd most likely gotten encouragement in this direction from Gov. Mike Beebe in a recent private meeting. Beebe reappointed him to the board in 2008.
Roussel naturally said the resignation — which followed his nearly full participation in Friday's board meeting, except for an early departure before a vote to raise President Tom Courtway's pay — should not be viewed as any admission of wrongdoing on his part. Rather, it's just to remove controversy from the table.
Beebe now will appoint someone to complete Roussel's term, which ends in 2015.
The Log Cabin quoted from the letter:
"When I became a trustee, one of the first things I learned is that you always put the university first. It is for this reason I am offering my resignation effective immediately."
I sought a copy of the letter from the governor's office. Will have to wait until tomorrow. Matt DeCample said the office hadn't seen it yet.
UPDATE: The text of the letter follows. It was provided by UCA:
The Honorable Mike Beebe
Governor of the State of Arkansas
Arkansas State Capital
Little Rock, AR
Dear Governor Beebe:
When I became a trustee, one of the first things I learned is that you always put the best interest of the university first. It is for this reason I am offering my resignation effective immediately. UCA is a great university and it is time the public focused on the school's good attributes. It has been a tremendous privilege to serve UCA as a member of the board of trustees. You will never know the depth of my gratitude for allowing me to serve in this capacity. I wish my fellow trustees, the administration, and all the governing bodies on campus great success in all their endeavors to grow and continually improve this great institution.