Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Campbell Resigns as OSU President

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Campbell Resigns as OSU President

Article excerpt

STILLWATER _ Oklahoma State University President John Campbell resigned from his often stormy post Tuesday to ask for a teaching job. "University presidents are expendable," he said.

Campbell made his announcement, which had been rumored for days, at a meeting of top faculty and administration. Oklahoma State regents will consider the request at a meeting today.

Regents Chairwoman Isabel Baker of Tahlequah and vice chairman Bruce Benbrook of Woodward indicated the board will approve his request. Benbrook said the search for a new president will take six or seven months.

"For some, today will be a day of happiness," Campbell said, reading a statement. "I hope it will be a day when we put aside the things that have divided us in the past."

Campbell reviewed his achievements during his tenure, such as increases in enrollment of top Oklahoma graduates and more scholarships and tuition waivers.

"There comes a time for the chief executive to step aside," he said. "I believe it's time for change, both for OSU and for me. University presidents are expendable."

Campbell did not answer reporters' questions and left quickly after his speech. Baker thanked Campbell for "the storehouse of pleasant memories of your past accomplishments."

Neither Campbell nor Baker made direct reference to any of the scandals that plagued Campbell since he took office.

Benbrook said regents will immediately consider an interim president, then appoint a search committee that may take six or seven months to find Campbell's replacement.

He also denied reports that regents had planned to fire Campbell on Wednesday if he did not resign.

"No, it was not a definite thing," he said.

Benbrook also rejected the notion that university presidents are limited to five-year terms because of the potential for controversy. Campbell had said: "Institutional leadership positions are roles, not careers. The ultimate goal is institutional improvement, not presidential survival. …

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