Amid a wrongful-termination lawsuit filed in October by former professors at Oral Roberts University (ORU), which included allegations of financial impropriety and sexual misconduct, Richard Roberts resigned his position as university president on Friday, Nov. 23.
The resignation follows an emergency meeting at ORU called last week by the school’s founder, Oral Roberts, after tenured faculty members had issued a vote of no confidence in Richard Roberts’ ability to stay on as president.
Roberts asked faculty for a second chance and a fresh start, claiming he should remain at the school as president because stepping down would be tantamount to admitting to wrongdoing, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Several faculty members reportedly refused to acquiesce.
In addition to the no-confidence vote by faculty, ORU’s provost, Mark Lewandowski, one of four top administrators named in the wrongful-termination suit, announced last week that he was willing to go as far as resigning his top academic post if Roberts was reinstated, the AP reported.
Roberts, who asked for a leave of absence last month while an investigation into the school and his leadership is underway, said in his resignation letter on Friday: “I love ORU with all my heart. I love the students, faculty, staff and administration and I want to see God’s best for all of them.”
The Board of Regents will meet this week to determine the process for searching for a new school president.