ORU professor's exit causing stir on campus

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Updated: 2/01/2013 9:11 am Published: 1/31/2013 8:25 pm

On Thursday, Dr. William Wilson, was named president-elect of Oral Roberts University.

The announcement makes him the fourth president of the University in its nearly 50 year existence. That wasn't all students were buzzing about on campus before the announcement was made.

A well-loved faculty member, Kevin Armstrong, made a sudden exit from campus and some students contacted FOX23 saying he was fired after the student paper, The Oracle, published incorrect information about the presidential hire.

The person students say may be behind this decision is ORU's current president, Dr. Mark Rutland. But FOX23 was unable to get in touch with him, told by campus officials he was tied up.

He did however tweet on Thursday afternoon:

"Most painful decision of leaders/releasing an employee. 3 reasons. 1) repeated offenses 2) unteachable 3) they embarrass or endanger your company."

No official statement from ORU has been released yet on the issue.

ORU student Gregory Tanis, says he's frustrated with the university, "I wish there wasn't this sort of undercurrent happening."

On Wednesday, the student newspaper ran a story on its website prematurely and incorrectly, naming the next head of ORU. Students have been concerned Armstrong, a journalism professor and adviser was released in connection to the inaccurate report.

FOX23 attempted to speak with the new president-elect, Dr. Wilson on what happened.

In a speech to students he told them, "You're a generation that wants transparency, you want vulnerability you want leaders with integrity."

But when asked about what had happened to Armstrong, he responded, "I know a decision was made, I'm not privy to all the details."

FOX23's Adam Paluka, finally got answers after speaking directly with Armstrong. Turns out he wasn't fired but actually resigned.

He released this statement to Paluka on Thursday evening, "Out of respect for the University that I will always love and for my family's well-being, I have resigned from the University today on amicable terms and will have no further comment."

Despite the amicable exit, the university isn't saying anything on record to students about exactly what happened.

"I feel like its mutually beneficial for the students and the faculty to address it rather than let rumors fly," said Tanis.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Greg Tanis - 2/1/2013 1:58 AM
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He may say he resigned, but he's the only one saying that.
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