Arkansas State University Chancellor Tim Hudson has abruptly resigned three weeks before the start of the fall semester. It comes days after details of an internal audit were published, finding problems with the school's study abroad program which was headed by Hudson's wife.
The university did not cite a reason for the resignation, but an ASU official says it followed a meeting Tuesday evening between Hudson and ASU System President Charles Welch.
In an email sent at 9:56 p.m. Tuesday, Hudson wrote simply:
Please accept this as my resignation from Arkansas State University. I wish the institution and everyone associated with A-State all success in the future.
Lynita Cooksey, who has served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and research, has been named ASU's acting chancellor.
The Jonesboro Sun and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported on the internal audit which was obtained under an open records request. KUAR spoke with Arkansas Business reporter Lance Turner, who wrote about the developments Wednesday:
The audit found that overseas trips were poorly organized, some of the instructors abroad didn't have contracts and students paid for trips using a PayPal account instead of a university account.
Hudson, hired May 1, 2013, to head the program part time, had resigned but the Democrat-Gazette reported July 28 that she was to remain on board until this summer's programs are finished. Hudson had sought to make the position full time with an annual salary of $50,000, almost $13,000 more than was budgeted.
Deidra Hudson applied for the full-time post, but ASU Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration Len Frey told Tim Hudson on Feb. 16 that university policy prohibited Hudson from hiring his wife as a full-time subordinate. Welch later told Tim Hudson that his wife could remain employed as "extra help." Tim Hudson then canceled the posting for a full-time director, though 14 people had already applied for the job.
A university official says Hudson is not being paid a severance package. Hudson was appointment chancellor in 2012.