Katherine T. Phan - Christian Post
Oral Roberts' University Board of Regents will meet Monday and Tuesday to begin the search process for a new president, the chairman of the Board said after former president Richard Roberts resigned amid allegations that he misspent the charismatic school’s money.
Nearly two months after three former professors filed a lawsuit charging him of financial misconduct, Roberts sent in a letter of resignation Friday to the Board of Regents.
“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 president said in his letter of resignation.
Roberts’ resignation was effective immediately, according to a statement from George Pearsons, chairman of the Board.
Amid the search for a new president, executive Regent Billy Joe Daugherty will continue to assume administrative responsibilities of the Office of the President, the statement added.
Roberts, who took over as president in 1993, is still facing a lawsuit filed by three former ORU professors who contend that they were wrongfully terminated from their positions at the university after reporting information indicating that the president and his wife, Lindsay, lavishly misspent donors’ money for personal expenses. They also alleged that he jeopardized the university’s nonprofit status by becoming illegally involved in a local political campaign.
The suit also charged Lindsay Roberts with repeatedly spending time with an "underage male" in various situations. In a statement, Mrs. Roberts rejected accusations of improper behavior, saying that she "never, ever engaged in any sexual behavior with any man outside of my marriage."
Both Roberts have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and Mr. Roberts has said the lawsuit amounted to “intimidation, blackmail and extortion.”
Last week, however, Roberts, who had requested temporarily leave while the lawsuit was being resolved, received a vote of no confidence from the university’s tenured faculty.
Furthermore, provost Mark Lewandowski had threatened to resign if Roberts were allowed to return.
Rhae Buckley, president of the ORU Alumni Association board, said he hopes the university moves quickly to find a new president.
"I'm not surprised. I know that Richard really loved the university and he wants to do what he feels is right for the university," Buckley said, according to the Associated Press.
While Roberts has resigned from his position at ORU, the son of university founder Oral Roberts said in a statement that he would still continue in his role as chairman and chief executive of Oral Roberts' University.