Provost Larry Nielsen Resigns

WRAL’s report:

North Carolina State University Provost Larry Nielsen resigned abruptly Thursday morning, citing repeated questions over his hiring of the wife of former Gov. Mike Easley.

Our initial take is that Nielsen’s departure is the first fallout from this front page story in the News & Observer this weekend, citing the Easleys’ relationship with a Board of Trustees member.

Nielsen will step down as provost, but continue working for the university as a faculty member. It goes without saying that reticence to make needed personnel moves is par for the course at NC State.

We can’t yet confirm that Lee Fowler and Tom Stafford were in fact responsible for hiring Mary Easley. Damn it.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

NC State Administration

38 Responses to Provost Larry Nielsen Resigns

  1. old13 05/14/2009 at 12:21 PM #

    Hopefully the other shoe, or maybe even another pair, will fall soon!

  2. Alpha Wolf 05/14/2009 at 12:21 PM #

    Stafford, ahhhh, Stafford. A junior high school principal’s mentality working at a major university.

    He was there in the early 80’s and I am sure he is still “the law” over there now.

  3. YANCSSB 05/14/2009 at 12:39 PM #

    One can only hope that someday Fowler and Stafford are caught sharing lines of coke in the Murphy Center so they can get the treatment they deserve.

  4. GAWolf 05/14/2009 at 12:59 PM #

    I thought it was interesting that he’s resigning as provost with this falling-on-the-sword resignation letter, yet he’s going to stay on as a professor at NC State. It will be interesting to see if his pay is even cut…. very interesting.

    If it is not, then what really is this other than a hokey damage control measure?

  5. LKNpackfan 05/14/2009 at 1:33 PM #

    Everybody needs a fall guy, right McQueen?

  6. ruffles31 05/14/2009 at 2:07 PM #

    It is interesting that he “resigned” but still has a job in another department. That isn’t really a resignation is it. It would be similar to Fowler doing something that the N&O goes after and David Horning resigning to then take a job in the College of Management.

  7. zahadum 05/14/2009 at 2:46 PM #

    This is one of those where I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’ll just say that I think it says everything you need to know about the University’s leadership when you consider who was picked to be the interim provost. Warrick Arden, quite possibly the most incompetent top administrator in NCSU history.

    But hey, maybe the new job will at least divert his attention from his goal of running a previously excellent Vet. school into the ground.

  8. wufpup76 05/14/2009 at 3:00 PM #

    Just some good ol’ boys … Never meanin’ no harm …

  9. Classof89 05/14/2009 at 3:18 PM #

    Look for Easley to be quietly shown the door within next few weeks…if we are lucky.

    And returning to the faculty after ending your adminstrator tenure happens all the time in higher education…that’s what “tenured” means…

    Poulton, one of the biggest bozos of all time, returned for a time to Poultry Science (or was it Animal Science?) after stepping down as Chancellor, IIRC…

  10. LKNpackfan 05/14/2009 at 3:40 PM #

    Anyone have any knowledge on who the next chairman will be after McQueen leaves the post on June 30th? I’m hoping the transition will be consequential, but as it always seems with NCSU, am not getting my hopes up.

    Also, BJD, in a prior thread you said you’d heard the moneymen had all gathered to the same side (of the AD decision). But, I’ve heard that said side is not our side. Was I incorrect to interprete your tone as positive?

  11. LKNpackfan 05/14/2009 at 3:48 PM #

    And if you haven’t read BobLee’s latest, do. Its pretty damn funny.

    EVERY academic circus has its share of hapless clowns, but to have one as Head of your Board of Trustees is an embarrassment much greater than Washburn’s 475 SAT score…. As one of America’s leading land grant universities, NC State University deserves soooooo much better than this crap

  12. Alpha Wolf 05/14/2009 at 3:54 PM #

    ^ It’s pretty sad when UNC fans are pointing out the obvious.

    It’s even sadder when NC State alums get really mad when one points out that the Emperor in Haladay Hall is stark naked.

  13. BJD95 05/14/2009 at 4:16 PM #

    Actually, LKN – I meant that the big money people were aligned in being out of patience with Lowe.

    The Fowler thing is more of a BOT issue than a “big donor” issue, although they could become more of a factor if and when buyout money is needed. I believe that money is the only reason Fowler hasn’t already announced his “retirement.”

    We feel good about the incoming BOT members and chair.

    But this is NC State, so anything could happen.

  14. LKNpackfan 05/14/2009 at 4:17 PM #

    Alpha, I agree. State fans should be rejoicing. Everyone knows the saying about shining a spotlight on cockroaches.
    But FWIW, Mr. O’s letter to the N&O

    Thanks BJD. With any luck it’ll be an eventful summer

  15. BJD95 05/14/2009 at 4:30 PM #

    I’m not as well versed on the NC State academia side as I should be, but I understand that this is turning into quite the shitstorm.

  16. Alpha Wolf 05/14/2009 at 4:50 PM #

    ^ that’s because Easley=poison right now after the N&O exposed some shenanigans that he and his wife have run since he was elected.

  17. 66pack 05/14/2009 at 5:03 PM #

    Did anyone note that one of the associate ADs at UNC was selected as the National Fund Raiser.POOR LEE.

  18. LKNpackfan 05/14/2009 at 5:04 PM #

    Let’s hope it spreads throughout the entire UNC System, the DOT, and all state gov agencies.

    Technically Alpha, the Carolina Journal has been printing this exact stuff for 10 months now. The N&O only recently got onboard with the coverage. My guess is because McClatchy is on the verge of bankruptcy and its stock could be delisted in a few months. They need all the eyeballs they can get. Sure, smearing NC State comes easily, but Drescher intentionally suppressed the Edwards illegitimate child coverage. I doubt he’d expose any political friend if he didn’t absolutely have to.

  19. BJD95 05/14/2009 at 6:05 PM #

    Easley is a great target, too – he doesn’t have a friend left in the political world, especially after the Clinton endorsement (he wasn’t popular before that, either).

  20. tractor57 05/14/2009 at 6:27 PM #

    In a nutshell this explains why I don’t contribute financial resources to either the academic or athletic endeavors of my alma mater.

    If there is ever some reasonable leadership I might resume my contributions.

    When I was an undergrad in Textiles Lenny Barton worked in the Textiles financial office – but even with that tie I’m not inclined to support the idiocy.

  21. StateFans 05/14/2009 at 7:24 PM #

  22. GAWolf 05/14/2009 at 7:59 PM #

    Class of ’89: That might very well be true, but this is not a “tenure” issue in my eyes. If the guy was going to fall on the grenade and be so boisterous about it, he should cuts ties completely with the University or he’s not the martyr he’s claiming himself to be. There’s a lot of hypocrisy in his words, in my opinion.

    I don’t know a thing about this situation beyond what I’ve read in the paper, so I’m not saying he should or shouldn’t have resigned on his own accord or due to untold pressures.

    Certainly the Easley hire reeks to high heaven and like it or not the former Governor is a marked man. The Feds rarely openly talk about an investigation unless they’ve already found enough to take someone down. But we’ll have to see. It’s my understanding that there are other politicians that could find themselves caught up in this thing, and from the names I’ve heard it’s a who’s who on people “tough on crime.” Again, the hypocrisy just kills me.

  23. blpack 05/14/2009 at 8:32 PM #

    My guess is this is the tip of the iceberg.

  24. john of sparta 05/14/2009 at 9:21 PM #

    calling it: tipping point.

  25. highstick 05/14/2009 at 11:24 PM #

    OT, but Canes Win! Canes Win! Canes Win!!!

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