Larry Nielsen resigned as NC State provost today, effective May 22, and will rejoin the faculty of the College of Natural Resources, where he was dean from 2001 to 2005. In his statement, Chancellor James L. Oblinger said:
The provost cited among his reasons for resigning the professional and personal anguish caused by continuing newspaper reports implying that his hiring of Mary Easley was done under pressure and improperly influenced by political motives. I have known Larry for eight years. I know him to be a good and honest person who is incapable of willfully damaging the integrity of North Carolina State University.
Chancellor Oblinger has written a letter to the editor of The News & Observer. Dr. Warwick Arden, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, will serve as interim provost, and the university will conduct a national search to fill the provost position.
Update: Watch Chancellor Oblinger’s 1 p.m. press conference at WRAL.com.
Update #2: Chair of NC State’s BOT resigns.
Update #3: Chancellor Oblinger tells a reporter at a groundbreaking that “it’s in the best interest of the university” that Easley resign.