As executive director of the NC State Alumni Association, I’m saddened by the news that James L. Oblinger has resigned as NC State’s 13th chancellor, effective immediately. His departure follows the resignations of McQueen Campbell ’93, chair of the NC State Board of Trustees, on May 15 and Larry Nielsen, provost, on May 22.
The resignations of NC State’s top administrative officers and board chair stem from investigations into the hiring and compensation of Mary Easley, former N.C. first lady. The NC State Board of Trustees called a special meeting today and voted to terminate Easley as executive in residence in the Provost’s Office.
These developments have stunned us all. My staff and I have received messages and calls from concerned alumni and, like you, we’ve followed the developments as they’ve been disclosed.
This is a sad day and many of us are disappointed. I don’t know more than what I’ve read in the newspapers, but what I do know is this: NC State deserves our continued support and loyalty as alumni.
We have 32,000 students who have worked hard to be here — and are working even harder to earn a degree that carries value throughout the world. We have more than 6,000 faculty and staff who are committed to offering the best in education, research and outreach.
I believe NC State can turn this dark day into an opportunity for change and renewal. We need to offer our support to Interim Chancellor Jim Woodward and to NC State’s deans as we choose new leaders who will direct the course of our future. Woodward, an aeronautical and mechanical engineer who taught at NC State early in his career, is chancellor emeritus of UNC-Charlotte.
Because of its mission as a land-grant institution and its commitment to educating the leaders of tomorrow, NC State will continue to set the pace for higher education in this state and beyond.
Lennie Barton ’77, ’81 MS, ’87 DED