John Tyson Resigns From University of Arkansas Board of Trustees

by Mark Friedman  on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 3:43 pm  

John Tyson

John Tyson of Springdale resigned from the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees on Feb. 8, but the UA System didn't know about the resignation until Arkansas Business informed it of the move on Friday.

Tyson, who was CEO of publicly traded meat processor Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale from 2000 to 2006, began serving on the UA board in 2007. He term was set to expire in 2017.

"I've become increasingly frustrated with the Board's inability to make meaningful change in the structure and delivery of higher education in Arkansas, I think it is best that I step down now," Tyson wrote in his letter to Gov. Mike Beebe (PDF), dated Feb. 5.

In the letter, Tyson said he considered resigning a year ago, but decided to stay at the request of  UA Fayetteville Chancellor G. David Gearhart and UA System President Don Bobbitt, who was new to the job.

Bobbitt and Gearhart also asked Tyson to remain on the board through the transition period, Tyson said in the letter.

"However, my schedule in recent months has made it increasingly difficult for me to attend meetings and be an effective board member," Tyson said. "I do not see that changing."

Ben Beaumont, UA spokesman, said Friday that the UA System didn't have any information on Tyson's resignation and referred calls to Beebe's office, which handles appointments to the UA board.

Beaumont declined to comment on Tyson's statements. Tyson couldn’t be reached for comment.

Gov. Mike Beebe's spokesman Matt DeCample said Tyson's replacement was being sought and a decision would be made as soon as possible.



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