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UA Board of Trustees to Discuss Donald Bobbitt’s Contract Renewal Next Week

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The University of Arkansas board of trustees will hold a special meeting Thursday, July 6, to discuss whether to renew the contract of UA System President Donald Bobbitt. The meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m., Morril Harriman, board chairman, said during a special meeting Monday.

The July 6 meeting “will be for the sole purpose of discussing what action the Board may wish to take relative to the contract of President Bobbitt. His contract is set to expire in December of this year,” Harriman said.

Bobbitt began his term as president of the UA System Nov. 1, 2011.

In recent weeks, Bobbitt has been embroiled in a controversy with Sheffield Nelson, UA board of trustees vice chairman, after Nelson sent an email to the board urging them not to renew the president’s contract, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. 

Nelson accused Bobbitt of engaging in dishonest, secretive behavior in a proposed deal where the UA System would acquire the for-profit online University of Phoenix for $500 million. The proposal was rejected by the UA System board of trustees in April.

In May, the University of Idaho announced it would partner with the University of Phoenix.

During Monday’s special meeting, most of which was conducted in a non-public executive session, the trustees discussed Nelson’s allegations against Bobbitt, who proposed the University of Phoenix acquisition via the creation of a UA System-affiliated nonprofit, Transformative Education Services.

Members deemed Nelson’s allegations against Bobbitt as unfounded and approved a resolution whereby matters concerning personnel and employment issues will be discussed in executive sessions and remain confidential.

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