ISU president abruptly resigns

The president of Illinois State University has resigned, the school announced Saturday, following a police investigation into claims that he assaulted a former ISU employee late last year.

Timothy Flanagan, who was appointed president by the school’s board of trustees May 10, said in a statement: “I appreciate the experience of working with the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Illinois State, but, after discussion with the Board, I have decided it would be best that I pursue other opportunities.”

Flanagan is receiving a negotiated one-time payment of $480,418, said university spokesman Jay Groves. Flanagan, who was less than a year into a three-year contract, had an annual salary of $350,000, Groves said.

On Friday, the university’s police department released a statement saying it had concluded an initial investigation into an alleged Dec. 5 assault by Flanagan against a former university employee.

Flanagan wasn’t arrested, said ISU police Capt. Nichol Bleichner, and the case was forwarded to the McLean County state’s attorney’s office for further review. The state’s attorney’s office could not be reached Saturday.

The news release didn’t provide a reason for Flanagan’s resignation or other details about the case, but according to newspaper reports, the alleged assault occurred in Flanagan’s front yard. The employee, identified as R. Patrick Murphy, filed a complaint with university police claiming that Flanagan came outside and began yelling obscenities and touched Murphy’s torso, according to the Pantagraph newspaper in central Illinois. Murphy was fired five days later, according to the newspaper, which also reported that Flanagan denied wrongdoing.

The board appointed Larry Dietz, vice president for student affairs, to replace Flanagan as president, the university said in a statement. He’ll also be paid $350,000 a year, Groves said. The board held a special session Saturday morning to discuss personnel matters, according to the university’s website.

The president of Illinois State University has resigned, the school announced Saturday, following a police investigation into claims that he assaulted a former ISU employee late last year.

Timothy Flanagan, who was appointed president by the school’s board of trustees May 10, said in a statement: “I appreciate the experience of working with the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Illinois State, but, after discussion with the Board, I have decided it would be best that I pursue other opportunities.”

Flanagan is receiving a negotiated one-time payment of $480,418, said university spokesman Jay Groves. Flanagan, who was less than a year into a three-year contract, had an annual salary of $350,000, Groves said.

On Friday, the university’s police department released a statement saying it had concluded an initial investigation into an alleged Dec. 5 assault by Flanagan against a former university employee.

Flanagan wasn’t arrested, said ISU police Capt. Nichol Bleichner, and the case was forwarded to the McLean County state’s attorney’s office for further review. The state’s attorney’s office could not be reached Saturday.

The news release didn’t provide a reason for Flanagan’s resignation or other details about the case, but according to newspaper reports, the alleged assault occurred in Flanagan’s front yard. The employee, identified as R. Patrick Murphy, filed a complaint with university police claiming that Flanagan came outside and began yelling obscenities and touched Murphy’s torso, according to the Pantagraph newspaper in central Illinois. Murphy was fired five days later, according to the newspaper, which also reported that Flanagan denied wrongdoing.

The board appointed Larry Dietz, vice president for student affairs, to replace Flanagan as president, the university said in a statement. He’ll also be paid $350,000 a year, Groves said. The board held a special session Saturday morning to discuss personnel matters, according to the university’s website.

By Michelle Manchir

Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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