UAPB chancellor’s decision to depart clarified

A day after University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Chancellor Lawrence A. Davis Jr. announced he would be resigning from the post he has held for more than 20 years on May 25, U of A System officials gave additional details about the decision.

The decision by Davis to resign was not because of any pressure from the University of Arkansas System but was actually precipitated by a desire on the part of the chancellor to retire early according to Ben Beaumont, director of communications for the U of A System.

“Chancellor Davis expressed his desire to retire early in the last several weeks,” Beaumont said. “He had two years remaining on his contract and the U of A System has worked out an early retirement agreement with him. As part of the agreement Chancellor Davis will be paid one year of his current salary, which is $190,000, and he will give up his tenure at the university.”

Beaumont said that the early retirement agreement will be finalized Tuesday.

“(U of A) President (Donald R.) Bobbitt has been in discussions with Chancellor Davis for several weeks about his early retirement,” Beaumont said.

A U of A System audit released in February investigated allegations of fraud and abuse of funds at the Harrold Dorm Complex and Living Learning Center between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2010. Four UAPB employees, including Davis’ secretary, were fired as a result of the findings. A criminal investigation by the Arkansas State Police is ongoing.