University System Chancellor Dr. Steve Wrigley telling us today KSU president Sam Olens wasn't forced out, rather, there was a mutual agreement it wasn't the right fit.
The Board of Regents meeting for the first time today since Olens' resignation.
And for the first time---answered on camera questions.
Such as, why was Olens not fired immediately after it was clear he may have violated first amendment rights?
"The Chancellor had a direct conversation with the President," said Vice Chancellor Charles Sutlive in an interview. "Obviously there are some things that are personnel matters. Olens announced his plans to step down."
In other words; he made the decision easy.
Late last year, a state review found Olens disregarded the university system's directives on how to handle the first amendment battle involving kneeling cheerleaders.
"That in itself was fairly unique," says Sutlive.
Meaning, the special review, speaks for itself and the anger the board had for what transpired.
Does the Board regret its decision to appoint Olens?
"We appreciate President Olens' service... We are really focused on the search and the future for KSU," Sutlive added diplomatically.
We pressed him on that search because Olens appointment was done without any outside input and met with furor. Has the Board learned its lesson?
"We've heard them loud and clear, and that's why there has been a focus on pulling together this search committee."
A new presidential search committee, that reaches outside the board.
"Faculty, staff, students, members of the community," says Sutlive.
That committee will then launch a likely 6 month recruitment effort.
But there is one last question. Why is Olens being paid through June, months after his February departure?
"There is a compensation agreement in place," says Sutlive.
We never got a solid answer as to why.
It seems the truth lies somewhere in confidential contractual information.
None the less, the University System clearly wants to move past Olens.
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