Montana State University-Northern Chancellor James Limbaugh has announced his resignation one week into the school year.
In an email sent out to the faculty and staff this morning, Limbaugh cited discord in the university and the community as reasons for his decision. He said the resignation is effective Friday.
“For almost three years, I have had the privilege to lead Montana State University-Northern as your chancellor, working toward a shared vision of excellence in post-secondary education. Our students deserve our full attention to this endeavor; our community deserves a university of which it can be proud,” Limbaugh wrote in his email.
“However, continuing controversy on campus and in the community has become a significant distraction to the achievement of our common goals and has hampered severely our ability to move forward. Therefore, for the sake of this institution, I am resigning as the Chancellor of Montana State University-Northern, effective Friday, August 29, 2014.”
Montana State University President Waded Cruzado is in the process of choosing an interim chancellor.
Director of University Relations Jim Potter said Limbaugh is working on a statement to send to the press announcing his resignation, but as of deadline, he had not sent the statement.
“I wish each of you the best as you lead MSUN into its second century of service to the citizens of Montana,” Limbaugh concluded his message.
Cruzado released an official statement about Limbaugh’s resignation this morning through university relations:
“Chancellor Limbaugh is a life-long educator and he has always striven to do the best for students,” Cruzado wrote. “Even in his resignation, he is putting students first so MSU-Northern can continue to move forward. I want to thank Chancellor Limbaugh for his dedicated service to MSU-Northern and for his collaboration with the MSU campuses.”
Limbaugh was inaugurated as chancellor April 2012. Since his inauguration, he has been involved with a number of controversies of various proportions and contentions from within the university, the most recent being the removal of head football coach Mark Samson and the sexual harassment complaint against former Provost Rosalyn Templeton.
In August 2013, Limbaugh was a finalist in the Nicholls State University in Louisiana’s search for a new president, but said he decided to stay with Northern.
There has been turmoil at the university for sometime. The faculty union planned to present a proposal for a vote of no confidence in Limbaugh from his position, with an extensive list of reasons, this afternoon, a source said.
Limbaugh came to Northern from Texas’ Angelo State University, where he served as the vice president for strategy, planning and policy from June 2008 through December 2011. He was also the interim provost and vice president for student affairs at the university from May 2009 to July 2011.