FAU President Mary Jane Saunders turned in a letter of resignation Tuesday, which the university's Board of Trustees Chair Anthony K.G. Barbar "regretfully" accepted.
Saunders' resignation ends a three-year tenure that has embroiled Florida Atlantic University in turmoil and controversy the past several months, including accusations of her sideswiping a student protester with her car, the school's so-called "Owlcatraz" stadium-naming controversy, and Professor James Tracy's espousing insane conspiracy theories.
In her resignation letter, Saunders admitted that the controversies had become a distraction and pointed to the "negative" coverage by the media as reasons for her stepping down:
"When I accepted the presidency of FAU three years ago, I did so with a vision to expand upon the excellence of this richly diverse and strong institution with a focus on academics and student success. We, as a campus community, have successfully accomplished these goals.
"There is no doubt the recent controversies have been significant and distracting to all members of the University community. The issues and the fiercely negative media coverage have forced me to reassess my position as the President of FAU. I must make choices that are the best for the University, me and my family."
"On behalf of the Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees, I regretfully accept your resignation," Barbar said in a letter. "The Board respects your desire to return to the faculty, a decision we know you made in the best interest of the University."
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