Richard Roberts Steps Down From University Post

Friday, November 23rd 2007, 7:45 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Richard Roberts, the embattled president of Oral Roberts University, tendered his resignation on Friday, officials said. In a statement e-mailed from George Pearsons, chairman of the Oral Roberts University Board of Regents, Roberts' resignation is effective immediately.

Richard Roberts and the university have come under fire since a lawsuit was filed by three former professors accusing him, among other things, of misusing school funds to support a lavish lifestyle.

The evangelical school's regents will meet Monday and Tuesday to determine action in the search process for a new president, Pearsons said in the statement.

"Executive Regent Billy Joe Daugherty will continue to assume administrative responsibilities of the Office of the President, working together with Chancellor Oral Roberts, until the Regents meeting," the statement read.

Richard Roberts also expressed his feelings for the school in the letter, according to the statement.

"`I love ORU with all my heart,"' he said in the statement. "`I love the students, faculty, staff and administration and I want to see God's best for all of them."'

The lawsuit filed October 2 has turned out to be the first in a wave of legal actions against the school.

Richard Roberts and his wife, Lindsay, have denied wrongdoing. Richard Roberts has said the lawsuit amounted to "intimidation, blackmail and extortion." That suit included allegations of a $39,000 shopping tab at one store for Richard Roberts' wife, Lindsay, a $29,411 Bahamas senior trip on the university jet for one of Roberts' daughters, and a
stable of horses for the Roberts children.

The professors also alleged that Richard Roberts required students in a government class to work on 2006 mayoral candidate Randi Miller's campaign. Roberts publicly endorsed Miller, but said then that he was doing so as a private citizen and not as an ORU representative. He has denied the lawsuit's claims that he ordered students to work on Miller's campaign.

Watch the video: Richard Roberts Tenders His Resignation

WEB EXTRA: The Statement from George Pearsons, Chairman of the ORU Board of Regents

WEB EXTRA: Students React To Roberts' Resignation

For complete coverage of the ORU lawsuit, click here.