OSU technology head resigns amid controversy


Friday, July 9th 2004, 7:56 pm
By: News On 6


STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- An Oklahoma State University vice
president who was criticized for his role in a controversy
surrounding unauthorized access to Texas Tech University software
quit on Friday.
OSU President David Schmidly said he received and accepted Gary
Wiggins' letter of resignation, which takes effect July 31.
"Gary has made significant contributions to our university
during his tenure, and over the past several weeks I have
encouraged him to stay," Schmidly said in a statement.
"However, it is now clear that because of the recent
controversy he can no longer be an effective leader at OSU."
In his resignation letter, Wiggins said major changes are needed
in the university's information technology system, and that the
"current political environment leaves me a less than ideal choice
to make them."
Wiggins' resignation comes weeks after two employees were forced
to resign for their use of copyrighted software.
In a June 25 report, OSU's general counsel said Brandon LaBonte
and Michael Hewett "more likely than not" gained unauthorized
access to Texas Tech computers to copy programming codes used for
OSU's online events calendar.
Wiggins has said the university used the software for months
under the assumption the code was "open source," available for
free to any user.
Officers with OSU's Faculty Council had asked that Wiggins, the
vice president for information technology and chief information
officer, resign for signing a secret agreement with LaBonte, OSU's
director of software services, and Hewett, his assistant.
Wiggins, LaBonte and Hewett came to Oklahoma State when Schmidly
left the Lubbock, Texas, university for Stillwater.
LaBonte and Hewett have received payments totaling almost
$30,000 in their resignation agreements.
Wiggins will receive a severance package equivalent to three
months' compensation, or about $50,000. He will also receive
financial support to move from Stillwater, an amount valued at
$8,000.