UTAH — Utah State President Tim Killeen announced Friday he will resign in January, saying he was forced to resign because of a “misunderstanding” with a faculty member who had been hired by the university in 2013 to help oversee the university’s effort to purge its student body of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Killeen said he would not have “attempted to mislead the university” and said he was taking a leave of absence that will take place in January.
He said he did not believe he had a conflict of interest and that his wife, Susan, would serve as president until a successor is chosen.
He did not identify the faculty member or whom he knew of the relationship, saying only that it had been in the works for several years.
The university said in a statement that it was “deeply sorry for any hurt that may have been caused.”
The statement did not say whether Killeens resignation would be permanent or subject to a recall election.
The university said it was cooperating with an investigation into the allegations against Killeenos wife.
In the letter, Killees wife said she had been a strong supporter of the university during her time as president and that the university was committed to diversity and inclusion.
Killeten, a Republican who served as president from 2014 to 2017, was the first black elected official in Utah since the state passed the Civil Rights Act in 1957.
He said he planned to focus on promoting the university, which has an enrollment of about 2,000 students.