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Fayetteville State University Chancellor Resigns

Facing a financial audit and criticism over a new nursing
program, Fayetteville State
University’s chancellor announced
Monday she will resign this month.

“I am stepping down as chancellor so that the
university may pursue its core mission of educating students,” T.J. Bryan
said in a written statement. A message left by The Associated Press for Bryan
was not immediately returned Monday.

Bryan, who became chancellor in July 2003, will step down
July 23, according to the statement released by the university. The statement
said Bryan accepted that “the time has come for her to move on,” but
gave no details about her decision to leave.

The announcement comes after the state Board of Nursing
delayed full approval for a new program at the university that awards a
bachelor’s degree in nursing. The board accused school officials of failing to
comply with rules aimed at helping students understand standards and graduation

The university’s finances also are being reviewed by state
auditors, who will release their findings likely by the end of the month,
auditor’s office spokesman Chris Mears told The News & Observer of Raleigh.

Joni Worthington, a spokeswoman for the University of North
Carolina system, declined to comment on whether system President Erskine Bowles
asked for Bryan’s resignation. An interim chancellor has not yet been named,
she said.

“He is aware of the problems that Fayetteville State
has faced and certainly has taken steps to make sure the campus has the
resources to address those problems,” Worthington said.

Last month, Fayetteville State announced that 24 of the 31
students in its new nursing program failed to graduate this spring after
flunking an exit exam.

The students, some of whom complained they didn’t know the
exam was a graduation requirement, were allowed to take a consultant’s 12-day
course under an agreement with the school that averted a possible lawsuit.

Of the 23 students who took the course, 15 failed its final
test. Those who passed will earn their degrees.

In a written statement, Bowles said Bryan had helped the
university during her tenure, “but given the challenges ahead, I have
accepted her resignation.”

– Associated Press

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