|Updated: 8/07/2008 8:52 am
||Published: 8/06/2008 9:57 pm
University of Central Arkansas president Lu Hardin still has his job after some employees called for his resignation. The UCA board of trustees met Wednesday night in Conway to talk about the fallout over a $300,000 bonus Hardin received 2 years ahead of schedule. Hardin since apologized for taking the bonus and he's given it back. Lu Hardin's contract will renew for another year as of September 23rd. The trustees didn't decide Wednesday whether to stop the renewal because on the recent events. They wanted to hear what members of the UCA community and Conway think about what's happened.
Students, faculty, staff and beyond all had their chance to talk about the fallout over president Lu Hardin's advanced $300,000 bonus. And Hardin was front and center to hear it. "I was very appreciative of the positive comments that were made, and even the comments that said we got a way to go," he told us. A student told the trustees, "UCA students feel like the name of UCA has been tarnished in some way."
Most everyone who spoke pointed out Hardin's successes at the university including adding new faculty and staff and providing substantial pay raises. Ross Honea is on the UCA Foundation Board but speaking personally on behalf of Hardin he said, "To allow Lu Hardin to leave this university is kind of like shooting Santa Claus in the foot."
But the primary concern many shared was that those associated with UCA and especially the president should be held to a high standard with regard to ethics and responsibility. Board of trustees president Randy Sims said while no decision was made Wednesday night, the board got a better idea of what the community thinks about all this. And he hopes more school entities weigh in so trustees can make the right decision about Hardin's future at the school.
Also at issue is a document Hardin typed to make a case for the bonus. Three of his vice president's names were at the bottom of the page. Executive vice president Barbara Anderson said while she provided some of the information for the document she did not see it before it was sent.
While some individuals have called for Lu Hardin's resignation no official school entity has. Vice president Barbara Anderson says Hardin's start date with UCA was September 23rd, 2002. September 23rd is when the contract would automatically renew. No date has been set for the September board of trustees meeting.