Regional
1:24 pm
Fri October 30, 2009

Report: More Controversy Over NMSU Applicant

Las Cruces – There's new information about one of the candidates for President at New Mexico State University.

The Raleigh, North Carolina News and Observer reports that former North Carolina State Chancellor James Oblinger brokered a severance package for his Provost Larry Nielsen.

Nielsen and Oblinger both resigned in the wake of a controversy over the University's hiring of former North Carolina first lady Mary Easley.

The News and Observer reports the day before Nielsen's resignation, Oblinger arranged a deal to pay Nielsen more than 310 thousand dollars over three years ..on top of his faculty salary.

The paper says .the deal was quickly rejected by campus leaders because it was against University policy.

The News and Observer says Oblinger responded .quote ."I'm not the kind of guy who would have knowingly done something wrong. I think, yeah, I should have reviewed the original letter to make sure policies were being followed."

Oblinger is one of two candidates in the list of five finalists for New Mexico State University President who resigned in the wake of scandals.

The other is former University of Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman, who resigned that post last week after reports that the school favored politically connected applicants .and the creation of a six figure job for the future son-in-law of a former trustee. Herman arrives in Las Cruces on Sunday for his campus interview.