Richard Roberts resigns

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From an e-mail sent from Jeremy Burton at ORU:

Today, a letter was sent from Richard Roberts to the Board of Regents of Oral Roberts University tendering his resignation as President of Oral Roberts University effective today, November 23, 2007.

The Board of Regents will meet Monday and Tuesday, November 26 and 27, 2007 to determine action in the search process for a new president.

Executive Regent Billy Joe Daugherty will continue to assume administrative responsibilities of the Office of the President, working together with Chancellor Oral Roberts, until the Regents meeting.

In his letter of resignation to the Board, Richard Roberts said, "I love ORU with all my heart. I love the students, faculty, staff and administration and I want to see God's best for all of them."

Via Tyson Wynn, who has the AP news bulletin.

UPDATE: Michael Spencer rejoices:

I think we all have to give a round of applause to the ordinary folks at Oral Roberts University who said "Enough is enough." Richard Roberts- while far from being the worst offender in this collection of Tetzels- exemplified everything that is wrong with the Tulsa/TBN version of Charismatic evangelicalism. Smarmy, unscrupulous, self-serving and slick: Roberts' departure should encourage the "little people" in abusive ministries everywhere to blow the whistles and tell the truth.

MORE: ORU alumnus Greg Bledsoe has started a discussion thread about the lawsuit and resignation over on the TulsaNow.net forum and invited fellow alumni from around the world to join in. He provides his own legal and ethical analysis of the situation and also reproduces an anonymous alum's post wondering whether Richard Roberts suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Bubbaworld isn't so sanguine about the resignation:

Undoubtedly supporters of "change" at ORU will welcome the exit of Richard Roberts and proclaim a "new day" for ORU amid high hopes for a bright future. Unfortunately, the university and the Roberts family are so intertwined that they can not survive without each other. They are like conjoined twins sharing a common heart and brain. No amount of surgery to separate them will permit either to survive and that is where ORU finds itself this holiday season.

I hope he's wrong, for ORU's sake and Tulsa's sake.

And Stan Geiger says that before Sen. Charles Grassley worries about the way private colleges spend private donations on their presidents, he should take a close look at the way public colleges spend on their execs.

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5 Comments

Pamela said:

I saw it coming when the Board of Regents asked Billy Joe Daugherty to return to the BOR after RIchard asked him to leave in June. One of my ORU friends is on the almuni board. I have been keeping her abreast of the local reporting. I sent her the link to the Tulsa Whirled article that included this last night. She sent it out to all ORU people that she knows and ended her brief email with 'This is an answer to prayer'. I know she was very concerned about how things would have gone next week. I had also sent the link to the KFAQ podcast page so she could hear the interviews with Dr. Vance. I'm sure everyone is relieved. I know I am. I sincerely pray that the BOR will (1) have a more hands-on place in overseeing ORU, (2) not be yes people but really oversee the operations at ORU and (3) do what is best for the school. That may not mean that a Roberts family member is the one to do it. I truly believe that fear is telling Oral that God cannot raise up someone outside the family that will care about ORU like they do. I am a living witness that the Lord will place something on a heart where there is no personal connection other than being a member of the human race that Christ died for.

s said:

If they would publish the audit so that everyone could see how money has been spent by Oral Roberts and Richard Roberts over the years going back to the 70's, it would reveal why Oral Roberts is so fearful and begging for control -- their love of money and how they have splurged sacrifical donors money is an embarrassment and they may just have their tax-exempt taken away.

sbtulsa Author Profile Page said:

this is the same as I posted on KFAQ's board earlier.

Consider the people God shose to be his representatives throughout the Bible. Humble, meek, loyal only to God, and poor. that includes Jesus himself, all the appostles, Moses, Noah, Joshua, the prophets, et al. How did this message get lost in the minds of the Roberts family? This is the same gospel that Oral and richard preach, right? how could 60 years of minstry in Oral's case, and 30(?) in Richard's case not sink in?

Harry Rockefeller Author Profile Page said:

Sometimes it just pays to have charisma. Oral told a story about why he always had a new Mercades. He said it was given to him for one year, then the next year he was given the newest model. Why? The business man said it was a business decision. He could sell the 1-year-old used car for more money than a new car by advertising it as Oral's personal automobile.

I think bubbaworld is right, at least for the time being, ORU cannot survive without the Roberts family. If Richard still loves the University as he says he does, why not the BOR give him a title of VP Sales and set him free to bring in money for ORU? Hint, I would probably pay to go see a movie about Oral's life.

I disagree with the faculty. I believe the calling God has on ORU "To go where my light is dim" includes academia. The direction they are going, based on when I was there both as student and as chemistry instructor, is like, well, charismatic evangelicalism. It suffers from pietism such that academics can only be secular. The Word of God needs to be taken seriously. Post ORU I have found biblical reconstructionism fills the void. God is interested in academics. Beside tending the garden, Adam's first job was biological taxonomist. ;-)

s said:

Oral doesn't have a completed degree as far as I know -- just two years of some type of college work. He and his wife came from poverty and they did not like living that way.

Copeland, Benny Hinn, and look at the way other regents live their life.

Maybe Richard and Patti can sign up for one of those free give away homes that Paula White came up with as a gimmick but they ended up not giving it after all because as reported the one that supposedly won never qualified because she was needy.

They should get some respectable christian organization to help the university -- at Pensacola Christian in Floriday -- they are an extreme success story of how the owners do not have greed in their lives -- they live modestly and try as hard as they can to bring the price of college each year to a fraction of what is charged at ORU for room, board and tuition.

The Hortons at Pensacola are examples of a Godly life.

They make up their own interpretation of what the Bible says. Divorce -- ok in the Roberts opinion and soon married Lindsey after the Patti Roberts divorce.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 23, 2007 11:29 PM.

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