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FAU President Mary Jane Saunders Resigns

May 14, 2013 - 6:00pm

After months of controversy at the Boca Raton university, Florida Atlantic University President Mary Jane Saunders has resigned.

FAU board of trustees chair, Anthony K. G. Barbar, accepted Saunders resignation late Tuesday, according to the universitys website.

The board respects your desire to return to the faculty, a decision we know you made in the best interest of the university, he said in his letter.

Saunders, whose base salary is listed at $200,000 a year, claimed that the recent controversies and negative media coverage caused her to reconsider her position as the university's president.

She attracted harsh media criticism after being accused of hitting a student protester with her car in March. Police did not file charges.

It has been a controversial year at FAU. Besides the car incident, the university got the attention of national media for other incidents, including protests over naming the schools stadium after a for-profit prison company, outrage over a professors lesson involving stepping on the name Jesus, and a communications professor claiming that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and Boston Marathon bombing were hoaxes.

Faculty members began receiving threats after the incidents occurred, resulting in police being stationed in Saunders office and a bodyguard assigned to accompany her while she walked around campus.

Saunders will be returning to a faculty position at FAU, and will be assigned a special research project, according to the universitys statement.

FAU hopes to select an interim president by the fall.

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