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Redlands Community College president resigns amid financial troubles

by Randy Ellis Modified: June 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm •  Published: June 24, 2013

EL RENO — Redlands Community College President Larry Devane resigned Monday night at the close of a contentious board of regents special meeting.

Shortly after 10 p.m., Devane tendered his resignation.

Devane said no buyout was involved in his resignation. “I didn't ask for one,” he said.

He will receive the normal benefits that a state employee gets such as accrued leave time.

Devane had been president of Redlands for 24 years, a tenure that is longer than any other president of a two-year or four-year college in Oklahoma.

Regent Chairman Travis Ketter said it was too early to talk about a successor.

Devane, 67, found his job in jeopardy after the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education released a financial analysis of Redlands by BKD LLP that revealed the college owes more than $1.1 million in unpaid obligations, including some dating back more than six months.

Before going into executive session Monday night, Regent Tracey Wills criticized Devane over the college's current financial mess.

“I'm disturbed because I've never heard you say that you've taken responsibility for any of this,” Wills said. “I believe as president and CEO of the college this is your responsibility.”

Regent Lynda McColl criticized how meetings have been conducted in the past. She described them as “dog and pony shows” where students' accomplishments were touted but very little financial information was presented to regents.

“The board we had is no longer the board we will have,” she pledged. “We're going to have an aggressive board.”

The BKD report also raised concerns that Devane may have failed to obtain approval from Redlands regents and circumvented state competitive bidding requirements by splitting up the Darlington Annex construction project so that each part of the project would be less than $50,000.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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