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Amid Lawsuit And Possible Job In Florida, UT-Arlington President Resigns

Courtesy UT Arlington
Vistasp Karbhari is resigning as president of UT-Arlington.

The president of the University of Texas at Arlington is stepping down effective Aug. 31. Vistasp Karbhari made the announcement as he faces a lawsuit from a former colleague for bullying and is a top candidate to lead a university in Florida.

In addition, The Dallas Morning News reported Friday that the University of Texas System investigated online education recruiting and enrollment practices at the Arlington campus last year.

The UT System has not released details of the investigation or what the findings were, according to the Morning News. The investigation began with an anonymous tip to the state auditor’s office in January 2019. It was completed in October and conducted by an outside firm hired by the system.

In a Feb. 4 statement announcing his resignation, Karbhari said over the last seven years UT-Arlington has grown in reputation and size, and he feels it's time to think about his next chapter.

“Serving you has been the greatest honor of my career,” Karbhari said. “And I am proud of what we have accomplished together.”

Last month, Karbhari was sued by a former UT-Arlington administrator for allegedly bullying and threatening a female colleague and others. Deborah Robinson, who formerly oversaw institutional advancement, is seeking $200,000 in damages. The university hasn't commented on the suit.

It was also announced recently that Karbhari is one of seven finalists being considered to lead the University of Central Florida in Orlando. 

Karbhari became president of UT-Arlington in 2013. He said the university is ranked as the nation’s top school for veterans, and the top university for success of first generation students in Texas.

The chair of the Texas House committee on higher education, Arlington Rep. Chris Turner, praised Karbhari as a tireless advocate for the school’s students and faculty. 

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.