Topeka, KS (WIBW)-- Washburn Universities Board of Regents met Friday evening to discuss the controversy surrounding a letter written by University President Dr. Jerry Farley.
The letter was written to District Judge Gary Nafziger on behalf of the wife of Richard Blevins, a former state fire inspector who pleaded no contest to sexually soliciting a 13-year-old girl.
A statement was read by Bob Storey after the board went into a 30 minute executive session Friday evening.
"I will make a short statement and I will tell you there will be no questions and answer series. There will be no discussion and at the same time the board of regents has asked me to tell you that Dr. Farley will have no comments to make to the press and no comments to be made to anybody; neither will any of the members of the Board of Regents. If someone wants to talk to me that's fine. I just want to make sure you understand that there will be no questions to Dr. Farley.
The Washburn board of regents has the duty and obligation to address the issue of Dr. Farley's letter which became public earlier this week. The content of the letter and personal opinions of Dr. Farley are not that of the University’s. It's unfortunate that the university is involved in this conflict, however that matter has been addressed and Dr. Farley has publicly apologized to you all and has stated that it was his personal opinion and not that of Washburn University.
This afternoon shortly before you came in, Dr. Farley met with us in executive session and expressed his serious regrets for having used Washburn Universities stationary and his title in writing a letter requesting certain treatment of a convicted felon.
I know that all of you understand that each one of us has compassion for fellow human beings. Dr. Farley was trying to assist the loyal employee and good friend which each of us has done, or will do, in the future. In doing so he has expressed that they were his own personal thoughts however since the letter was written on Washburn University stationary it had the appearance of being condoned by the university. As stated that is not true and it has been explained.
Dr. Farley has been an outstanding president for Washburn University and has done more good for this university than any president I can recall in the past. We do not feel that any further action taken at this time would be necessary because of an incident that has been fully explained and it will not be necessary to try to explain it further.
Dr. Farley has expressed to the board and has expressed to me in lengthy discussions since this has happened, that in the future he will be extremely careful in any correspondence he offers which may state his personal views to make sure that it does not in any way reflect any of the views of Washburn University. He has agreed that if there are any questions in interpretation of correspondence which he has any doubt about he will talk to the chair, whoever that may be, of the Board of Regents of Washburn for clearance.
As stated above Washburn Board of Regents felt it had the obligation and duty to look into this matter and we have and in meeting with President Farley we have determined that he has suffered this week by the actions he took and that he will continue to suffer some of the criticism in the future.
Having said of all of that, the board wishes to put this matter behind us and our major goal is to go ahead with –continue- our efforts in every way we can on behalf of Washburn University.
As I stated earlier this concludes all our remarks made about this incident. We're going into session, take care of business. Thank you all for coming and listening.”
The controversy over the letter dated May 19, 2008 surrounds the fact that it was written on Washburn University stationary.
The letter says:
"Dear Judge Nafziger,
I have known Richard Blevins for over 10 years and find him to be very dedicated to his wife and family. His dedication continued with his work as a law enforcement officer for over 30 years, most recently as a criminal arson investigator. He is quite knowledgeable about the law and of upholding the law, so I was quite surprised when his wife told him of the allegations made by their step-granddaughter.
Richard is scheduled to come before your court next month for sentencing. As you know better than I, punishment is achieved in many ways. As I understood it, there was eight sexual assault charges filed against him, then these were all dropped and he has plead no contest to solicitation of a minor. I do know that the highly public and humiliating exposure of the allegations has had a very punishing effect on Richard.
I urge you to consider placing Mr. Blevins on probation as the sentencing grid indicates instead of a prison term. I know you will be fair and attempt to balance the community's interest with Mr. Blevins."
"I couldn't condone in any way the act that Mr. Blevins has been convicted of, my actions were to support her," Farley added.
Questions are being raised why the President wrote the letter on University stationary.
"I made an error in sending this letter on University stationary," Farley admitted, "It was not in any means a position of the University, it was a personal matter. I shouldn't have put it on University stationary, I regret doing that."
Brian Dorman Twittering Live At The Scene
this concludes the twitter reporting on the board of regents meeting much more in the coming hours at wibw.com
we will have the latest on this issue tonigjt at 5,6, and ten about 2 hours ago from mobile web
it was said that arley suffered enough this week because of his actions and that he will likely be criticized for it in the future. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
it was also said that farley was trying to help a friend and it is a situation that all of us could find ourselves in. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
it was made clear to the media that dr farley and board of regens members will not be speaking about this issue. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
it was also stated that dr. farley has done great thungs for washburn and has been the best president in years past. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
mr. storey did say that it is unfortunate that washburn university has been caught up in this. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
he said that farley has apologized and that in the future if there is a question about any documentation he will get clerance. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
a statement wa read by mr. storey he said this matter has been looked into and no further action will be taken. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
this appears to be evidence that this matter was concerning washburn university president dr. jerry farley about 2 hours ago from mobile web
mrs. Warren is speaking to farley right now. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
dr. farley has a smile on his face and the mood in the room appears relaxed. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
Mr. Bob Storey is speaking to Dr. Farley right now inside the session.
about 2 hours ago from mobile web
Dr. Farley just went back into the room. all media and public having to wait outside the room. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
one of the board members just came out of the session asking for Dr. Farley about 2 hours ago from mobile web
we are about ten fifteen minutes into the executive session that is set for a half hour about 2 hours ago from mobile web
one can only asume this matter is in regards to dr. farleys letter but without it being stated that remains speculation at this point. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
I can say there have been a couple bursts of laughter during the meeting but overall it appears to be a formal discussion. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
I can say there have been a couple bursts of laughter during the meeting but overall it appears to be a forma about 2 hours ago from mobile web
We have video from the session that will be posted on wibw.com this evening. we are hoping to have an interview as well. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
From my vantage site its impossible to see what the document is they are looking over.
about 2 hours ago from mobile web
we can see inside the meeting but unable to hear anything. it appears that all the members are examining the same document. about 2 hours ago from mobile web
Again we are waiting outside the doors of the board of regents meeting which is in executive session to discuss a personel matter about 2 hours ago from mobile web
all members of the board of regents are present for the meeting with the exception of Dr. Farley about 2 hours ago from mobile web
Dr. Farley was in the hallway but at this point i dont see him about 2 hours ago from mobile web
In the hallway there is no talk of whats going on. there were a couple whispers at first. but now everyone is chatting atbout everyday thing about 2 hours ago from mobile web
the session is to last a half hour. we are not sure if there will be discussion when we go back in on what the session was for about 2 hours ago from mobile web
all media and others in the room had to leave and are on the other side of the glass door unable to hear what is being said about 2 hours ago from mobile web
Dr. Farley was not mentioned and also left the room during the session about 2 hours ago from mobile web
it was announced that they had a personel issue and that was the reason for the executive session about 2 hours ago from mobile web
they immediately took a vote to go into executive session about 2 hours ago from mobile web
the board of regents meeting just began about 2 hours ago from mobile web
just stopped at the book sale on the way. the meeting will begin at 4pm about 3 hours ago from mobile web
Earlier this week Dr. Farley said he made and error in writing the lettter on university letterhead and regreted doing so about 3 hours ago from mobile web
The concern was raised over the factthat the letter was written on washburn university stationary about 3 hours ago from mobile web
richard blevins pleaded no contest to sexually soliciting a 13 year old girl about 3 hours ago from mobile web
The letter was sent on may 19 of this year asking a judge for probation of a washburn universities employees husbad about 3 hours ago from
i was able to get in touch with dan lykins who is on the board and he wasnt sure if the issue would come up or not about 3 hours ago from mobile web
Dr. farley, the mayor, and bob storey were not available to comment this afternoon about 3 hours ago from mobile web
the letter has not been put on the agenda for tonights meeting about
it was said earlier in the week that the controversy surrounding dr farleys letter would be disscussed
about 3 hours ago from mobile web
on my way to Washburn universities board of regents meeting about 3 hours ago from mobile web