November 24, 2007 / 3:51 PM / in 10 years

Christian school president resigns amid scandal

DALLAS (Reuters) - The president of Oral Roberts University (ORU), a fundamentalist Christian school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has resigned amid allegations of improper use of the institution’s funds.

School president Richard Roberts is the son of the televangelist the university is named after and the scandal recalled his father’s own controversies such as his 1987 announcement on television that God would “call him home” if he did not raise $8 million.

“... 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 ... November 23, 2007,” the university said in a brief statement.

“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,” Roberts said in the statement.

The scandal has included allegations that Roberts, who is also a televangelist, used university funds for an extravagant personal lifestyle.

The Oklahoman newspaper reported that a former school accountant said earlier this week that he had been ordered to “cook the books” to conceal improper spending.

The scandal erupted when three former professors last month filed a lawsuit claiming they were forced from their jobs partly because they refused to get students involved in a Tulsa mayoral contest. The lawsuit included the allegations of financial impropriety.

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