William & Mary President Gene Nichol Resigns Amid Controversy

Atlanta, GA 2/12/2008 07:44 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

The College of William and Mary president Gene Nichol resigned Tuesday morning amid 16 months of controversy over a sex show scandal.

The Board of Visitors for the institution decided not to renew his contract.

His tenure at William & Mary is the shortest since the Civil War in school's history. Nichol has been president of the College since 2005. Prior to his presidency at the College, he was the dean of the law school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Michael Powell, the rector of the College’s Board of Visitors, informed Nichol of the decision Sunday after the Charter Day celebrations.

According to the Flat Hat, William & Mary's school newspaper, Nichol said that he would return to the College’s law school to resume his career in teaching and writing.

Four decisions led to the Board of Visitors' final decision: his decision to remove the Wren cross, his refusal to ban the Sex Workers’ Art Show, his support of the College’s Gateway Program and his commitment to the College’s faculty diversity.

Nichol removed a brass cross from the college's Wren Chapel. The move was so controversial that a donor revoked his $10 million pledge to the school, even after the cross was moved back to its prominent position.

His most recent controversy stemmed from his decision not to ban a campus appearance by the Sex Workers Art Show, which riled conservative alumni and legislators.

Thousands of students protested against Nichol's resignation.

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