ORU student newspaper adviser loses job over erroneous presidential announcement
BY BILL SHERMAN World Staff Writer
Thursday, January 31, 2013
1/31/13 at 11:41 PM
Kevin Armstrong, the faculty adviser for The Oracle, Oral Roberts University’s award-winning student newspaper, lost his job this week after the newspaper published a name of the school’s new president before it was formally announced — and got it wrong.
The Oracle erroneously named a Texas pastor as the new president in its online edition about 15 minutes before the Wednesday chapel service at which the announcement was expected to be made.
The story was removed from the site after about 15 minutes, but not before it was widely spread through social media.
Speaking at the chapel service, ORU President Mark Rutland criticized the publication, calling it wrong and irresponsible.
Armstrong said Thursday: “Out of respect for the university that I will always love, and for my family’s well-being, I have resigned from the university on amicable terms and will have no further comment.”
ORU did not respond to a request for a statement.
An earlier email to staff and students said the announcement of the president was likely to be made at the Wednesday service.
In anticipation of the announcement, the Wednesday service was attended by media and local religious leaders, in addition to the ORU students and faculty. At the end of the service, Rutland said the Board of Trustees was still meeting and was not yet prepared to make the announcement.
On Thursday, the board announced that the new president will be William “Billy” Wilson, executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal in Cleveland, Tenn.