Larry Nielsen felt compelled to explain on his resume how it was that he came to quit the provost job at N.C. State University.
His qualifications posted to the Ohio university's Web site include a special note about why he left the big job at NCSU.
Nielsen stepped down as provost and executive vice chancellor last May, amid a political controversy involving the former state governor. According to Nielsen, four years earlier and while still interim provost, Nielsen had hired the first lady, then a law-school faculty member at another University of North Carolina institution, to create and run a university-level speakers' series that experienced great success over the intervening years. However, after the end of the governor's term, a local newspaper published a wide ranging set of allegations regarding the former governor that also included questions about the hiring of the first lady. Nielsen said he resigned to quell the controversy and to shelter his family from unwarranted media coverage. He cooperated fully with authorities investigating the matter, and the inquiry as it related to Nielsen is closed.
As the N&O has previously reported, Nielsen and former NCSU Chancellor James Oblinger repeatedly misrepresented how Mary Easley came to be employed at NCSU. They originally said that Nielsen hired her on his own when he was an interim provost.
In reality, records showed that former Gov. Mike Easley, NCSU Board of Trustees Chairman McQueen Campbell, Oblinger and Nielsen were discussing the job for long before she was hired.