Lyon College president resigns amid furor over white supremacist comments 

by George Jared ([email protected]) 3,247 views 

Lyon College President W. Joseph King resigned Thursday (Aug. 26). King, who was under fire for comments about President Donald Trump supporters and white supremacist in the Ozark Foothills tendered his resignation to the Lyon College Board of Trustees.

“I’m writing to let you know that the Lyon College Board of Trustees has accepted President W. Joseph King’s resignation effective immediately. We are thankful for Dr. King’s service and guidance during his presidency. The College has established numerous programs and initiatives that have flourished under his leadership including the College’s ROTC program and military science concentration. We are also grateful for Dr. King’s leadership in keeping our campus and our students safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are especially grateful for his leadership in establishing our ongoing exploration of a strategic partnership with the University of the Ozarks,” Board of Trustees Chairman Perry Wilson noted in a statement.

“I am pleased to announce that Provost Melissa Taverner will serve as interim president. As so many of you know, she is passionate about the College’s mission and is ready to continue our most important work, which is providing an excellent liberal arts education to our students to prepare them for their futures,” he added.

In a recent interview with Chronicle for Higher Education, the former president said a Trump rally held in Batesville resulted in vandalism at the school. Batesville Police Chief Alan Cockrill told Talk Business & Politics content partner KAIT that the rally and the alleged vandalism never happened.

King also said there were a lot of white supremacist that lived around the Batesville area. After coming under fire, King claimed he was misquoted but the Chronicle announced that it stands by the story and King wasn’t misquoted. A furor from the public and civic leaders ensued ending King’s tenure at the school.

“This is an extraordinary time for Lyon College and the Batesville community. We have experienced a multitude of challenges, and I want to acknowledge and thank everyone – students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members – for their efforts. I also want to express my deep appreciation to this dedicated community for its support of our college. It is a blessing we have had for nearly 150 years,” Wilson said.