Reported PSU presidential candidate resigns

A New York medical university president who reportedly was in line to become Pennsylvania State University's next president has resigned amid a pay probe, the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union reported.

David R. Smith issued a statement announcing his resignation on Thursday, according to the paper.

"To avoid further distraction for the University from its important mission, I intend to submit my resignation as president of SUNY Upstate Medical Center, so that this great institution can move on to even greater success," Smith said in the statement, posted by the newspaper.

Smith also said he was recovering from spinal surgery and said was cooperating with the probe.

Penn State has refused to confirm or deny the Albany newspaper report that identified Smith as the candidate for the PSU job. The paper said he had been in line to get the job until allegations surfaced that he accepted $349,295 in payments from outside sources on top of his $625,000 in compensation from SUNY.

A letter from SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said that Smith, a medical doctor, received payments from Pediatrics Service Group L.L.P. in 2012 and 2013 and MedBest Medical Management Inc. in 2010 without her prior approval.

 The outside payments were uncovered by a search firm that works for both Penn State and SUNY, the Albany newspaper reported.

Penn State officials last week abruptly canceled a meeting last week at which they were to vote on a new president, saying little more than that they needed more time.

-- Susan Snyder