Arcadia U. board chair resigns, following period of turmoil over finances, leadership

Chris van de Velde resigned Friday as chairman of Arcadia University's board of trustees.

The chairman of Arcadia University's board of trustees resigned his leadership position Friday, citing personal reasons, but will remain on the board.

Chris van de Velde's decision to step down follows the departure of nearly half the members of the board of trustees in the last year and turmoil over a deficit in the operating budget.

The Glenside university of about 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students announced the decision on Friday afternoon.

Vice chair Charles (Chuck) William Lentz, principal of McKinley Elementary in the Abington School District, will become the new chair. Joycellen (Jey) Auritt, a licensed psychologist, and Clair Raubenstine, a retired business advisory partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, will become vice chairs.

Van de Velde, general manager of Awbury Arboretum, has served on the board since 2007 and has been chair since 2013. He became chair after the university fired its former president Carl "Tobey" Oxholm III.

This summer, outgoing faculty senate president Peter Siskind said in an email to faculty that 10 members of the board of trustees had resigned in recent months, and five more had left as their terms expired. Those who have left include distinguished members, some with leadership positions and roles in overseeing finances.

The departures occurred as the university, which operates on a $125 million budget, was trying to close a deficit originally projected at between $7 million and $10 million in March and reduced to $1.4 million in June. The budget has since been balanced, the university said in August.

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