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UT-Arlington president announces resignation and looks for job in Florida

Vistasp Karbhari defended himself to the University of Central Florida against a pending lawsuit by calling it baseless.

Former University of Texas at Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari addresses students during a Pizza with the President even…

The University of Texas at Arlington's president resigned and has set his sights on a job at a Florida school amid an investigation into the school's online recruitment practices and a pending retaliation lawsuit.

Vistasp Karbhari announced Wednesday that he will leave UT-Arlington on Aug. 31. In a statement, Karbhari touted the heightening of research activity and an improved school reputation under his tenure.

“Upon reflecting on the progress made and these milestones, [my wife] and I felt it was time for us to take stock and think about our next chapter," Karbhari said in a statement.

Karbhari’s resignation comes after the University of Texas System initiated an investigation into UTA’s online recruitment and enrollment practices last year, of which the findings have not yet been released, according to The Dallas Morning News. Karbhari’s annual performance review was delayed last year due to the “direct relevance” of the investigation, the UT System told the newspaper.

However, Karbhari is already one of seven candidates for president of the University of Central Florida. But in his Thursday meeting with the Florida school’s presidential search committee, he dismissed a lawsuit against UT-Arlington from a former employee alleging retaliation, The Shorthorn reported.

Deborah Robinson, former vice president for institutional advancement at UT-Arlington, is seeking $200,000 in damages claiming Karbhari bullied her and threatened termination, according to The Shorthorn.

“What you don’t hear about later is when most of these lawsuits are actually dismissed because they have no basis,” Karbhari said. “I can absolutely, unequivocally tell you that this one has no basis.”

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas System have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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