Man reported to have been in line to be Penn State's next president is resigning upstate N.Y. campus presidency

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A New York university leader reported to have been in line to become Penn State University’s next president until questions arose about his finances is resigning the presidency he held in that state, officials at his school confirmed tonight.

David Doyle, a spokesman for the State University of New York, said David R. Smith, who has been president of SUNY’s Upstate Medical University since 2006, issued the following statement:

“Over the past several weeks, I have been working with the leadership of SUNY as they conduct a review of all of sources of my compensation,” the statement read. “As I recover from spinal surgery this week, I will continue to cooperate fully and do all that I can to bring the review to a swift conclusion.

“ 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.”

A statement from Mr. Doyle read in part: "We understand this decision and remain focused on our review.”

The Albany (N.Y.) Times Union said on its website Tuesday night that Dr. Smith, a pediatrician, was on leave and facing scrutiny from SUNY officials. Those officials acted after they “learned he has been padding his state pay without authorization,” the newspaper reported, citing two unnamed state officials

Penn State has declined to say if Dr. Smith was the individual who was expected on Penn State’s main campus in time for a special meeting and vote last Friday by trustees that was later canceled. The episode has added to ongoing criticisms by some on and off Penn State’s board of trustees that the search process has been too secretive and failed to involve all Penn State board members.

Bill Schackner:, 412-263-1977 and on Twitter: @BschacknerPG.

First Published November 7, 2013 8:09 PM

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