John Tyson resigns from UA Board of Trustees

Posted: February 15, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.

FILE PHOTO - John Tyson speaks to shareholders Feb. 1, 2008 at the annual Tyson shareholders meeting at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale.

— Gov. Mike Beebe's office confirmed Friday that John Tyson has resigned from the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.

Tyson resigned Feb. 8, but the university says it wasn't aware of the decision until Arkansas Business reported it on its website Friday.

In a letter to Beebe, Tyson writes he is thankful for the opportunity he had to serve, but decided to resign after "careful consideration and deliberation."

Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said Friday that Tyson felt his schedule would not allow him to continue as a board member, which Tyson states in the letter.

"... My schedule in recent months has made it increasingly difficult for me to attend meetings and be an effective board member," Tyson wrote. "I do not see that changing, and because of that, and the fact that I have become increasingly frustrated with the Board's inability to make meaningful change in the structure and delivery of higher education in Arkansas, I think it is best that I step down now."

"(Tyson) has always been someone to speak his mind and to make strong decisions," DeCample said.

DeCample said a decision on a replacement would come as soon as possible.

Tyson states in the letter he informed UA System President Don Bobbit and Chancellor G. David Gearhart that he planned to resign about a year ago, but both asked him to stay on through the transition period of Bobbit becoming president.

Tyson is Chairman of the Board of Tyson Foods Inc., a position he's held since 1998. He was CEO from 2001 to 2006.

Read more details in Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.