Tim Hudson, recently appointed interim executive director for the Center for Extended and International Education, is pending investigation due to allegations of ethical and legal misconduct during his time as chancellor at Arkansas State University.
Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing Bill Persinger told The Arkansas State University Herald Hudson’s one-year interim appointment at APSU was made official on Jan. 17. According to APSU’s presidential cabinet meeting minutes for Jan. 23, Hudson’s appointment was announced by Rex Gandy, the provost and vice president of academic affairs.
“Hudson informed the administration of the allegations and investigation prior to us hiring him,” Persinger said in an email. “We have been and will continue to monitor this investigation.”
Hudson and his wife Dee Dee Hudson resigned from A-State on Aug. 2, 2016, after a series of internal audits revealed potential ethical and legal issues within their departments.
The Arkansas Legislative Audit also conducted an external inspection, the results of which were made public on Nov. 7, 2016. The audit said Hudson was asked to reimburse A-State for $1,671.92 in travel expenses paid by another organization, a request he complied with. These findings were recommended to District Attorney Scott Ellington for prosecution and remain under review.
“We still have the Hudson file,” Ellington said to The Jonesboro Sun. “I have a deputy reviewing it with me, and we’ll be making a decision.”
In addition, A-State’s internal audits detailed multiple instances of potential misconduct related to conflicts of interest and Arkansas state laws.
According to The Jonesboro Sun, A-State’s first internal audit revealed Hudson attempted to have his wife, then the part-time director of A-State’s study abroad program, hired as its full-time director before learning it would violate Arkansas state law. He then removed the posting for the full-time position, which had received 14 applications.
The audits also revealed a potential conflict of interest between the Hudsons and the family of Alfonso Rubio, president of education conglomerate Multisense Espana. A-State’s study abroad program was billed over $250,000 by Multisense without contracts or receipts, and Rubio’s son, Pablo Rubio Diez, worked as an executive assistant in the chancellor’s office until June 2016. Diez was contracted at $70,000 annually and resigned before the audit’s release.
A second internal audit made public Aug. 4, 2016. revealed Hudson may have violated Arkansas state law by seeking tuition assistance for his daughter, according to The Arkansas State University Herald. Under state law, public officials are prohibited from using their position to gain special privilege for themselves, their family or anyone the official has significant financial ties to.
The audit contained emails between Hudson and the New York Institute of Technology, including discussion about creating a “Tuition Exchange Program” the NYIT employee said would make Hudson’s daughter eligible for a full scholarship. Other emails discussed tuition at Loyola University New Orleans and the University of South Alabama.
As interim executive director, Hudson is responsible for APSU’s Distance Education, Extended Education, off-campus education sites, English as a Second Language, International Student Recruitment and Executive Education.
For more information, see the full audits below.