Arkansas lawmaker discusses resignation of University of Arkansas Chancellor Steinmetz

State News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A state lawmaker is now weighing in as questions remain following the abrupt resignation of University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz.

He ended his six-year tenure as chancellor Friday after giving a one-day notice.

The resignation came just days after KNWA/FOX24 asked the U of A to explain a social media account showing nude photos of a person appearing to be Steinmetz.

Steinmetz denies it is him in the photos with the university calling it “a hoax.”

A state lawmaker says he too has seen the photos in question.

Republican State Senator Bob Ballinger tells KNWA/FOX24 a colleague sent him the Twitter account last week before it disappeared.

“I had a fellow colleague who sent it to me,” Ballinger said. “From the images, it looked like it was him. My first reaction was, I figured they were photoshopped until I actually went to the Twitter account.”

Ballinger described the images he saw.

“It was obscene and pornography,” Ballinger said. “That’s what it was.”

In a statement late Friday, the university said Steinmetz maintains he is not the source of the postings and that it is not him in the photos.

“I’d love to give him the benefit of the doubt, but honestly, and I did,” Ballinger said. “But, hey, the circumstances of what all has occurred, it’s hard to think that there’s not something there.”

Ballinger says the entire situation is embarrassing for the university, but says it shouldn’t reflect on the entire school.

“The U of A is really doing well in a lot of areas, so I hate to have this come out and disparage the university and it really shouldn’t,” Ballinger said.

KNWA/FOX24 has tried several times to contact Steinmetz with no success.

UA system president Donald Bobbitt says he will name an acting chancellor early next week.

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