Tyson resigns from UA board


LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas System declined comment Friday on the resignation of John Tyson from the UA Board of Trustees.

In a letter to Gov. Mike Beebe dated Feb. 5, the chairman of Tyson Foods wrote that he had become “increasingly frustrated with the board’s inability to make meaningful change in the structure and delivery of higher education in Arkansas.”

His resignation was effective Feb. 8, midway through a 10-year term on the board of the state’s flagship university.

UA System spokesman Ben Beaumont declined Friday to respond to questions about Tyson’s departure or his reasons for leaving the board.

“I don’t think we’re going to have any comment on it,” Beaumont said. “I think you could try to ask him.”

Tyson, who joined the board in 2007, did not immediately respond Friday afternoon to an e-mail request for comment.

Tyson was chief executive of the nation’s largest meat processor from 2000 to 2006.

In his resignation letter, Tyson said he discussed the possibility of resigning about a year ago with UA System President Don Bobbitt, who was new to his job, and UA Chancellor David Gearhart, but they convinced him to stay through the leadership transition.

Along with being frustrated with the board, Tyson also said his “schedule in recent months has made it increasingly difficult for me to attend meetings and be an effective board member.”

Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said the governor is considering a replacement for Tyson on the UA board.