Arkansas Tech President Robin Bowen Was Fired While She Was on Medical Leave

The board of trustees of Arkansas Tech University voted unanimously during a recent special meeting to terminate the employment of Robin E. Bowen, president of the university. Dr. Bowen has been on medical leave since July 7 and is recovering from surgery.

“The board is grateful for the services Dr. Bowen has provided to Arkansas Tech during her tenure,” said Jim Smith of Fayetteville, chairman of the board of trustees at Atkansas Tech. “We do not take this action lightly and appreciate all she has done as president at Arkansas Tech.”

Dr. Bowen became the twelfth president of Arkansas Tech University in Russellville in July 2014. She was not only the institution’s first woman president but also was the first woman to lead any state-operated four-year university in the state of Arkansas.

Earlier in her career Dr. Bowen was appointed vice president for academic affairs at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts in 2011. In July 2013 she was promoted to executive vice president and provost at Fitchburg State. Previously, Dr. Bowen held administrative posts at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri.

A native of Carl Junction, Missouri, Dr. Bowen is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where she majored in occupational therapy. She earned a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Arkansas and a doctorate in higher education administration from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

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  1. Sharon Trusty says:

    I did not know that this could be done lawfully! Can it?

  2. ralph beam says:

    why was she terminated?she was on medical leave.the 12th president in 9 yrs,makes me thing something wrong with the board of trustees

  3. Michael Forstman says:

    That’s what medical leave is for. Protect us from our absences. It sounds more of a bias situation in some sense. It should be further reviewed before actions are taken.

  4. Jennifer Dennis says:

    Definitely not legal

  5. Marty Weatherford says:

    Next time, don’t hire a looney liberal as a leader.

    • Tammy Clark says:

      Has nothing to do with being a liberal or being a conservative. It’s a violation of FMLA law which is a federal law..not an Arkansas law. If she has proper documentation for being on medical leave then the college is at fault.

  6. Cheryl Davis says:

    FMLA is good for only 12 weeks per year. Businesses do not have to hold your position. They have the option of repositioning you.
    After 12 weeks they can terminate your job.

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