July 26, 2006
Rick Turner, the UVA Dean of African American Affairs, has announced he is retiring. The news comes months after he admitted lying about a drug dealer in a federal case.
Turner has been a very strong advocate for diversity in the community for many years. He is also a very prominent figure, and many professors and students are sad to see him go.
It was an abrupt departure to a 30-year career in education, but it was not totally unexpected. The 65-year-old was already on administrative leave and was being investigated by UVA. Earlier this year he admitted lying to federal prosecutors about a drug dealer. He signed an agreement to avoid a federal trial.
"I think it's disappointing that he lied, but I think he probably had a good reason. I think he was trying to either protect a student or protect someone," said Karlise Lewis, a UVA student.
UVa Officials released a statement saying: "Turner noted that he has enjoyed his work at the university and has been pleased that such a prestigious institution of higher education has made such strides in serving the minority community and advancing the interests of diversity."
The news comes as a heavy blow to some students who knew him as someone students could always count on.
"I think diversity in a school is very important, and I think it's just shameful that he is having to retire," said Lewis.
University officials said they have stopped their investigation now that Turner has announced that he will be retiring. Turner has worked with UVA since 1988 and said he will remain working as president of the local NAACP and throughout the community.
Turner's retirement goes into effect on July 31.