Carolina Journal’s Kari Travis has this new development on the departure of East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton:

University of North Carolina Interim President Dr. Bill Roper acted unilaterally, at the direction of Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith, to reach a termination agreement with East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton’s employment, one BOG member says.

The BOG had no chance to weigh in on the termination of Staton, a violation of UNC’s Policy Manual, says Steve Long, a supporter of Staton, in a March 18 letter to the public. Staton’s departure was orchestrated to settle a long-running feud Smith had with the chancellor, the letter says.

UNC System General Counsel Tom Shanahan said in a statement to Carolina Journalthat Staton resigned voluntarily, so the board didn’t have to be consulted.

“This was not a termination. This is a resignation by Chancellor Staton. The policy provision that Steve (Gov. Long) references would apply only if the Board or the president were pursuing the involuntary separation of the chancellor.

“In addition, the Board of Governors, at its last meeting, passed a resolution authorizing the president to enter into separation agreements with departing chancellors, which is the case here. President Roper acted entirely within his authority in doing so.”

But Long insists Staton was pushed out.

Read the full story on Cecil Staton’s departure from ECU here, and be sure to read the full statement of Steve Long of the UNC Board of Governors, linked in the story.