Texas Southern University regent who sided with ousted president resigns

Texas Southern University regent Derrick Mitchell (left) announced his resignation from the university's Board of Regents Monday. He was the only regent to support ousted President Austin Lane (right). (KPRC/ Images from Texas Southern University)

HOUSTON – A Texas Southern University regent who sided with ousted President Austin Lane resigned from his position on the school’s Board of Regents Monday, he confirmed to KPRC 2 in an email.

Derrick Mitchell said the decision was “a difficult one, but necessary.”

“Over the past few months, I have found myself at several cross roads which forced me to either make decisions which were popular to a certain group or to do the right thing,” he wrote in an email to KPRC 2. “I chose the path of resistance and stood alone in defense of what was right.”

Mitchell said he served on the board for five years and was “confident my efforts were not in vain.”

“The good news is, my exit gives the Governor an opportunity to honor the students’, alumni and Houston community’s request to appoint regents who are undergraduate alumni and have the University’s best interest,” he wrote in the email.

By Monday night, Mitchell’s bio was already removed from the TSU Board of Regents webpage.

In January, the Board of Regents voted to put Lane would be put on administrative leave with pay during an investigation. The board came under the fire of alumni and students who were outraged by the move.

A month later, the Board of Regents voted 6-1 to fire Lane. The only regent in support of Lane was Mitchell. This decision was met with further outrage. Just 13 hours after the Board of Regents’ controversial vote, TSU officials went into a closed-door mediation with Lane and came to an agreement. The Board of Regents went into an executive session to discuss the terms of the agreement and then voted to accept the settlement and part ways with Lane without claiming any wrongdoing on his behalf.