University president quits, cites romance

Published January 19, 2007

FORT MYERS - Florida Gulf Coast University's president has resigned after admitting an affair with a faculty member.

Bill Merwin read his resignation statement at a board of trustees meeting Wednesday.

"I have faltered in my duty and have been involved inappropriately in a personal relationship with a female faculty member," he said.

Merwin, 67, replaced founding president Roy McTarnaghan in 1999. He has been lauded for bringing in donors and beefing up enrollment, which has grown from 2,000 students to more than 8,000 during his presidency.

The identity of the female faculty member was not made public. University spokeswoman Susan Evans said she did not work directly for the president and will keep her position with the school.

Richard Pegnetter, dean of the College of Business, has been tapped to be acting president.