FORT DODGE, Iowa – An Iowa community college president resigned less than a week after a photo was published appearing to show him pouring beer into a young woman's mouth.
The school's board of trustees on Thursday unanimously approved Robert Paxton's resignation. It also approved a severance package that officials said was valued at about $400,000.
Mark Crimmins, the president of the board, said although the incident happened in Paxton's private life, "it reflected poorly on the college."
"Based on our discussions, it was determined that it would probably be in Dr. Paxton's best interest and the college's best interest that he resign as president," Crimmins said.
The photo, which was published Saturday in The Des Moines Register, shows Paxton with a group of young people on a boat. He is holding a small keg above a young woman's head. The Register said the photo was taken over the Fourth of July weekend at Lake Okoboji and sent to the paper unsolicited.
A message left at Paxton's office wasn't immediately returned Thursday. He previously defended the photograph, saying the keg shown was broken and wasn't dispensing beer.
Paxton, president of the Fort Dodge school for 13 years, signed a three-year contract days before the photo was taken. As part of his severance package, he will be paid for two of those years and get health benefits for a period of time.
Chuck Peterson, former vice president of financial affairs, was tapped to step in as liaison during the search for Paxton's replacement.