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Rockefeller University Head Levine Steps Down as Inquiry Unfolds

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NEW YORK, Feb. 11 - Rockefeller University President Arnold J. Levine announced on Sunday that he is resigning his post immediately due to health reasons, The New York Times reports on Monday.

"In recent weeks, I have become aware of matters affecting my own personal health that I need to address immediately," Levine said in a statement released by the university. "In light of my health issues, I regret I will not be able to continue to lead this extraordinary institution and these talented people."


Richard B. Fisher, the school's chairman, said in a statement that the board had accepted Levine's decision "with understanding and compassion," and that the trustees would appoint an acting president soon and start a search for a new president immediately, according to the Times report.

Levine's abrupt departure comes on the heels of questioning by Rockefeller's trustees into an alleged encounter in January between Levine and an adult female student that occurred in a campus lounge when both were drunk, according to people close to the former president, who spoke to the Times on the condition of anonymity.

These people said that although the student said the encounter had been consensual, Levine had said it was inappropriate. These people went on to say that after discussing the incident with Fisher, Levine volunteered to step down. He remains as a faculty member and director of a research laboratory, but will take time off.

The university said last night that Levine was not available for comment.

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