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Former president of Florida International University says he caused ‘discomfort’ to a colleague in letter explaining abrupt resignation

<i>Pedro Portal/AP</i><br/>Mark Rosenberg
AP
Pedro Portal/AP
Mark Rosenberg

By Melissa Alonso, CNN

Former Florida International University President Mark Rosenberg, who abruptly resigned Friday citing health concerns, acknowledged Sunday that his workplace conduct towards a colleague was part of his reasoning for stepping down.

“I unintentionally created emotional (not physical) entanglement,” Rosenberg said in a statement shared by the university. “I have apologized. I apologize to you. I take full responsibility and regret my actions.”

In his initial statement Friday, Rosenberg said he was leaving the post he’d held for thirteen years due to concerns for his and his wife’s health.

On Sunday, Rosenberg cited the deteriorating condition of his wife, who he said has advanced dementia and multiple sclerosis, as impacting his mental health.

“Regrettably, these issues spilled over to my work and I caused discomfort for a valued colleague,” the former university president said.

“I regret that I may have burdened you with these details. We all want the same thing: a better, more robust and thriving FIU,” he said.

No specifics about his actions were disclosed in the Sunday statement, but two people close to the administration told The New York Times an investigation began last month when a young female employee informed another colleague of Rosenberg’s behavior.

The woman sat down for an interview last week with outside legal counsel investigating the behavior, according to the Times, and text messages were obtained showing communications between her and Rosenberg. The investigation led Rosenberg to resign on Friday, the Times reported.

CNN has reached out to Florida International University for additional comment.

Kenneth A. Jessell, FIU’s chief financial officer and senior vice president for finance and administration, will serve as interim president, the university announced Friday.

FIU Board of Trustees chair Dean C. Colson, who released Rosenberg’s statement Sunday, said the additional comment on the resignation “provides insight into why the Board did not believe Friday was the appropriate time to celebrate the many accomplishments of FIU” during Rosenberg’s time as president.

“We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the events requiring his resignation,” said Colson.

“Due to employee privacy considerations, FIU is not going to comment further at this time,” he said. “FIU has strong personnel and workplace conduct policies, takes all workplace conduct seriously, and remains committed to enforcing its policies thoroughly and swiftly.”

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