Larry Nielsen has resigned as provost of North Carolina State University, saying that a controversy over his hiring of the former governor's wife was making it impossible for him to do his job, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. Many have been critical not only of the hiring of Mary Easley to coordinate some special events for the university, but also her salary -- $850,000 over five years -- at a time of budget constraints. North Carolina State officials have consistently defended the hire as completely legal and legitimate, but another article in the News & Observer noted that Nielsen won his job (after serving in the position on an interim basis) after he hired Easley.
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