In the midst of an investigation concerning possible improper hiring practices and conflicts of interest, University of California Provost and Senior Vice President MRC Greenwood resigned last Friday, joining another UC official recently put on leave in relation to the same inquiry.

The University Auditor’s Office and UC General Counsel are examining the extent to which Greenwood was involved in the hiring of a former UC Santa Cruz colleague, Professor Lynda Goff, to a top UC position. Auditors are also looking into whether UC Vice President for Student Affairs Winston Doby “acted improperly” in helping Greenwood’s son, James Greenwood, secure a position as a paid senior intern at UC Merced.

According to a statement by UC President Robert Dynes, the investigation into Greenwood’s actions was launched following inquiries by the San Francisco Chronicle, which brought to light that Greenwood and Goff had co-owned rental property.

In Sept. 2005, Greenwood hired Goff to head California Teach, a program co-sponsored by UC that aims to increase the number of science and math teachers in California.

“It appears Provost Greenwood may have been involved in Dr. Goff’s hiring to a greater extent than was appropriate, given that her business investment with Dr. Goff had not been properly and fully resolved in accordance with conflict of interest requirements,” Dynes said in his statement.

Dynes went on to say that the investigation “in no way reflects on Dr. Goff” – rather, only on the “appropriateness of Provost Greenwood’s role in her hiring.”

As for the investigation into whether Doby acted inappropriately in helping James Greenwood gain his position at UC Merced, Doby has been placed on paid leave pending the completion of the investigation.

President Dynes has appointed Executive Vice Provost and Vice President for Academic and Health Affairs Wyatt R. Hume to take over as acting provost and vice president for student affairs.

Associated Students External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Felicia Cruz said she hopes the actions of Greenwood and other implicated UC officials do not adversely affect students.

“It’s still very unclear by the document the Office of the President submitted what exactly is going on,” Cruz said. “We just hope that it is not a detriment to the students.”