SPRINGFIELD — A Missouri State University associate professor has resigned after weeks of controversy since he was identified as a registered sex offender for a crime he committed 25 years ago.
Eugene Michael Hendrix, a tenured associate professor in biomedical sciences, and the university reached a tentative separation agreement late Friday.
The university’s Board of Governors must approve the agreement and university officials expect to schedule a board meeting today or Tuesday.
Hendrix pleaded guilty in Ohio in 1983 to raping a 9-year-old Cincinnati boy. He served 3½ years in prison.
Hendrix, who has been teaching at the university since 1995, was publicly identified by the university April 3 after a Missouri State student asked parents at the university how they felt about “having a sex offender on campus.”
On April 27, he said that the “decision to part ways was very amicable.”
“I am very thankful to ... MSU for the opportunity to teach a number of wonderful students over the years,” Hendrix said. “The university took a chance hiring me and knowing my background. They hoped it would not cause a number of repercussions, but unfortunately it finally did.”
The university first reassigned Hendrix, but then put him on administrative leave when new information arose that he had contact with children and didn’t comply with sex registry rules.
In a news release April 27, Missouri State Provost Belinda McCarthy said Hendrix approached her earlier that day and said he thought it would be in the best interest of him, his family and the university for him to resign. She said he had done a good job at the university.