MSU interim president resigns over landscaping debacle

Vance Watson has resigned as interim president of Mississippi State University, saying he didn't want to bring "any dishonor" to the school because of a flap over landscaping.

The state College Board on Monday named Roy Ruby as acting president of the university in Starkville. Ruby is a former MSU vice president for student affairs.

The board will meet Friday to discuss the search for a permanent president. Watson had applied for the job. Last week, Watson repaid the state more than $12,000 for landscaping work performed at taxpayer expense in 2007 at the home of Mississippi Higher Education Commissioner Thomas Meredith.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering said the work was performed using MSU personnel, equipment and material.