The former president of Florida International University who abruptly resigned last week added a cryptic explanation on Sunday, apologizing for having “caused discomfort for a valued colleague.”
Then on Sunday, Rosenberg issued another statement, offering more details about his wife’s condition and an apology for a vague “emotional (not physical) entanglement” he had created.
His wife of 47 years has Type 1 diabetes, advanced dementia and uses a wheelchair full-time, according to Rosenberg. The now-former president said the burden has taken a toll on his mental well-being and prompted him to seek counseling.
“Regrettably, these issues spilled over to my work and I caused discomfort for a valued colleague,” according to Rosenberg. “I unintentionally created emotional (not physical) entanglement. I have apologized, I apologize to you. I take full responsibility for my actions.”
Neither Rosenberg or a representative for FIU immediately responded to NBC News requests for comment on Monday.
Dean Colson, the FIU Board of Trustees chairman who shared Rosenberg’s statement on Sunday, cited “privacy considerations” in declining to explain the departed president’s vague words.
He insisted, though, that Rosenberg’s statement on Sunday “provides greater insight into his resignation on Friday.”
“It also provides insight into why the Board did not believe Friday was the appropriate time to celebrate the many accomplishments of FIU the past 13 years,” Colson wrote. “We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the events requiring his resignation.”
He defended the school’s “personnel and working place conduct policies.”
“Due to employee privacy considerations, FIU is not going to comment further at this time,” according to Colson. “FIU has strong personnel and workplace conduct policies, takes all workplace conduct seriously, and remains committed to enforcing its policies thoroughly and swiftly.”
Scott Edward Atwood, chairman of the Florida Bar’s Labor and Employment Law Section, said Colson’s carefully selected words show the university was dealing with a delicate workplace incident.
“Whether that includes inappropriate behavior with a coworker remains to be seen,” Atwood told NBC News on Monday.
Donna Mendell contributed.