Tindley Schools CEO Marcus Robinson has resigned

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Indianapolis-based charter school network Tindley Accelerated Schools announced Monday that its embattled chancellor and CEO, Marcus Robinson, has resigned.

The move comes nearly two months after IBJ reported that Tindley—a charter system celebrated locally and nationally—was facing a severe cash crunch and that Robinson had been under fire for charging a company credit card with purchases at top-tier hotels and first-class flights.

The school’s board of directors announced Monday evening that Robinson decided to resign to focus full-time on finishing his doctorate degree at Columbia University.

“We are thankful for Marcus Robinson’s contributions,” said Jan Guffin, board chair, in a written statement. "In large measure due to his vision and belief in what is possible when educating urban children, our schools are consistently highly rated, reflecting our great academic success.”

Robinson had been with Tindley for 12 years and oversaw its growth from one school to six. But the school had missed recent enrollment targets, leaving the network in a position where it was forced to eliminate positions to pay bills.

Two board treasurers resigned within a year, with one saying that he was disturbed that Robinson was “living lavishly.” 

According to records obtained by IBJ, Robinson used his Tindley credit card over the past two years to make frequent first-class flights, stay at four- and five-star hotels—including the Ritz Carlton and the Waldorf Astoria—and pay for meals. The network was also billed roughly $10,200 for personal fitness training for staff members in 2013, although Robinson said they were too busy to use it.

Robinson last year apologized for his actions.

On Monday, he said in the statement that he was grateful for his time at Tindley.

“Tindley has a great future, and I’m confident it will continue to provide a high quality education to our 1,600-plus students and their families,” Robinson said in the statement.

Tindley’s board said it would immediately begin a national search for a new chancellor.

Robinson’s contract ends June 30. Kelli Marshall, Tindley Collegiate Academy principal, will serve as interim CEO.

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