Bell recommended against granting Romkes tenure despite the professor having the support of his colleagues and two promotion and tenure committees that reviewed his work. Romkes, the only openly gay professor in the engineering department, and his supporters have publicly wondered if his tenure was denied because of his sexual orientation. Both Bell and KU said they didn't discriminate.
In a statement for the story, Bell denied that prejudice led him to not recommend Romkes for tenure. He said, "(Romkes') research record did not meet the university's standard." Romkes was denied tenure and must leave the school at the end of this academic calendar.
In a statement announcing his departure, Bell said, "I've had an amazing opportunity to work with some brilliant, hard-working colleagues during the past 10 years." He will stay at KU through July and start his post in Baton Rouge on August 2.