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Faculty Senate passes resolutions urging Board of Trustees for more transparency

September 14, 2022

Staff members clap after voting for no confidence in the board during the faculty senate meeting on Feb. 13, 2018 at the International Center.
Staff members clap after voting for no confidence in the board during the faculty senate meeting on Feb. 13, 2018 at the International Center. —
Photo by Sylvia Jarrus | The State News

The Michigan State University Faculty Senate held a special meeting on Sept. 13 to discuss faculty concerns about the Board of Trustees' discussion of President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.’s contract. 

Stanley and Provost Teresa Woodruff spoke at the meeting, making their first public comments since news broke on Sunday. Stanley defended his Title IX compliance and Woodruff addressed the resignation of former Broad College of Business dean Sanjay Gupta.

Following Stanley and Woodruff’s remarks, the senate moved to pass two resolutions.

Resolution calling for the board to undergo professional development

The second resolution, introduced by professor of translational neuroscience and senator Jack Lipton, originally stated “The Faculty Senate has lost confidence in the Board of Trustees and believed its members should resign.” 

“I do endorse this language and I do believe that the members should resign,” social science associate professor and senator Pilar Horner said in agreement with the original resolution. “I think that the evidence is pretty clear that there was a huge overstep and the group as a whole sounds to be complicit.”

Several senators did not agree with a call for the members of the board to resign. Vice Chairperson Stephanie Anthony introduced an amendment to the resolution asking the board to undergo professional development in order for the senate to “maintain full confidence in its Board of Trustees.” 

“It is not as strong as a vote of no confidence because I don’t want the university to suffer for what appears to be something that can be worked out,” Anthony said. “I’m looking for the ways that we can work together as a community. Our students are modeling us and we want them to know that we can do this successfully.”

The faculty senate voted to pass the amended resolution with a vote of 40-14.

Resolution encouraging transparency from the board

Due to a “lack of transparency and shared communication around the current situation related to the Board of Trustees,” this resolution calls for an investigation into the board’s actions by the Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance.

“Faculty Senate strongly discourages and is opposed to the Board of Trustees firing, demanding the resignation of, or retirement of President Samuel Stanley until more information is provided to the university community,” the resolution said.

College of Arts and Letters senator and professor Dànielle DeVoss introduced this resolution which was passed in a 49-3 vote.

“This resolution calling for greater transparency and better communication is something that we all share and we should demand that from our leaders, as well as from our Board of Trustees,” Broad college of business senator and associate professor Ayalla Ruvio said. “We should not stop here. We should continue demanding it. We should demand better, and do better because we deserve better. And so do our students and our community.”

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