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MSU students confused, concerned about cause of Stanley's resignation

October 13, 2022
MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. speaking at the ground breaking for the new Packaging Building on MSU's campus on April 19, 2022.
MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. speaking at the ground breaking for the new Packaging Building on MSU's campus on April 19, 2022.

MSU students cite confusion following President Stanley’s resignation notice. 

On Thursday morning, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. gave the Board of Trustees a 90-day notice of his resignation, prompted by the board’s month-long discussion of his contract. 

Stanley informed the MSU community of his decision via an emailed video. In the nearly five-minute video, he stated that he can no longer “in good conscience, continue to serve this board as constituted.” 

“I know that it’s been a big issue,” business sophomore Tabby Basha said. “Everyone was talking about how it feels very two-sided, one side on President Stanley’s and the other side was on the side of the Board.”

Many students said they felt the University lacked transparency surrounding the events that led to President Stanley’s resignation. 

“From what I heard, he fired the business college dean for not reporting a sexual assault case, which I think if that was the case, I think that’s an overstep of power from the Board of Trustees,” social science sophomore Taylor Popp said. 

Computer science freshman Jadon Webb also felt confused about what led President Stanley to resign, despite his efforts to understand the unfolding events. 

“I read in the newsletter about what was happening, but they were kind of weird about it because they weren’t really saying the entire story,” Webb said. “We kind of didn’t know what was happening.”

“They said that he was neglecting some of his duties with sexual misconduct, so I feel for the people who got neglected during that time, so I know that it’s hard they tried to go to a door that is supposed to be open and it’s not.” 

An investigation regarding Stanley’s alleged failure in a Title IX certification process is ongoing. 

Michigan State University has had four presidents in the last four years. President Stanley’s resignation will pave the way for a fifth.

“I’m a little worried, I’m not going to lie,” Basha said. “I think that we’ve been through a lot of presidents, and I really do feel super uneasy around everything about the Presidents … (and) the administrative part of the University. It’s very confusing to be a student right now. I definitely lost a little bit of faith with everything going on, but I do hope that I can get it back.”

Social science sophomore Lucy Wright expressed concerns regarding actions Stanley has taken during his presidency, and whether these changes would be upheld. 

“I know things like COVID-19 measures have changed in the past year,” Wright said. “I don’t know if a new president would affect things like availability of testing and stuff.”

Other students thought that Stanley resigning was the right choice. 

“I think that a lot of students lost faith in Stanley after what has happened, so I think that just to keep confidence in the University … it was the right decision,” said Basha. 

Students have key concerns in mind when it comes to what they want to see from their next university president. 

“One of the main things that I noticed is a big issue at this school is specifically with DEI concerns, which is something that President Stanley didn’t do well,” social relations and policy sophomore Kendall Malburg said. “The whole faculty did not do well in addressing those issues as well as other issues surrounding it, so that’s my main thing.” 

President Stanley’s resignation will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.

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