Thursday, February 2, 2023

President Stanley to resign in 90 days, states he has no confidence in board

October 13, 2022
<p>Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley commenting on research presentation. The Michigan State University Board of Trustees met in the Hannah Administration Building on April 22, 2022.</p>

Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley commenting on research presentation. The Michigan State University Board of Trustees met in the Hannah Administration Building on April 22, 2022.

Photo by Jared Osborne | The State News

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. has given the Board of Trustees a 90-day notice of resignation.

In a video emailed to the MSU community, Stanley announced he will resign in 90-days because he has lost confidence in the board.

"I cannot, in good conscience, continue to serve this board as constituted," Stanley said in the video.

Stanley's resignation notice follows about a month of turmoil surrounding the board's discussion of his contract. At the heart of the issue lies the board's failure to comply with Title IX certification procedures. Student and faculty groups, like the student government and faculty senate, have criticized the board, also declaring no confidence in the trustees.

It all started on Sept. 11 when it was revealed to the press that members of the board asked Stanley to resign. Chaos unfolded over the next month: Statements of support from trustees and university leaders were released, trustees criticized each other for sharing information with the media, and various student groups, professors and faculty called for more transparency.

"The actions of the campus over the past month have shown the world that Michigan State University will not accept micromanagement by board members of the operations of this great institution, that we will hold individuals, no matter what their rank, accountable for their actions," Stanley said in the video.

At a faculty senate meeting in September, Stanley made his first comments addressing the situation.

He said he was not surprised by controversy over the former business dean Sanjay Gupta's resignation. His resignation was due to a mandatory reporting failure. The Board of Trustees hired outside legal counsel to investigate the dean's removal, but this counsel was criticized by Stanley and the provost for asking faculty to participate in the investigation. The board defended its counsel, arguing the reviews, including an assessment of the Title IX office, will benefit the entire university.

Every year, MSU's Title IX reports need to be reviewed by the president and at least one other trustee for certification. Trustees claimed that Stanley was at fault for a failure in the certification process although he did his part to re-certify. Stanley said some of the trustees did not review their sections as they were supposed to. After the re-certification process, the board released the report to show that inconsistent messaging led to the issue.

According to university spokesperson Dan Olsen, Stanley will not receive any additional compensation following his resignation aside from his accrued rights, or return as a faculty member.

"Despite the current turmoil, the fundamentals of the university are very strong," Stanley said in the video. "Presidents are transient. Boards change. But the faculty, staff, students and alumni and what they stand for, is the heart and soul of the university."

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