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MSU instructor connected to meth lab fired for 'unprofessional behavior'

October 30, 2023
<p>Photo illustration by Jaden Beard. Photos courtesy of Michigan State University and Lafourche Parish Sheriff.</p>

Photo illustration by Jaden Beard. Photos courtesy of Michigan State University and Lafourche Parish Sheriff.

Michigan State University has fired Brendan Doyle, the kinesiology instructor whose students connected him to a 2020 Louisiana meth lab, according to personnel records

An Oct. 9 termination letter justifies the decision by listing examples of his “unprofessional behavior” and repeated absences from his class

It does not mention the meth lab connection, which students discovered and sent to administrators almost a month before the termination

In the letter, kinesiology department head Panteleimon Ekkekakis said he received “first hand information” from an unidentified source about Doyle’s behavior

"You told (redacted) to ‘shut up,’” Ekkekakis said in the letter. “Because I found this language surprising, I specifically asked ‘in those exact words?’ to which (redacted) replied ‘yes, in those exact words.’”

He added that Doyle “told (redacted) ‘I will hunt you down and get you kicked out'" and reportedly had a yelling exchange with an IT professional in front of the class

Doyle denied the allegations in a meeting, but they were “corroborated verbatim” by another person Ekkekakis talked to, leading him to find them credible, the letter says.  

Ekkekakis also found that Doyle canceled multiple classes at the last minute and let the course fall behind schedule. 

Doyle defended himself saying he had not received the textbook for the class until two weeks after it began, according to the letter

Ekkekakis didn't find that rebuttal credible, because emails from the textbook company and UPS tracking records showed Doyle had the EBook and a hardcopy of the textbook before classes began, according to the letter.

For those reasons, Ekkekakis terminated Doyle for cause, according to the letter, which was newly obtained by The State News through a public records request.

The outbursts and lapse in instruction detailed in the letter are nearly identical to a September State News story first reporting on Doyle’s troubled tenure.

The termination letter leaves out what students found most concerning: Doyle’s Louisiana legal issues

While a professor at Nicholls State University, Doyle fled the state as the local sheriff connected him to a meth lab, according to a press release from Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre

Doyle was eventually located and arrested by local authorities in 2020. What happened next is unclear.

The local prosecutor who would have handled Doyle's case told The State News they have no records of Doyle being tried or sentenced

Captain Brennan Matherne of the Lafourche Parish sheriff's office said in an email to The State News that "based on our jail records, I can see that he was found guilty and served a sentence and was released."

That sentence didn't appear on the criminal background check MSU conducted before hiring Doyle this fall, MSU deputy spokesperson Dan Olsen said

It didn’t take long for students in Doyle’s MSU class to find evidence of the arrest online.

Kinesiology sophomore Mackenzie Allbee, who was in one of Doyle's classes, told The State News students started researching their professor after the yelling outbursts and found the sheriff’s press release with a photo of Doyle

It took some sleuthing, she said, because Doyle was teaching at MSU under a slightly altered name.

While his name on the sheriff's records and Louisiana news stories is "Brendan Doyle," his MSU profile used "B. Michael Doyle." Allbee said students only eventually made the connection because Doyle's iClicker profile listed his full first name.

After students sent the information they found to administrators in early September, Doyle was on leave from MSU, according to a university spokesperson.

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