Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley resigns

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 11:35 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University President Dr. Samuel Stanley gave his notice of resignation to the Board of Trustees on Thursday.

The resignation is effective 90 days from Thursday, which is Jan. 11, 2023.

“It has been my privilege to serve this great institution and the students. faculty, staff, and alumni who are the heart and soul of the university,” Stanley said.

Stanley’s full resignation letter can be read in full below.

Stanley has been at MSU since Aug. 2019 and became the third president at MSU to be forced out or leave the university since the Larry Nassar scandal. Lou Anna Simon resigned following the Nassar scandal in 2018. Former Michigan Gov. John Engler was named interim president, who later resigned following controversial statements he made about the survivors of Nassar’s abuse.

Stanley’s contract was set to expire July 31, 2024. According to the contract, Stanley is not entitled to any further compensation or benefits because he is resigning without a good reason. However, he does have the option to return to the faculty as a tenured member of the MSU College of Human Medicine.

Related: Students, lawmakers respond to Michigan State University President’s resignation

“At this point, an interim is not needed right now. But if either he doesn’t stay for the full 90 days OR at the end of the 90 days, then an interim will need to be appointed. That’s the board’s responsibility and they will need to indicate who they select”, according to a statement from Emily Gerkin Guerrant, Vice President, and University Spokesperson at MSU.

School officials said an interim president is not needed currently. The Board of Trustees said they would work alongside Stanley during the transitional period.

In a nearly five-minute video, Stanley highlighted accomplishments since May 2019, including getting through COVID, increasing diversity on campus and more.

“I know very well from the outpouring of support that I’ve had from students, staff, faculty, shared governance, alumni, donors, affinity groups and others that many of you will be profoundly disappointed by this decision,” Stanley said. “But I, like the Michigan State University Faculty Senate and Associated Students of Michigan State University have lost confidence in the action of the current Board of Trustees, and I cannot in good conscience continue to serve this board as constituted.”

Stanley is talking about how the university handled the resignation of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who stepped down in August after he allegedly didn’t report sexual harassment in a Title IX complaint.

There were reports in September that the Board of Trustees was trying to fire Stanley and find someone else. This happened at about the same time the trustees hired an outside law firm to look into the Title IX investigation.

The Faculty Senate sent a letter to the Board and asked the trustees to stop that investigation, claiming the law firm was targeting people who wouldn’t have much knowledge of the investigation. They allege the board was harming MSU’s reputation.

The Board of Trustees said they would work alongside Stanley during the transitional period.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be Oct. 28.

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