MSU President resignation raises questions about Board of Trustees election process

MSU President Stanley’s resignation and dispute with the trustees is raising questions about how university boards are chosen.
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 7:16 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As the election is just weeks away, people will be voting on four Michigan State University Board of Trustee candidates.

MSU graduate and State Senate Candidate Sam Singh said some policies should be changed in the coming future.

“If we’re not seeing the level of accountability that we want as residents, I think it’s an opportunity and time to look at it. Do we change it as of making their 8-year terms to 4-year term? Do you make it so there’s term limits that are involved? Do you make sure that there is training provided to all the people once they are elected so that they understand the roles of the board,” said Singh.

Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University are the only universities throughout the state that have their boards chosen by the voters. Singh said this was written into the state constitution in 1963 to make the state’s three major research universities accountable to the public. Singh said looking ahead the board will have to make some tough decisions as it relates to finding a new president.

“They want to make sure that they are talking about a common vision, so they are on the same page. There has been dissension amongst themselves as well,” said Singh.

But not everyone thinks there is an issue with the election process. Joel Ferguson is a former chair of the MSU Board of Trustees.

“I don’t think that no one can show me that the election process doesn’t bring us quality people and what I would a real barometer is how Michigan State University is rated against other universities.”

The Board of Trustees has three months to choose an interim president and decide how to search for Stanley’s replacement. Stanley is the third MSU president to resign since 2018 following Lou Anna Simon and John Engler.

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