EAST LANSING, MI (WILX) Michigan State University has named Samuel Stanley, Jr. M.D. as the university's 21st president.
Michigan State University is expected to name Stony Brook University Samuel Stanley Jr. as the university's 21st president Tuesday, May 28, according to reports. (Source: Stony Brook University)
Stanley is from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook.
Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr., a medical researcher who has led Stony Brook University in New York for nearly a decade, was named as the next president of Michigan State University in the wake of the most extensive sexual abuse scandal in sports history.
Last week, the MSU Board of Trustees scheduled a 10 a.m. special meeting for Tuesday, May 28 with one item on the agenda, personnel action.
The meeting began with Trustee Byrum thanking the Presidential Search Committee for their efforts.
Then they named Stanley as the new President and members of the committee spoke about key points they liked when interviewing Stanley.
"Dr. Stanley is an empowering, compassionate and thoughtful leader, who will work tirelessly alongside our students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and broader Spartan community to meet the challenges we face together and build our future," said board president Dianne Byrum, who co-chaired the presidential search committee.
They said his vision is "focused on healing." They added that he wants to "listen" and be a "present president."
The committee said they used information received at input sessions to guide the process of finding a new President, and it was important to prioritize the needs of the students.
Trustee Melanie Foster, who co-chaired the 18-person search committee, said Stanley is a "proven leader with the energy, integrity and compassion needed to lead our university."
After the trustees all voted for Stanley, everyone present at the meeting gave them all a standing ovation.
He was chosen in an 8-0 vote by the board, effective Aug. 1.
He will take charge of a 50,000-student university that has been led by a string of acting or interim presidents since the January 2018 resignation of Lou Anna Simon, who quit amid fallout over former campus doctor Larry Nassar's molestation of hundreds of female gymnasts and other athletes under the guise of treatment.
The school noted that Stanley is one of two U.S. university presidents to be designated as an "impact champion" by the United Nations' "HeForShe" campaign, for making gender equality an institutional priority.
The new president then addressed the room and gave his remarks.
Since 2009, Stanley has been president of the 26,000-student Stony Brook on Long Island, a part of the State University of New York. He previously was vice chancellor for research at Washington University in St. Louis, where he first did a fellowship in infectious diseases and became a professor. He earned his medical degree from Harvard and completing a residency in Boston.
Stanley called Michigan State one of the world's leading research universities.
"I know the Spartan community has been profoundly troubled by the events of the past years that have shaken confidence in the institution," he said. "We will meet these challenges together, and we will build on the important work that has already been done to create a campus culture of diversity, inclusion, equity, accountability and safety that supports all of our endeavors."
He said that he will be living on campus and will be visible to "my fellow Spartans."
He ended his comments with 'Go Green,' which the room followed with, 'Go White.'
Stanley would succeed Satish Udpa, who was appointed in Jan. 2019 after former interim president John Engler resigned amid criticism for making controversial comments about some survivors of former MSU sports doctor and convicted sexual abuser Larry Nassar.
Engler was appointed by trustees after former Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon resigned amid outrage over the way she handled the Nassar scandal at the university. She now faces charges of lying to police about what she knew during an investigation into a sex assault allegation against Nassar, who also worked at USA Gymnastics and treated Olympians. The university's former gymnastics coach and dean of the osteopathic medicine school also have been charged criminally.
Following Simon's departure, board vice president and secretary Bill Beekman briefly served as acting president before the February 2018 hiring of former Michigan Gov. John Engler as interim president. He helped to broker a $500 million settlement with victims but was ousted in January , however, amid backlash over his comments about some of Nassar's victims. Since then, the school has been led by acting president Satish Udpa, a university administrator.
In response to the announcement, state Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township) issued the following statement:
“I commend the Board of Trustees for a very thorough and thoughtful search process and I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Samuel Stanley. Dr. Stanley brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the MSU community as a biomedical researcher with degrees from the University of Chicago and Harvard University, as well as having served as president of Stony Brook University for a decade. I am hopeful he will be successful in leading MSU forward on their continued journey toward healing.”
According to Stony Brook's website, Stanley became the fifth president of the university on July 1, 2009.
Copyright 2019 WILX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.