Michigan State president resigns, saying he’s ‘lost confidence in action of Board of Trustees’

MSU President Samuel Stanley submits resignation

Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley announced his resignation on Oct. 13, 2022. (Michigan State University)

EAST LANSING, Mich.Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley announced his resignation Thursday, saying he’s “lost confidence in the action of the current Board of Trustees.”

“Earlier today, I gave my contractually required 90-day notice of resignation to the Board of Trustees of Michigan State University,” Stanley said in a video released by MSU. “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.

“But I, like the Michigan State University Faculty Senate and the 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 and the Board of Trustees have been at the center of an ongoing controversy linked to the management of Title IX issues. Board members said there was enough concern about Stanley’s handing of those issues to extend him an early retirement offer.

Stanley broke his silence last month and said he’s not the issue, instead pinning the blame on the board.

As of mid-September, Stanley had not been told to resign or threatened with firing. But on Thursday it became official that his term as MSU’s president will end in 90 days.

“This was not an easy decision, because we as a university have come so far and accomplished so much these last three years. Together, we came through what I hope history will record as the worst years of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continued our vital missions of education, research, and outreach while working to protect the health of our entire campus community with policies based on science and medical data that saved lives on our camps and beyond.

“Not only did we fulfill our missions, but we went further, using time during the pandemic to look toward the future by engaging the campus in developing three strategic plans: One for the university as a whole; the second plan solely focused on diversity, equity, inclusion; and quite uniquely, but necessary given our past, an action-oriented plan focused on relationship violence and sexual misconduct.

“I hope these three plans take Michigan State University to a future where we successfully educate more students for meaningful and rewarding careers, attract and retain the world’s best scholars, teachers, and support staff, leading discovery and creative activities that impact the whole of society, address disparities in health across the state and the world, stand at the forefront of institutional sustainability, and do it all in a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment that allows everyone to meet their full potential at Michigan State University’s locations worldwide.

“All of this has been made possible by the outstanding leadership team I’ve been fortunate enough to recruit or retain at Michigan State University. Their work ethic and commitment to the university is extraordinary, and I thank them.”

You can watch his full video announcement below.

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