Michigan State University Trustee Pat O’Keefe quits school’s governing board

Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley announces his resignation

EAST LANSING, Mich. – A Republican member of Michigan State University’s governing board resigned Wednesday with years left in his term.

Pat O’Keefe notified the governor’s office and other trustees. He cited displeasure over the ouster of a business school dean and the process of selecting an interim president following the resignation of Samuel Stanley Jr.

FILE - Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr., speaks at a Board of Trustees meeting in East Lansing, Mich., on May 28, 2019. The president of Michigan State University announced his resignation Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, three years after he was hired in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

“Knowing the institution’s history, I can no longer serve on a board that purports to promote cultural change yet struggles itself to be transparent,” O’Keefe wrote.

He was elected to an eight-year term in 2020. O’Keefe’s departure means Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will pick a successor.

The MSU board earlier this year took the extraordinary step of hiring a law firm to investigate the removal of Sanjay Gupta as business dean. He had been accused of failing to disclose that a colleague in the business school may have inappropriately touched a student at an April end-of-year party.

Stanley left the president’s office in early November, saying he had lost confidence in the Board of Trustees.

O’Keefe participated in the unanimous vote to promote MSU’s chief academic officer, Teresa Woodruff, to interim president.


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