Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley Resigns

In a nearly 5-minute video emailed to the Michigan State University community Thursday, President Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. resigned citing a lack of confidence in the East Lansing school’s board of trustees.
568
Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. // Courtesy of MSU
Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. // Courtesy of MSU

In a nearly 5-minute video emailed to the Michigan State University community Thursday, President Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. resigned citing a lack of confidence in the East Lansing school’s board of trustees.

“I … have lost confidence in the actions of the current board of trustees and I cannot in good conscience continue to serve this board,” Stanley said in the video, in which he gave 90 days’ notice. “The actions of the campus over the past month have shown the world that Michigan State University will not accept micromanagement by board members of the operations (of the university) and that we will hold individuals, no matter what their rank, accountable for their action.”

Dan Olsen, an MSU spokesman, said Stanley will remain in his current role for 90 days, but will not remain on the faculty. His contract had allowed him to join the faculty after retiring or resigning.

“The MSU Board of Trustees appreciates President Stanley’s service over the past three years,” the board said in a statement. “President Stanley arrived at a difficult time and provided steady leadership to guide us forward while the entire world was experiencing severe disruption and uncertainty. The board of trustees will work cooperatively with President Stanley during this transition and more details will be shared with the campus community as information is available.”

Stanley’s announcement follows about a month of back and forth between the president and some members of the board who disagreed with Stanley’s handling of a Title IX-related incident with business school dean Sanjay Gupta, who abruptly resigned in August, and the certification of Title IX reports to the state.

Stanley is Michigan State’s third leader to be forced out because of issues related to the handling of sexual misconduct cases.

Lou Anna Simon was forced out in January 2018 at the height of the Larry Nassar sex assault scandal and former Michigan Gov. John Engler, the interim president following Simon, resigned under pressure over alleged insensitive comments about Nassar’s victims.

Stanley was hired in May 2019 from Stony Brook University in New York.