Michigan State University President Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. resigned Thursday after a month-long standoff with the Board of Trustees over Title IX issues. Some trustees had tried to push Stanley out last month, initially asking him to retire but stay on for a year as they searched for his successor.
Dr. Stanley announced his resignation to the Michigan State community in a YouTube video, noting that he had provided his contractually required 90-day notice of resignation to the board.
“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,” Dr. Stanley said in the video, a reference to the fact that students and faculty both voted no confidence in the board this week.
Dual Title IX controversies are at the heart of the issue that ultimately pushed Dr. Stanley out.
Trustees have claimed that Dr. Stanley failed to properly certify Title IX compliance reports as required by state law, though he has argued that it was board members who made missteps. Additionally, the board has opened an investigation into the ouster of Sanjay Gupta, former dean of Michigan State’s Broad School of Business, who was asked to step down in August over allegedly not reporting an instance of an employee allegedly touching a student inappropriately.
The Faculty Senate as well as campus leadership have argued the latter issue falls outside of the board’s authority and have accused trustees of overstepping on the Gupta controversy.
A comment from the board was not immediately provided following Dr. Stanley’s resignation.