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MSU Faculty Senate expects to hear from Pres. Stanley

Dianne Byrum and Samuel Stanley photo
Scott Pohl
WKAR/MSU File Photo
MSU board of trustees chairperson Dianne Byrum (L) has criticized colleagues pushing for the removal of Pres. Samuel Stanley Jr. (R)

The status of Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley Jr. remains unclear amid reports that some MSU trustees want to fire him if he doesn’t resign.

The MSU Faculty Senate still expects to hear from President Stanley during a meeting Tuesday evening.

Stanley’s detractors on the board appear to be focused on the administration’s handling of sexual misconduct and a failure to communicate with the board.

The president and Provost Teresa Woodruff are scheduled to speak Tuesday evening during a special meeting of the MSU Faculty Senate. Leaders of the Faculty Senate have expressed concern about debating the ouster of a university president behind closed doors for the third time in four years.

Several trustees, including chairperson Dianne Byrum, a Democrat, and Republicans including vice chair Dan Kelly and Melanie Foster, have issued statements critical of those pressuring Stanley to step down.

The Detroit News shared a statement from Trustee Pat O'Keefe Tuesday in which he was critical of Stanley's handling of sexual misconduct.

There has been a call for transparency from MSU’s Council of Graduate Students. Additionally, Association of American Universities president Barbara Snyder issued a statement saying she is appalled at reports of interference in MSU’s operations by members of the board.

"As president of AAU, which represents Michigan State University and our country’s other leading research universities, I am appalled at reports of interference in MSU’s day-to-day operations by the university’s trustees, who are elected officials," Snyder said in a statement Monday. "If the reports are accurate, then this is inappropriate meddling by a board charged with governance, not management.

On Tuesday, the Detroit Free Press reported that an outside law firm hired by the board is looking into Stanley's State of Michigan certification that he and board members reviewed Title IX sexual misconduct reports last year. According to the newspaper, at issue is whether board members had reviewed the report, and if Stanley had signed without assurance that they had done so. Public university presidents in Michigan are required by state law to sign the certification.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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