MSU faculty and student leaders endorse Provost Woodruff to replace Stanley
A coalition of leading faculty and students at Michigan State University are calling for the Board of Trustees to appoint Provost Teresa Woodruff as interim president following President Samuel Stanley Jr.’s announced resignation.
Eight faculty and student leaders at MSU signed a statement Wednesday supporting the appointment of Provost Woodruff as interim president. The signatories say that Woodruff would foster a supportive environment and that she has led the university in promoting growth initiatives and reinforcing transparency on campus.
Kate Birdsall is the president of the Union of Non-Tenured Faculty at MSU. She says Woodruff has been effective at making all faculty feel valued during contract negotiations.
“We really are looking at fairness and equity in a way that feels real,” Birdsall said.
The faculty and student signatories say she’ll bring unity and stability to the university. That’s as numerous community members, including Stanley, have expressed a lack of confidence in the board’s actions surrounding Title IX investigations in recent months.
Earlier this month, Woodruff, Stanley, and the Faculty Senate sent letters criticizing the trustees for requesting to interview employees for the investigation into former business college dean Sanjay Gupta’s dismissal. Administrators say Gupta left the university following a failure to report misconduct within his leadership team.
Stephanie Anthony is the Vice Chairperson of the Faculty Senate at MSU. Despite previous tensions, she says Woodruff would have a productive relationship with trustees as interim president and provide continuity.
“We are a forward-looking institution," Anthony said. "We hope to grow from everything that we have been through, but the goal is to move Michigan State University forward.”
The board has until January to pick an interim president.