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MSU president speaks on critics, changing campus culture

Local News

EAST LANSING, MICH. (WLNS) — Before he became the 21st President of Michigan State University, Samuel L. Stanley Jr. was the President at Stony Brook University in New York.

Back in May, we reported that many critics from his old school said they are glad he left and it was, “rough going” at Stony Brook for the past few years.

They said professors lost their jobs, programs were cut and fees were raised and this was all because of a financial problem that at least one expert said doesn’t exist. That expert is a professor at Eastern Michigan University.

Now, we’re hearing from Stanley himself. We sat down with him and got his response to the criticism.

“What are the key components by which you measure a university, ya know that would be things like student success, like growing research, like application numbers which went up every year that I was at Stony Brook University,” Stanley said.

He asks people to take a look at what happened at Stony Brook while he was there, the facts. He said the data is not necessarily what people say, but what actually happened and then judge on that.

“It’s a new place and we’re starting again and I think, ya know my track record, which I’m very proud of doesn’t really mean very much if I don’t deliver at MSU,” Stanley said. “So give me a chance, I think to work here at Michigan State University can make a big difference.”

The MSU president is coming into this role with a lot on his plate, especially following the university’s involvement in the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Many Spartans have called for more transparency and accountability after this case and Stanley explains how he hopes to make sure the university lives those words.

For holding people accountable he said, “You do that by creating appropriate expectations for people, making sure that you and I both understand what your job is, both agree what your job is and then we set parameter for whether you’re doing your job well or not.”

And if that’s not working then Stanley said, “Accountability means that we may have to replace you and find someone else to do that job.”

When it comes to being transparent at MSU Stanley said, “I think striking that balance between communicating to key constituents about what we are thinking about, getting their input, but then making decisions based on their input, but also based on what we think is best for the university, I think that’s what I see as transparency and we’ll work on trying to improve that at the university.”

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