EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley announced in a video Thursday that he has submitted his letter of resignation.
According to a YouTube post from MSU, Stanley’s resignation is effective 90 days from Oct. 13, 2022.
This comes about a month after it was suddenly reported that Stanley and the Board of Trustees were in current discussions over his contract and he was potentially heading out the door.
After that, there were varying reports and several different parties backing the president, including the chairperson of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees Dianne Byrum.
Samuel’s critics have questioned how the university handled the departure of Business School Dean Sanjay Gupta. A week after claiming Gupta resigned, MSU clarified he was removed from the position and the school hired outside council to review the deans dismissal.
Stanley opened up his resignation video by saying he has given his 90 day notice to the Board. He then went on to say that he has received an outpouring of support from students, staff, faculty, shared governance, alumni, donors, affinity groups and others.
“Many of you will be profoundly disappointed by this decision, but 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,” Stanley said.
Stanley said the decision was not easy because the school has come so far in the past three years since he started.
He also mentioned the three strategic plans the university had worked on during his time. One for the university as a whole, a second plan focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a third plan focused on relationship violence and sexual misconduct.
Stanley also spent time discussing some of his accomplishments, which included setting a new record for annual fundraising and got the largest single gift in the school’s history.
The president said on the Title IX front, the school ‘continues fulfilling and going beyond our resolution agreements by implementing sweeping changes to how we handle relationship violence and sexual misconduct.’
Stanley concluded his message by saying he still believes in Michigan State.
“All of this is to say, despite the current turmoil, the fundamentals of the university are very strong,” Stanley said. “Presidents are transient. Boards change. But the faculty, staff, students, and alumni and what they stand for is the heart and soul of the university.”
Hours after Stanley announced his resignation, the MSU Board of Trustees released a brief statement thanking him for his time at the university.
“The MSU Board of Trustees appreciates President Stanley’s service over the past three years. 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.”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer also had thoughts on Stanley’s decision, calling it ‘concerning.’
“I care first and foremost about the university,” Whitmer said. “The university is an important part of our economy, important part of our state. I’ve always found President Stanley to be wonderful to work with. They’ve been great partners of the state of Michigan as we have pitched investment here so I’m concerned about it both as Spartan and as the governor of the state.”
The student association at MSU (ASMSU) has released a statement on Stanley’s resignation and specifically mentioned a vote of no-confidence the group recently held on the Board.
“The Associated Students of Michigan State University are extremely dispirited by the resignation of President Stanley,” ASMSU said. “As Stanley stated in his resignation, ASMSU recently passed a vote of no-confidence in the Board of Trustees. Following this was a vote of no-confidence in the board from the Faculty Senate, and now President Stanley has repeated the same sentiment. ASMSU is disappointed and frustrated by the continued lack of transparency and accountability from this board, and while we are saddened by his departure, we understand and support his actions.
“Following this resignation, the board will now name an interim and an eventual replacement for the President of our university. ASMSU demands that student input is taken during this search, and that seats for students are allotted during all discussions. Because of the failures of the current board, it is vital that students get representation at these proceedings and that our input is taken when choosing the next leader of this institution. We will not stand for anything less because students deserve to feel acknowledged and respected by the board, and ASMSU will never stop advocating for student voices.”
This is a developing story so stay with us as we continue to learn more.