UPDATE (14 Sept. 22, 9:00 PM) MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. responded to allegations claiming he signed false Title IX sexual misconduct reports during an online meeting of the faculty senate Tuesday night.
During the meeting, Stanley said his first priority is the “health and security of the campus community” and said that firing former Broad Dean Sanjay Gupta was within the authority of the provost.
“I was not completely surprised when the provost decision to hold the College of Business dean accountable for failures of leadership related to title IX was controversial with some members of campus. But I was very surprised when the board announced that it was hiring legal counsel to review the decision,” Stanley said.
Provost Teresa Woodruff claimed that Gupta failed to act on a Title IX issue. The provost continued, saying Gupta was aware of how he should have acted during their meeting.
Stanley also addressed a report that an outside investigation requested by the board of trustees found he certified title IX report reviews that may have not been completed by at last one trustee.
“Contrary to information previously provided to me, in June of this year, this June 2022, I was notified that some of our board members may not have actually complied with their part of the state requirement in 2021,” he said.
Faculty senate members were determined to get further transparency from the board. One faculty senator presented a resolution that would “prohibit” the board from firing President Stanley until more information is unearthed.
However, Secretary Tyler Silvestri, said the senate cannot prohibit a board action. The faculty senate then voted to approve a resolution that condemned a lack of transparency between the board and senate. The senate then voted to “strongly discourage” firing President Stanley, as well as to recommend an investigation into the Board of Trustees by the Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance.
“There seems to be an embarrassing lack of competence on the board,” said MSU Faculty Senator Jack Lipton.
Another resolution was passed that called for the senate to formally say it is “disappointed” with the lack of transparency within the board and that the board undergoes professional development within the next 60 days.
One trustee at the meeting said discussions over Stanley’s contract were limited talks of retirement that would run over the course of a year. One faculty member pushed back the resolution and said she applauded the on-going review of Gupta’s ousting.
“Those of us, many of us in the Broad College feel something very egregious has been done to our dean that has put his reputation at risk,” said MSU Faculty Senator Shawnee Vickery.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan State University President Stanley is speaking out after being accused of signing false Title IX sexual misconduct reports.
“I have faithfully complied with the state of Michigan certification process the last two years and reviewed all of the Title IX reports that were required. Contrary to information previously provided to me, in June of this year, I was notified that some of our board members may not have actually complied with their part of the state requirement,” said MSU President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley.
“We asked for an internal audit and review on the situation, which showed that we could improve the processes by which the reviews were taking place. An external consultant is helping us improve these processes and keep us in compliance. We have been taking this issue seriously,” Stanley said.
Stanley and other board members are under investigation by an outside law firm hired by the MSU Board of Trustees for allegedly falsely signing the reports.
The investigation aims to discover if board members had reviewed the reports and if Stanley had signed the reports without confirmation they had done so.
State law requires the university president to sign the certification and submit it to the state budget office and the House and Senate fiscal agencies and appropriations subcommittees.
The law requires all Title IX reports to be reviewed by the university president and a board member. The university could see a 10% funding reduction if the form is not submitted by October 1.
Stanley’s supporters say he cannot be faulted for actions made by the board of trustees. His detractors say he holds responsibility. Board members Dianne Byrum and Melanie Foster touted support for Stanley, calling efforts to push Stanley out “misguided.”
Board Trustee Pat O’Keefe, a Republican, told the Detroit News that the board “inadvertently learned that the University may have filed a false and misleading Title IX compliance certificate for 2021 signed by the president.”
According to the Detroit News, O’Keef said an internal audit investigation conducted in August confirmed his “worst fears.”
O’Keef claims that multiple “deficiencies” were discovered and that support for the certification was “non-existent” or “inadequate.” He then goes on to say that there were no plans by the administration to remedy the issues found in the 2021 certification, nor were there any plans to comply with the 2022 certification.
Around the time the board learned about the compliance certificate, former Broad School of Business Dean Sanjay Gupta resigned. O’Keefe called the timing “suspect.”