Michigan State University President faces uncertain future as board members grumble for removal
EAST LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2) - Michigan State University could be looking for its fourth president in just a few years as current leader Samuel Stanley Jr. faces an uncertain future as the board of trustees grows increasingly frustrated.
The MSU Board of Regents could be close to voting to force Stanley out of the position two years before his contract expires. If that happens, or he resigns, he would be the third leader of the university to leave the school in just a few years.
Published reports indicate that Stanley’s handling of Title IX and other internal investigations are dividing MSU’s board of Trustees.
Attorney Jamie White represents dozens of Larry Nassar survivors as they fight for justice against the convicted serial child predator and said that the issue may be that Stanley hasn't done enough.
"I don't know that Mr. Stanley was a failure he just didn't rise to the task," he said. "This is the President of the University at a million dollars a year is that hard to hold people accountable in that position."
The problems are believed to have hit a tipping point recently when an ultimatum was delivered from some board members that said if he didn't resign by Tuesday, there would be enough votes from the 8-member board to remove him from the post.
"In my opinion, (this is) sending a shot across the bow to other people that may come into this position that we are not going to tolerate this. Clearly, Mr. Stanley is going to be terminated or resign," White said.
As of Monday evening – the board…and Stanley, by way of attorney’s are working on next steps, but time is ticking.
If he steps down, he gets that one-year salary of nearly $1 million. But if the board votes him out, he gets nothing.
"Does he walk away with some contractual money without putting out the dirty laundry is the balancing act they're going through right now," White said.
In a statement from board chair Dianne Byrum, a democrat, she says she is backing Stanley and that he should be allowed to complete his contract. She also requested an apology from the board members who have questioned his abilities and caused outrage.
"We root for MSU we want them to succeed we want them to heal and be abetter institution. So this is a little bit of a punch in the gut," White said.