Fresh off the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal, Michigan State University has chosen Stony Brook University’s President Samuel Stanley to take over after he weathered several investigations of his own.
The Michigan State University Board of Trustees announced on Tuesday that Stanley would take over as the school’s 21st president, beginning as of Aug. 1. Stony Brook, where Stanley has been in charge for a decade, is the subject of three open federal Office of Civil Rights investigations into how it handled sexual assault complaints on the campus.
“Today, by a unanimous vote, the MSU Board of Trustees has elected Dr. Samuel Stanley as Michigan State’s 21st president,” Dianne Byrum, the chairwoman of MSU Board of Trustees said in a statement. “Dr. Stanley is an empowering, compassionate and thoughtful leader, who will work tirelessly alongside our students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and broader Spartan community to meet the challenges we face together and build our future.”
Stanley’s appointment comes following a nearly yearlong, nationwide search by an 18-member search committee. The search included 22 campus-wide input sessions and an online survey where the community was able to share their opinions on what they’re seeking in a new university president.
In a statement, Stanley said, “MSU is one of the world’s leading research universities, and I am grateful to the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee that so ably represented the entire MSU community for giving me the opportunity to serve this great institution. MSU’s core strength is its amazing students, superb faculty, dedicated staff and proud alumni, and I cannot wait to get to campus to meet with you and learn from you.
Stanley, who earned a medical degree from Harvard Medical School is a former Vice Chancellor for Research at Washington University before being named president at Stony Brook in 2009. He said that he recognizes the challenges in front of him and is ready to tackle the issues.
“I know the Spartan community has been profoundly troubled by the events of the past years that have shaken confidence in the institution,” he said. "We will meet these challenges together, and we will build on the important work that has already been done to create a campus culture of diversity, inclusion, equity, accountability and safety that supports all of our endeavors.
“I am so excited about MSU’s legacy as the pioneer land-grant university, its remarkable progress over this decade and its amazing potential for the future. I believe our best days are ahead, and I appreciate the chance to be a part of this extraordinary journey.”
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