Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Thursday that she expects Oregon State University's Board of Trustees to “take decisive action to remove" its president, F. King Alexander, if it finds he mishandled allegations of sexual misconduct when he was president of LSU.
"In Oregon, we must hold our university presidents to the absolute highest standards for leadership and accountability," Brown said in a statement, according to the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
Alexander has found himself fighting to keep his job amid intense scrutiny over his handling of Title IX complaints and sexual misconduct allegations during his six years at Louisiana’s flagship college. OSU leaders reprimanded Alexander by placing him on a probationary status Wednesday.
Though Alexander faced potentially severe discipline, including dismissal, a majority of OSU Board of Trustees members instead approved a more than 10-week-long probationary period that would see a third-party review of outstanding questions related to the scandal at LSU.
In a letter last week, Alexander voiced regrets for not taking stronger action against then-football coach Les Miles. He said the LSU Board of Supervisors opted not to fire Miles due to lack of evidence. That decision came two months before he became LSU's president, Alexander said.
He also faulted budget cuts and difficulties getting LSU's Title IX program up and running in 2015.
USA Today first reported on the long history of sexual harassment at Louisiana’s flagship school in November, prompting the school officials to commission a report from law firm Husch Blackwell. The release of that report earlier this month stirred massive outrage at LSU and has fueled scrutiny over King’s leadership when handling instances of sexual misconduct, in particular against Miles.
While at LSU, Miles was accused of kissing a female student, "unwanted touching," telling her he was attracted to her and suggesting that they go to a hotel or his condo, according to a secret 2013 report that was recently made partially public.