Less than a week after placing him on probation, Oregon State University leaders on Tuesday accepted former LSU President F. King Alexander’s offer of resignation from his position of president of OSU amid scrutiny on how he handled allegations of sexual misconduct at LSU.
Opening a meeting of the OSU Board of Trustees, Chair Rani Borkar said Tuesday that Alexander had offered his letter of resignation to the board on Sunday, effective April 1. The board then entered a nonpublic session to consider Alexander's offer and emerged more than an hour later to unanimously accept Alexander’s resignation.
"Dr. Alexander no longer has the trust of the OSU community,” Borkar said during the public portion of the meeting.
The board also placed Alexander on administrative leave until his effective resignation date. The resignation comes with a settlement agreement that will pay Alexander around $630,000 — an additional year’s salary — from OSU’s foundation rather than its general fund.
Tuesday's meeting came less than a week after the OSU board reprimanded Alexander, placing him on 10 weeks of probation and approving a third-party review of outstanding questions related to the LSU report and to glean feedback from the community, among other requirements.
The chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors on Monday blasted former LSU President F. King Alexander in a letter to officials at Oregon State…
Alexander, just nine months into his role as OSU’s president, has been under intense scrutiny and calls for his ouster by university community groups, including the Faculty Senate's no-confidence vote in Alexander's presidency that members issued a day after he was reprimanded.
Board members said they decided to revisit last week’s decision in response to the outcry from the Oregon State community and Alexander's offer to step down.
"When the Board of Trustees adjourned last week, we believed it was possible for President Alexander to repair the broken confidence and trust in his ability to lead OSU," Borkar wrote in a statement sent out following the meeting. "After listening to and hearing important input from diverse members of our community and reflecting on our own values and experiences, we now know that rebuilding trust is no longer possible."
The scrutiny around Alexander is the latest in a wave of discipline or departures at other universities related to LSU's mishandling sexual misconduct allegations in past years.
Earlier this month, LSU released a report from the law firm Husch Blackwell that described a "total failure of leadership" in the way LSU responded to cases of sexual misconduct, largely under Alexander's tenure. The report detailed cultural problems at LSU, in particular, Title IX programs and allegations of improper conduct throughout the university.
Oregon State University leaders reprimanded former LSU President F. King Alexander by placing him on a probationary status Wednesday, the late…
Board member Lamar Hurd became emotional when speaking about the controversy and the frequency at which powerful individuals are able to skirt the most serious consequences of sexual misconduct.
“A lot of times things are kind of swept under the rug, and I just want to make sure you guys know we don't do that here," Hurd said.
In last week's meeting, Alexander defended his own actions with pointed criticism of LSU and the 16-member Board of Supervisors, a panel he said often interferes in athletics matters, unlike the board at OSU.
He has also said that months before arriving at LSU, the school's Board of Supervisors opted not to fire Miles in 2013 because they lacked evidence that he had made inappropriate comments toward women.
Former LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander wrote in a letter Monday that he regrets not taking stronger action when faced with alle…
Miles kept his job but was ultimately fired early into the 2016 season because of the team’s poor performance.
Alexander described Louisiana as a "very conservative state with very conservative values,” saying Oregon "is much more advanced in how we see what our values are."
The LSU Board of Supervisors weighed in ahead of Tuesday's meeting, blasting Alexander in a three-page letter from Robert Dampf that was sent to the OSU board Monday evening. Dampf called Alexander’s comments “arrogant and condescending.”
Kansas athletic director Jeff Long announced Wednesday that he has stepped down, news that comes two days after the university announced it ha…
"When sharing his opinion that Louisiana has a different moral standard than Oregon, he omits the fact that he enthusiastically counted himself as one of us for almost seven years,” Dampf wrote. He also wrote that while Alexander complained this month that he wasn't interviewed for the LSU report, Husch Blackwell invited Alexander twice, but the ex-LSU chief said through the OSU general counsel's office that he would only take written questions.
For much of the public portion of Tuesday's meeting, Alexander took a different approach, sitting quietly while his fate was determined. After the board’s vote, Alexander apologized for any pain the controversy has brought to survivors of sexual assault and misconduct while vowing to continue working in public education.
“I offered my letter of resignation to Oregon State University to allow us to move on," Alexander said, reading from a written statement following the board’s vote.
USA Today first reported on the long history of sexual harassment at Louisiana’s flagship school in November, prompting the school officials to commission the Husch Blackwell report.
In the days following the release of Husch Blackwell's damning report on LSU's mishandling of sexual misconduct complaints, key players in Lou…
Its release earlier this month has fueled scrutiny over Alexander's leadership at OSU and detailed frustrations LSU officials encountered when handling instances of sexual misconduct, in particular within the athletic department and complaints lodged 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.
The former coach also requested his office be staffed by women “with big boobs” and “pretty girls” — demands he made after leading the Tigers to the 2012 national championship game, according to the Husch Blackwell report.
When Les Miles wanted to break into coaching, he rang his beloved mentor at Michigan, Bo Schembechler, 34 times before Schembechler took his call.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva emailed Alexander in 2013 warning of the risk the allegations put on the school and football program while saying that Miles should be fired, according to the Husch Blackwell report.
Alexander, while responding to trustees’ questions last week, said the letter was more of a “heads up” from Alleva that Miles was on shaky ground and that if he stepped over the line, he should be fired. Miles was sanctioned and at the time was required to go to counseling and was forbidden from texting or calling student workers.
Alexander is now the third person to lose their job amid the fallout from the Husch Blackwell report after the University of Kansas decided two weeks ago to "part ways" with Miles, who was the head football coach at KU, as well as the school’s athletics director, Jeff Long.
Despite actions taken at other universities, no one has lost a job at LSU. Two administrators, executive deputy athletic director Verge Ausberry and senior associate athletic director Miriam Segar, were suspended temporarily beginning March 5, and state lawmakers have called on the school to take stronger action to protect students from sexual misconduct and make amends for past failures.
Segar's suspension will come to an end this Friday, after 21 days, while Ausberry's will end after 30 days on April 4, LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said.
Interim LSU president Tom Galligan has vowed to adopt the more than one dozen recommendations in the Husch Blackwell report.