President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. announced that he will be leaving Stony Brook at the end of July in a campuswide email sent out on Tuesday, May 28.
He will be taking over as president at Michigan State University (MSU), which named him presidential designee at a board meeting held only an hour before Stony Brook announced Stanley’s new position. He’ll start his tenure as the 21st president on Aug. 1.
“As you may have learned today, I will become the President of another esteemed institution, Michigan State University, and am very excited for the opportunity to work with them as they continue their historic mission as the nation’s first land grant university,” he wrote. “Public research universities are absolutely vital to the well-being of our nation, and I deeply appreciate the opportunity I have had, and am being given, to lead two great ones.”
MSU’s previous president, Lou Anna Simon, resigned amidst the university’s embroilment in a scandal in which over 150 young women spoke out about sexual abuse from former faculty member, Larry Nassar, who worked as a team physician for two female varsity squads.
The search for a new MSU president consisted of an 18-member search committee guided by feedback from faculty, staff, students and alumni. The final authority to elect the president resided within the Board of Trustees, which elected Stanley 8-0.
“[Stanley] expressed particular sensitivity to the need of the campus community to heal and to address the betrayal of trust experienced by the survivors of sexual assault,” Mary A. Finn, appointed by the MSU search committee co-chairs to represent the Faculty Senate and the Director and professor at MSU’s School of Criminal Justice, said in a collection of quotes and comments from the search committee. “Dr. Stanley possesses the experience, the character and the ability to lead the transformation of MSU.”
Stanley emphasized rebuilding trust at MSU in his acceptance speech on Tuesday, and announced that he would be living on campus, in response to a letter representing the 50,000 students at MSU that requested the future president play a larger role in the campus community.
“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,” he said.
MSU noted that Stanley is only one of two American university presidents recognized as an “impact champion” by “HeForShe,” a U.N.-sponsored initiative meant to promote gender equality. Stanley will be the first president without ties to the school since 1992 and the first without state-ties since 1985. He will earn $800,000 each year over a five year contract with the university, nearly twice his gross annual earnings at Stony Brook, according to NY Databases.
Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson announced in a press release that she will be working with the SUNY Board of Trustees to appoint an interim president for SBU. A campus search committee will conduct a national search for a replacement.