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Former LSU president resigns from Oregon State following LSU investigation

Oregon State University President F. King Alexander
Oregon State University President F. King Alexander(OSU / WAFB)
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 11:05 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - F. King Alexander says he will resign from Oregon State University effective April 1. The move comes amid an outpouring of criticism of Alexander’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints during his time as president of LSU.

His resignation follows a lengthy meeting by the Oregon State University Board of Trustees last week in which they put Alexander on probation.

However, following more backlash, the board scheduled another meeting for Tuesday to revisit Alexander’s employment.

In opening Tuesday’s meeting, OSU Board Chair Rani Borkar said that the board hoped that Alexander could rebuild the trust of the Oregon State Community.

“We now know that rebuilding trust is no longer possible,” Borkar said. “Dr. Alexander no longer has the confidence of the OSU community,” she added.

Borkar told the board that Alexander offered his resignation Sunday.

After making that announcement, Borkar announced the board would go into an executive session to discuss the university’s next steps.

As he fought to keep his job during last week’s meeting, Alexander repeatedly slammed LSU as he described the many obstacles he said he faced during his time in Louisiana.

He characterized LSU as a seriously underfunded place where “athletics tried to run the university” and where certain segments of the Baton Rouge community were opposed to change.

He also described former LSU Head Football Coach Les Miles as someone who believed he was “bigger than life” and a person who was “not a good university citizen.” He claims that attitude, and not just his performance as a coach, is what ultimately led him to fire Miles.

Alexander told the board that the operations at Oregon State are vastly better than LSU, a place he described as being “behind the times.”

The Oregon State inquiries into Alexander came after a recent sweeping probe of LSU by private firm Husch Blackwell that focused on how LSU handled complaints of sexual misconduct, including some that happened during Alexander’s time at LSU.

Read the full report here.

Alexander served as president of LSU from 2013 to 2019. He started his new $630,000 per year position at Oregon State in July 2020.

In calling the meeting, the board said it wanted to review Alexander’s “leadership at LSU over Title IX, his handling of sexual misconduct, and subsequent information regarding sexual misconduct that has been shared.”

Les Miles left his job as coach at the University of Kansas earlier this month because of issues raised during the same Husch Blackwell probe into LSU including its Title IX program.

The Title IX program is aimed at protecting people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Former LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva recommended firing Miles from LSU in 2013 because of the coach’s alleged inappropriate contact with female students, the Husch Blackwell investigation found.

Miles was accused of kissing an LSU student, sending text messages to female students, and taking some of them to his off-campus condo alone. He denied kissing the student and was not accused of any sexual relationships with any of them.

Alleva emailed top LSU officials in 2013, saying he specifically instructed Miles to “not text, call or be alone with any student workers and he obviously didn’t listen,” the investigation found. “I believe it is in the best interest in the long run to make a break,” Alleva said in the email.

Alleva said he believed the actions of Miles had put the university “at great risk,” the report says. Despite that, Miles continued coaching for three additional years before being fired after a dismal 2-2 start of the 2016 football season, investigators said.

“I think his continued employment needs to be seriously considered,” Alleva said in an April 2013 email to LSU Chancellor William Jenkins and LSU counsel.

Three months later, Alleva wrote an email to incoming LSU President F. King Alexander and LSU attorneys, again suggesting that the university should consider firing Miles.

Investigators said they were unable to find where anyone responded to Alleva’s email.

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