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MSU President Samuel Stanley announces departure date, Provost Woodruff’s start date

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After weeks of tension between university community members and the MSU Board of Trustees, President Stanley shared he will no longer be serving as the university’s executive officer after Friday.

Stanley credited his resignation to a loss of confidence in the board. That followed disputes over certifying the university’s Title IX compliance and the business college dean’s dismissal.

Provost Teresa Woodruff will begin serving as interim president starting Saturday. She was appointed unanimously by the board earlier this week.

Stanley says he has “complete confidence” in Woodruff’s ability to keep the university moving toward its goals.

He says he’ll remain available to support the university’s leadership transition.

Stanley said in an email:

Dear Spartan Community,

One of the greatest privileges of my career, serving as the president of Michigan State University, will draw to a close Friday. It has been an eventful three years since my arrival. Thanks to the commitment of our dedicated community of students, faculty, academic staff, support staff and alums, we safely navigated through the COVID‑19 pandemic, grew enrollment in a difficult environment, rose in national and international rankings, set fundraising records and developed three strategic plans that will serve as blueprints for the future. And together, we put the goal of having a safe, welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus foremost, creating a firm foundation for continued excellence at MSU.

I am pleased that Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Teresa K. Woodruff will step in as interim president, starting Nov. 5, while the search for the university’s next president is conducted. I have complete confidence that Interim President Woodruff will continue the outstanding work happening across our campus. I will, of course, remain available to Teresa and university leaders in the coming months to support the leadership transition in any way I can.

Thank you, students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and friends, for the opportunity to be your president. The positive impact that MSU has on our region, state, country and the entire world is truly remarkable, and you have my deepest admiration for the work you do every day to make that happen.

I will carry MSU with me wherever I go.

Go Green!

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Arjun Thakkar