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Oregon State president out after Les Miles revelations

Oct 17, 2019; Stanford, CA, USA; Detailed view of the Pac-12 Conference  logo on the field at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2019; Stanford, CA, USA; Detailed view of the Pac-12 Conference logo on the field at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon State board of trustees accepted the resignation of university president F. King Alexander on Tuesday — a resignation linked to how he handled allegations of misconduct by football coach Les Miles when both were at LSU.

Alexander became president at Oregon State on July 1, 2020.

In their meeting Tuesday morning, Oregon State trustees unanimously accepted Alexander’s resignaton. Board chair Rani Borkar said trustees had received extensive communication from faculty, students and others, urging them to remove Alexander.

The Oregonian said Alexander will receive $670,000 in a lump sum and medical benefits for one year. The funds will come from private sources and not from state or tuition money.

His resignation takes effect April 1, but his presidency already is over. He has been placed on administrative leave, with the trustees appointing Edward Feser, the campus provost, as interim president.

Last week, the trustees placed Alexander on probation until June 1 and said he must answer to his Title IX failures while at LSU. The board found that Alexander was aware of allegations against former Les Miles when Alexander took over as president of the Baton Rouge campus in 2013. That included a formal recommendation that year from then-athletic director Joe Alleva that Miles be fired for misconduct and abuse.

Read More: Kansas, coach Les Miles agree to part ways

Earlier, the Faculty Senate voted 108-4 in favor of a motion to call for Alexander to resign, The Oregonian reported Tuesday. The Senate referred the issue to the faculty for a vote, with 83 percent calling for Alexander’s resignation.

The trustees placed Alexander on probation after reviewing an independent report from the law firm Husch Blackwell that detailed systemic failures by LSU to appropriately report incidents involving athletes and sports programs facing accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse. The report included Alleva’s email to Alexander, which stated he believed LSU had cause to fire Miles, adding: “I want us to think about which scenario is worse for LSU. Explaining why we let him go or explaining why we let him stay.”

Details of the report were discussed openly at the Oregon State board meeting last Wednesday. Alexander faced criticism from 19 members of the public who gave the board of trustees testimony.

He issued a video apology.

“I understand that the power of my position requires more from me to do everything I can to ensure the university is free from sexual violence and violence in all forms,” he said in the video. “I know that there was more I could have done at LSU given the power of my office and the expectation of community members. As university president, I should have sought every opportunity to hold others accountable. I stand with and support survivors of all forms of sexual violence and affirm the work of our advocates. As your president, I assure you I will work to rebuild trust.”

LSU fired Miles four games into the 2016 season, and he most recently was the coach at Kansas. Earlier this month, Kansas parted ways with him after allegations surfaced that Miles made sexual advances toward female students at LSU and also made comments about women in the athletic department that were sexist or insulting.

–Field Level Media