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Community Advocacy Organization

MSU Trustee Pat O'Keefe Resigns from the Board

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Michigan State University Board of Trustees member Pat O'Keefe says, essentially, "take this job and shove it." He resigned from the board yesterday (Wednesday) in protest of the actions of his fellow board members in dealing with Title IX (anti-gender discrimination) issues.

"Knowing the institution's history, I can no longer serve on a Board that purports to promote cultural change yet struggles itself to be transparent," he wrote in a letter to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and copied to the board and university administrators.

Michigan State's mishandling of the sexual assaults of former sports team doctor Larry Nassar continues to haunt the school.

O'Keefe caused quite a stir when he was among board members pushing for an independent investigation into how then-Provost Teresa Woodruff and then-President Samuel Stanley handled the university's business school dean being pushed out over a Title IX investigation. Stanley has since resigned, saying he didn't trust the board anymore. Woodruff has been named as MSU's interim president to replace him.

The attempt to investigate the dismissal of Dean Sanjay Gupta was prominently mentioned in O'Keefe's resignation letter.

Pat O'Keefe, a Republican, was elected in January 2021. His term was supposed to run until 2029. Governor Whitmer will have to appoint a replacement.

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