Corvallis, Ore. — After surviving a vote by the Oregon State University’s Board of Trustees last week– and making a video apology– President F. King Alexander was forced to resign today (Mar. 23).
Last week, OSU put Alexander on probation until June 1st. The disciplinary action was the result of the outcry in Corvallis– and in Baton Rouge– about alleged Title IX violations while Alexander was president at LSU.
The Board of Trustees vote was 12 to 2 to put Alexander on probation, “during which time the Board will conduct an evaluation to gather feedback from the OSU community,” according to a statement posted on the OSU website.
However, pressure continued to mount against Alexander, and OSU Board of Trustees Chair Rani Borkar said that faculty and staff flooded the board with complaints after the probation decision.
“We now know, ” said Borkar, “that rebuilding trust is no longer possible.”
Faculty and staff at OSU denounced Alexander during the Board’s meeting, and they said the university should have done more research on Alexander’s leadership at LSU before deciding to hire him.
“I hear and acknowledge your hurt and anger,” Alexander said in a two minute video posted to the OSU website after the decision, adding that he understands that many on campus and in the community feel that he “betrayed” them.
In the video, Alexander also says “there was more I could have done at LSU, given the power of my office, to hold others accountable.”
Former LSU Head Football Coach Les Miles was at the university when Alexander was president, and a recent investigation accuses Miles of misconduct involving female students. Also, LSU’s current president, Tom Galligan, suspended two higher-ups in the university’s athletic department this month, for ignoring student complaints of alleged sexual abuse committed by former LSU football players.
“To survivors,” says Alexander in the video, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the harm you endured as a result of sexual violence.”
Alexander said he’s launching a review of OSU’s “survivors’ support programs” and promised that “confidential support services and resources ” would be made available to those survivors.