The fallout from Louisiana State University’s mishandling of sexual misconduct complaints has extended to Oregon State, where the board of trustees will meet Wednesday to discuss president F. King Alexander’s role in the failings, and decide whether he should be disciplined or even fired.
Alexander was president at LSU until last July.
“We also understand the profound impact this is having on all members of the university community, and on Oregon State University as an institution,” board chair Rani Borkar wrote in a Monday letter to the Oregon State community.
“I assure you that trustees read each message, and we hear your concerns.”
Alexander has come under increasingly heavy criticism since the March 5 release of the Husch Blackwell report, which detailed LSU’s “serious institutional failure” when it came to handling cases of physical and gender violence. Husch Blackwell is the outside law firm LSU hired in November to review its handling of Title IX cases after USA TODAY chronicled systemic failures.
Among Husch Blackwell’s revelations was that then-athletic director Joe Alleva urged Alexander to fire head football coach Les Miles in 2013 after another internal investigation found Miles had behaved inappropriately with female student workers, and that LSU had intentionally hired an outside law firm to do the investigation so the report wouldn’t be made public.
Miles was not fired until 2016, after LSU started the season 2-2. The 2013 investigation did not come to light until last month, after USA TODAY sued for a copy of the report.
Alexander last week apologized for his role, saying he now sees LSU should have acted sooner.
“The results of the initial inquiry into coach Miles were inconsistent with my and LSU’s community values and should have been acted on further,” Alexander wrote. “In hindsight, beyond limitations that were put into place between the coach and students, I now regret that we did not take stronger action earlier against coach Miles, including suspension leading to further investigation and dismissal for violations of university policy.”
Kansas, which hired Miles as head coach in 2018, parted ways with him and athletic director Jeff Long last week.
Borkar said Oregon State’s board will spend the next two days reviewing the Husch Blackwell report as well as additional information it has received from “OSU community members, stakeholders and the public.” The board will then hold a 4½-hour public meeting Wednesday, followed by an executive session “to consider the dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against” King, according to a release from Oregon State.
The board will then return to open session “for discussion and consideration of next steps and may consider and take potential action,” the Oregon State release said.
“I know many of you have questions about the possible outcome of Wednesday’s meeting,” Borkar wrote in her statement. “I assure you that we are committed to a thoughtful process and discussion to inform our thinking and potential action.”
MORE ON THE INVESTIGATION AT LSU
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