Right now, there’s only one thing people at Oregon State University think they know about F. King Alexander, and they don’t like it.
Just about nine months into his presidency at OSU, all anyone is talking about is whether Alexander mishandled sexual-misconduct cases while he was president at LSU from 2013 to 2019, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. With few discernible professional or political allies, OSU’s newish leader is in a career-defining fight to at least salvage his reputation—even if he loses his job.
OSU’s Board of Trustees, after grilling Alexander at a meeting last Wednesday, voted to place him on probation through June 1. Alexander deflected blame for the LSU scandal during the meeting.
In an ominous sign, the board plans to reconvene this morning to “consider action regarding President Alexander’s leadership.”
Alexander has come under fire in the wake of recent reports about how LSU, during his tenure as president, handled allegations of sexual misconduct, including charges against Les Miles, the Tigers’ former head football coach. New revelations, which are described in a law firm’s investigative report from 2013 that was recently made public by USA Today, include allegations that Miles kissed a student and suggested they go to a hotel.
In a rare cross communication between boards on a personnel matter, Robert S. Dampf, chairman of LSU’s Board of Supervisors, sent a letter Monday to Rani Borkar, his counterpart at OSU, suggesting that Alexander had been less than fully cooperative in the Husch Blackwell investigation of LSU’s handling of sexual misconduct. Specifically, Dampf noted that Alexander had declined two invitations to be interviewed by the firm, agreeing only to answer questions in writing. Had he consented to the interview, Dampf suggested, “perhaps he wouldn’t be in the position he currently faces.”
Read the full story about the scandal from The Chronicle of Higher Education.