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OSU President Alexander Resigns Over Miles Scandal

Paul Steinbach

The Les Miles harassment case has claimed another career casualty.

As reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Oregon State University Board of Trustees during a meeting Tuesday morning accepted the terms of president F. King Alexander’s resignation effective April 1. Alexander, who came under pressure for his handling of alleged abuse claims against head football coach Les Miles when both were at Louisiana State University, will be on administrative leave until that date.

Alexander will also resign from a tenured professor position at the university.

He is the latest principal player in the drama to deal with its consequences. Earlier this month, the University of Kansas parted ways with Miles and athletic director Jeff Long, who hired the coach in 2018.

OSU trustees said Alexander will be paid a lump sum of $670,000, and receive payments for medical and dental insurance for a year, with the money coming from private funds, and not tuition or tax dollars. Trustees also noted that it would likely cost significantly more to pursue terminating Alexander with cause, rather than just accepting his resignation, OPB reported.

“When we adjourned last week, we believed it was possible for President Alexander to repair the broken confidence and trust in his ability to lead OSU,” OSU board chair Rani Borkar said Tuesday. “After listening to and hearing important input from diverse members of our community, we now know that rebuilding trust is no longer possible.”

Alexander had served as LSU chancellor and president from 2013 to 2019 before coming to OSU last summer. A law firm's report commissioned by LSU and released earlier this month detailed how the allegations against Miles had been mishandled, with the coach remaining in his position for years after they first surfaced.

“I’m sorry for any of the survivors of sexual assault and misconduct that this has brought back any pain,” Alexander said during Tuesday’s board meeting. “I offer my resignation to Oregon State University to allow us to move on. Students have and always will be my top priority.”

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