Michigan State University appears poised to hire University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz as its next president, according to various news reports.
In a statement to WRAL News, Guskiewicz said he is “weighing” the opportunity.
If hired, Guskiewicz, who has been chancellor at UNC Chapel Hill for four years, would step into a position vacated by Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. Last fall, Dr. Stanley resigned amid a standoff with MSU’s Board of Trustees, whose members had accused him of missteps on Title IX issues. The outgoing president, however, argued the board was to blame for issues with Title IX compliance reports.
If Guskiewicz takes the job, he will be trading an often contentious board for a frequently dysfunctional one. While actions by the UNC Board of Governors have raised concerns about political influence, Michigan State’s board has often been hobbled by infighting, with trustees regularly accused of undermining MSU with their actions.
Last month, amid allegations of misconduct by board chair Rema Vassar, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said that MSU has been “rocked by scandal after scandal with no clear unified leadership or direction and tragically no accountability either. Right now, there are too many questions and not enough answers.” She urged the board to “take appropriate action.”
Michigan State has set a deadline of Thanksgiving for hiring a new president. The university has seen a revolving door of leaders since Lou Anna K. Simon resigned in 2018 amid accusations that she mishandled the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. Ripple effects from that scandal also prompted the resignation of interim president John Engler in 2019.