By: - May 28, 2019 1:05 pm

Michigan State University, Jan. 17, 2018 | Michael Gerstein

Michigan State University has selected Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. to lead the school after a period of turmoil and intense scrutiny of how the college handles sexual abuse cases in the wake of the Dr. Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.

Stanley is currently president of Stony Brook University in New York. He takes the helm at MSU as the Big Ten university tries, once again, to correct its national image after damaging revelations about not only the Nassar abuse scandal, but the university’s allegedly negligent treatment of sexual assault survivors overall.

John Engler
John Engler attends the opening session of the White House’s forum on health care reform in 2009 | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The last two years have seen a revolving door of leadership for the embattled university. Stanley will succeed acting President Satish Udpa, who took over that role after the resignation earlier this year of GOP former Gov. John Engler following comments he made to the Detroit News editorial board that some Nassar survivors were “enjoying” the spotlight and “the awards and recognition,” as the Michigan Advance reported.

Engler had been charged with returning stability to MSU and settling Nassar survivor lawsuits following the January 2018 resignation of permanent university President Lou Anna Simon, who is now facing criminal charges for allegedly lying to police about the scandal.

The university’s Board of Trustees voted 8-0 Tuesday morning to name Stanley MSU’s 21st president. He will earn a base salary of $800,000 and starts his new job on Aug. 1.

“What happened at MSU will not be forgotten. Instead it will drive us every day to work together to build a campus culture of transparency, awareness, sensitivity and prevention,” Stanley said.

Samuel L. Stanley Jr.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr. | Wikimedia Commons

Stanley, a Seattle native, earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1980 and was Stony Brook’s fifth president in just the last decade. Stony Brook is currently under three different federal investigations over its handling of sexual assault cases, and has been sued in that capacity numerous times.

The Stony Brook president received high praise from the university’s trustees and search committee.

According to Stony Brook’s website, Stanley led the New York university’s largest fundraising drive in the school’s history, securing the sixth-largest gift to any public university ever from the Jim and Marilyn Simons Foundation.

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Michael Gerstein
Michael Gerstein

Michael Gerstein is a former Advance reporter covering the Governor's office, criminal justice and the environment.