Michigan State University announced Monday it will fire its head football coach, Mel Tucker, after details emerged about allegations against him of sexual misconduct. This event is just the latest in a series of scandals calling into question the role leadership plays at our flagship state universities Michigan State University, Wayne State University and University of Michigan.
Higher education reporter David Jesse, compliance expert Bradley Dizik, and higher education expert Demetri Morgan joined Detroit Today to discuss the role oversight plays at our universities amidst the emerging details about Tucker.
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David Jesse is a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education. He covers college leadership and he has been following the developments at MSU and other universities in the state. He says turnover at Michigan State University has impacted the effectiveness of the school’s Board of Trustees in recent years.
“There’s been four presidents or interim presidents in a very short period of time, there’s been massive turnover on the board itself,” says Jesse. “The issue is they also are supposed to provide oversight for the administration for the president.”
Bradley Dizik is the executive vice president of Emerging Issues & Technology for Guidepost Solutions LLC. He says university boards play a key role in oversight at their schools.
“A board’s responsibility is to provide oversight, and therefore their first and foremost power is to hire and fire presidents,” says Dizik. “That power to fire a president requires them to ask questions of that president and requires them to be informed.”
Demetri Morgan is an associate professor in the Higher Education Program for Loyola University in Chicago. He says university boards have a fiduciary duty to conduct proper oversight of their institutions.
“The board’s responsibility is to ensure the longevity and to protect the university for as long as possible. At the highest level that is what the voters are doing.” says Morgan.
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