Oregon State president F. King Alexander resigns over handling of Les Miles allegations at LSU

Sam Cooper
·3 min read

The fallout from the Les Miles saga continues.

The Oregon State Board of Trustees announced Tuesday that it has accepted president F. King Alexander’s resignation. Alexander offered his resignation Sunday in relation to his handling of Miles during his time as the president at LSU. Alexander’s resignation is effective April 1.

The OSU board put Alexander on probation last week after LSU released the details of an investigation into its past handling of accusations of sexual misconduct and domestic abuse complaints. The investigation surfaced multiple allegations against Miles, the head coach at LSU from 2005 to 2016.

The alleged conduct from Miles — inappropriate behavior with female student workers — caused then-LSU athletic director Joe Alleva to recommend the school fire Miles with cause. Among other incidents, a female student alleged that Miles kissed her twice and told her she was attractive. Though Miles denied the accusation, the 2013 investigative report said “it appears that [Miles] has shown poor judgment in placing himself in a situation in which the student employee might be uncomfortable.”

The investigation also revealed that Alexander was aware of the allegations when he was hired by LSU in 2013. Miles was allowed to keep his job and wasn’t fired until a poor start during the 2016 season.

Alexander stayed at LSU until late 2019 and began his role as Oregon State’s president in July 2020.

Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Rallo, left, talks with LSU President F. King Alexander ahead of a House budget hearing on public college financing, on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)
Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Rallo, left, talks with LSU President F. King Alexander ahead of a House budget hearing on public college financing, on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

Oregon State board: 'Rebuilding trust is no longer possible'

In a message released Tuesday, the OSU Board of Trustees said its members believed last week that “it was possible” for Alexander to “repair the broken confidence and trust in his ability to lead OSU.” At that point, the board voted to put Alexander on probation until June 1.

However, after the board heard from the university community, the members determined that “rebuilding trust is no longer possible.” Additionally, the university’s Faculty Senate voted 108-4 in favor of Alexander’s resignation.

“After listening to and hearing important input from diverse members of our community and reflecting on our own values and experiences, we now know that rebuilding trust is no longer possible,” the Board of Trustees statement says.

“In response, over the weekend, the Board scheduled to meet this morning as we learned President Alexander no longer had the confidence of the OSU community. This broken trust was expressed not only by the vote of the Faculty Senate but by an outpouring of thoughtful statements from students, alumni and survivors of sexual assault.”

After his time at LSU ended, Miles was hired by the University of Kansas in late 2018. In two years at Kansas, Miles posted a 3-18 record. Kansas fired Miles on March 8. Two days later, Kansas AD Jeff Long — the man who brought Miles to Kansas — stepped down.

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