Yesterday afternoon Michigan State University President Stanley accepted the resignation of Stephen Hsu. Beginning July 1 he will no longer be the Vice President of Research and Innovation here. I may have more to say about Hsu in future blog posts, but for now I have this to say: Michigan State University and President Stanley did the ethically correct thing. Hsu’s presence in his office was a stain on the institution. They should be congratulated.
I only speak for myself. President Stanley’s speaks for Michigan State University:
Dear Spartan Colleagues:
Late this afternoon, Stephen Hsu resigned from the position of senior vice president, research and innovation and will return to a tenured faculty position effective July 1, 2020.
I believe this is what is best for our university to continue our progress forward. The exchange of ideas is essential to higher education, and I fully support our faculty and their academic freedom to address the most difficult and controversial issues. But when senior administrators at MSU choose to speak out on any issue, they are viewed as speaking for the university as a whole. Their statements should not leave any room for doubt about their, or our, commitment to the success of faculty, staff and students.
I plan to appoint an interim senior vice president in the coming days and will consult with the Academic Governance Steering committee on this selection in accordance with university policies.
MSU has a long, proud and successful history in research and innovation. We are a nationally ranked program, producing research with global implications. Our entrepreneurship, innovation and tech transfer programs are launching successful new businesses, patents and products. We have a lot to be proud of already and a collective spirit to push to even greater frontiers in the future.
Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. M.D.
Hsu continues to refuse to address the major concerns about his behavior. Hsu’s announcement on his blog obscures the issues when he writes: ” I do not agree with his decision, as serious issues of Academic Freedom and Freedom of Inquiry are at stake. I fear for the reputation of Michigan State University.” Hsu must know that administrators do not have academic freedom. Fortunately, President Stanley does when he writes, “when senior administrators at MSU choose to speak out on any issue, they are viewed as speaking for the university as a whole. Their statements should not leave any room for doubt about their, or our, commitment to the success of faculty, staff and students.” (emphasis added)
And, any claim Hsu might have had to freedom of inquiry ended the moment he threatened legal action against his critics on June 15:
Those are the words of someone hoping to use his power to silence those who dare oppose him. And in his blog announcement when Hsu claims to stand for freedom of inquiry: those are the words of a hypocrite.
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