Public meeting notice for 12:30 Wed here.
The OSU Trustees hired Alexander last year, after a closed search by Witt/Kieffer search consultants. At LSU Alexander’s accomplishments included a $85M “lazy river” and firing a professor for cussing. But these weren’t his only problems. Former Daily Emerald reporter Kenny Jacoby, now working for USA Today, uncovered Alexander’s role in covering up the usual sorts of big-time sports scandals that presidents of sports factories get paid the big bucks to cover up. USAToday has a summary here:
… Alexander has come under increasingly heavy criticism since the March 5 release of the Husch Blackwell report, which detailed LSU’s “serious institutional failure” when it came to handling cases of physical and gender violence. Husch Blackwell is the outside law firm LSU hired in November to review its handling of Title IX cases after USA TODAY chronicled systemic failures.
Among Husch Blackwell’s revelations was that then-athletic director Joe Alleva urged Alexander to fire head football coach Les Miles in 2013 after another internal investigation found Miles had behaved inappropriately with female student workers, and that LSU had intentionally hired an outside law firm to do the investigation so the report wouldn’t be made public.
Miles was not fired until 2016, after LSU started the season 2-2. The 2013 investigation did not come to light until last month, after USA TODAY sued for a copy of the report.
No word yet if OSU will ask Witt/Kieffer search consultants, Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Suzanne Teer and Kim Brettschneider for their money back, as the UNC system did when it also banned its schools from hiring Witt Kieffer for searches, after they failed to do due diligence on a chancellor hire.
Of course it’s equally possible that during the hiring process Pres Alexander bragged about his ability to keep these sorts of scandals private – as UO General Counsel Kevin Reed did – and the trustees saw it as a positive.