The Oregon State board of trustees will meet this week to discuss president F. King Alexander’s role in the mishandling of sexual misconduct cases at his former school, LSU.
Board chair Rani Borkar wrote an open letter to the Oregon State community saying the board would meet Wednesday to review a report by an outside law firm commissioned by LSU to look into how the school handled the cases. The report concluded the school suffered “a serious institutional failure” in its handling of physical and gender violence.
After six years at LSU, from 2013-18, King arrived at Oregon State, which has endured issues of its own inside the athletic department. An Associated Press investigation uncovered an abusive environment inside the school’s volleyball program. Three players have told the AP of contemplating suicide over the past five years, while at least a dozen have transferred from or quit coach Mark Barnard’s program.
Barnard has been investigated, but remains the team’s coach, and Oregon State is suing the AP to block the news organization’s open-records requests for information about investigations into Barnard and the program.
The school turned down requests to speak to King during the investigation and, through a spokesman, disputed characterizations made by players and others close to the program of the volleyball team as engendering an abusive environment.
In an open letter to the school community last week, Alexander said he regretted not taking stronger action against football coach Les Miles, who was a central figure in the 2012 investigation at LSU. Miles was fired earlier this month from his job at Kansas.
“At Oregon State University, Title IX and sexual misconduct are addressed much differently,” Alexander said.