President Alexander ‘deeply saddened’ by his and LSU’s handling of Title IX allegations

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Millicent Durand, News Contributor

Editor’s Note: Content warning—story contains mention of sexual harassment and assault.

Oregon State University President F. King Alexander said he is “deeply saddened” about Louisiana State University’s handling of Title IX complaints during his tenure as president. 

Alexander sent out a campus-wide email on March 8 at 4:53 p.m. titled “Gaps in LSU’s Title IX response serious; will not occur at Oregon State University.”

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“My commitment to preventing sexual misconduct is deeply personal and decades long,” Alexander wrote in the email. 

Alexander has recently come under fire after the law firm Husch Blackwell’s publication of a 262-page report on LSU’s handling of Title IX allegations that were made between January 2012 and February 2013. 

Page 47 of the report alleges that former LSU Football Coach Les Miles “attempted  to  sexualize  the  staff  of  student  workers  in  the  football  program,” and “ demanding  that  he  wanted  ‘blondes  with  the  big  boobs’  and  ‘pretty  girls.’”

Alexander was LSU’s president from June 2013 to December 2019. Following the 2013 allegations, no action was taken against Miles until 2016 when he was fired by LSU during Alexander’s tenure.

Page 50 of the report alleges that Alexander was notified of Miles’ behavior in Junel of 2013, and even received a recommendation to fire Miles from LSU Athletics director Joe Alveda. 

The transcript of an alleged email, sent by Alveda to both Alexander and LSU Counsel, appears on page 50 of the report. “I believe that he is guilty of insubordination, inappropriate behavior, putting the university, athletic [department] and football program at great risk,” Alveda wrote in an alleged email to Alexander regarding Miles. “I told him not to to text, call or be alone with any student workers and he obviously didn’t listen.” 

In his email to the OSU community, Alexander said he regrets not taking action against Miles, though argues that there wasn’t enough evidence to fire him at the time. 

“Though not substantiated to support termination, the results of the initial inquiry into Coach Miles were inconsistent with my and LSU’s community values and should have been acted on further,” Alexander wrote. “In hindsight, beyond limitations that were put into place between the coach and students, I now regret that we did not take stronger action earlier against Coach Miles”

This is an ongoing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.