Michigan State University dean of students Anthony Williams Jr. departed in February due to a drunken incident at a conference, according to a resignation letter shared with Inside Higher Ed.
Williams’s resignation, first reported by the MSU student newspaper, came about after he allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior at a conference in November put on by NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Williams allegedly consumed alcohol and exhibited “disruptive behavior in the hotel bar,” including “interactions with a female delegate that was perceived as unwanted,” which led to his “removal from the hotel bar by security staff,” according to university documents.
“You have demonstrated a significant lack of executive judgement in this incident,” Vennie Gore, senior vice president for student life and engagement at Michigan State, wrote in a Jan. 20 letter to Williams accepting his resignation, which became effective Feb. 3. “I am further disappointed in your lack of executive judgment given that your responsibilities include adjudicating conduct violations involving substance misbehavior and relationship violence and sexual misconduct. Your behavior compromises your credibility and effectiveness within our university community.”
A LinkedIn page for Williams appears to have been deleted sometime following the incident.
Michigan State has grappled with other issues of misconduct in recent months that have shaken up the institution's leadership. The Board of Trustees pushed out former president Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. last year amid dueling accusations over who was responsible for missteps on Title IX procedures.
The university is also facing a lawsuit from former Broad School of Business dean Sanjay Gupta, who was removed for allegedly failing to report an incident at a business school event in which an intoxicated employee reportedly touched a student in an inappropriate manner. University officials determined that by not reporting the issue, Gupta failed in his responsibilities. Gupta has argued that he was not required to report the incident, since he was informed of the issue by two other deans who planned to report the matter for investigation.