Pat O’Keefe becomes second MSU board member to resign since October

Pat OKeefe chairman on MSU Board of Trustees.

Pat O’Keefe chairman on MSU Board of Trustees.

Zac Slowik, News Director

EAST LANSING- Pat O’Keefe, a chairman of the Michigan State Board of Trustees, sent Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer a letter of immediate resignation Wednesday afternoon.


O’Keefe was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2020. His term was intended to run until Jan. 1, 2029.


“I sought election to the Board of Trustees because of my deep affection for the university, which is my alma mater,” O’Keefe said in his letter. “I wanted to bring my 30-plus years as a business and turnaround consultant to assist the university in moving past the dark days of Nassar.”


O’Keefe is the second board member to resign since October, a month and a half after former Michigan State University president Dr. Samuel L. Stanley resigned due to a “loss of confidence” in the current Board of Trustees.


“Knowing the institution’s history, I can no longer serve on a Board that purports to promote cultural change yet struggles itself to be transparent,” O’Keefe said. An issue President Stanley noted in his resignation video to students and faculty of Michigan State.


“I hope university influencers and stakeholders demand answers regarding the termination of the former Business School Dean, as well as the interim president selection process, ” O’Keefe said. 


Tessa Woodruff was appointed as the interim president at the beginning of the month.


“The population served by the Board is worthy of such answers,” O’Keefe said“My belief is that shadows of the university’s past will continue to linger if true change remains aspirational and the Board does not practice the transparency it seeks to promote.” 


O’Keefe closed his email saying,  “I hope my voice, along with university influencers and stakeholders, increases scrutiny on future actions and emphasizes the need for meaningful change within the institution.”