Michigan State University Administrator Resigns Over Police Research After Petition Pressure

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Michigan State University administrator Stephen Hsu has resigned as vice president of research and innovation after a petition called for his removal over Hsu touting Michigan State research that found police are not more likely to shoot African-Americans.

Hsu had given a small amount of funding to the author of a 2019 study title “Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings.” The study had gained national recognition after it was cited by Heather MacDonald in the Wall Street Journal as evidence that systemic racism in policing is nonexistent, according to The Blaze.

The Graduate Employees Union headed an effort to oust Hsu from his position, calling him a “vocal scientific racist and eugenicist” in a petition that garnered more than 800 signatures.

Hsu pushed back on those ideas, saying on his website that “basic human rights and human dignity derive from our shared humanity, not from uniformity in ability or genetic makeup.”

“The GEU alleged that I am a racist because I interviewed MSU Psychology professor Joe Cesario, who studies police shootings,” he wrote in an email to The College Fix. “But Cesario’s work (along with similar work by others, such as Roland Fryer at Harvard) is essential to understanding deadly force and how to improve policing.”

There was also a counter-petition that called the charges against Hsu “unequivocally false.”

“We highlight that there is zero concrete evidence that Hsu has performed his duties as VP in an unfair or biased manner,” the petition read. “Therefore, removing Hsu from his post as VP would be to capitulate to rumor and character assassination.”

Hsu resigned from his position on June 19, but maintains his role as a physics professor, according to The College Fix.

His resignation was supported by Michigan State President Samuel Stanley Jr.

“I believe this is what is best for our university to continue our progress forward. The exchange of ideas is essential to higher education, and I fully support our faculty and their academic freedom to address the most difficult and controversial issues,” Stanley said in a statement published on June 19. “But when senior administrators at MSU choose to speak out on any issue, they are viewed as speaking for the university as a whole. Their statements should not leave any room for doubt about their, or our, commitment to the success of faculty, staff and students.”

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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]
Photo “Stephen Hsu” by Michigan State University. CC BY-SA 4.0. Background Photo “Michigan State University Campus” by Jeffness. CC BY-SA 2.5.

 

 

 

 

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