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LSUHS chancellor resigns less than a day after being reinstated

G.E. Ghali
G.E. Ghali
Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 1:58 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 8:02 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Dr. G.E. Ghali, the renowned but embattled surgeon and professor, is stepping away from his position as chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport and returning to the faculty, Interim President Tom Galligan announced in an email to the LSU community.

The surprise announcement came Thursday afternoon (June 17), less than a day after Dr. Ghali released a statement saying the human resources department at LSUHS had reinstated him as the medical school’s chancellor.

On April 13, Dr. Ghali was placed on paid administrative after the university confirmed that four female employees filed EEOC complaints against the school over the way Dr. Ghali allegedly handled reports of sexual harassment. He also was identified as one of the subjects of a Title IX investigation that went before the LSU Board of Supervisors earlier this spring. At the time, Dr. Ghali released a statement saying he “received written notice” that the investigation was complete and that it “did not find sufficient evidence to support any Title IX concern.”

In Wednesday’s statement, Dr. Ghali claimed that LSUHS informed him that “the outside investigations into Title VII complaints alleging discrimination, harassment and retaliation, has been concluded” and that his administrative leave “has ended and I have been returned to the active chancellor position without restrictions.”

KSLA News 12 independently confirmed Dr. Ghali’s reinstatement by LSUHS. But shortly after that announcement, sources inside the hospital informed KSLA Chief Investigative Reporter Stacey Cameron that Dr. Ghali was preparing to resign as chancellor as early as Thursday morning.

Initial efforts to confirm Dr. Ghali’s plans to step down as chancellor with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office and LSUHS officials went unanswered.

KSLA News 12 also contacted state Sen. Greg Tarver, a fierce advocate of both the doctor and the medical school, to ask whether he was aware of an impending resignation. Tarver said he had no advanced knowledge of Dr. Ghali leaving his post as chancellor of the medical school.

But then around 2 p.m. Thursday, Dr. Ghali announced his departure in an emailed statement sent out by Galligan.

“I would like to thank him for his service as chancellor and fully understand his desire to spend more time with his family,” Galligan said.

Dr. David Lewis, who has been serving as acting chancellor, will now serve as interim chancellor while the school searches for a permanent replacement.

While he will no longer serve as chancellor, Dr. Ghali is staying on as an adjunct professor at the medical school, according to the statement.

The day before Dr. Ghali decided to walk away from his position as the school’s top official, Dr. Jennifer Woerner, one of the four women filing an EEOC complaint against him and LSUHS, filed a lawsuit seeking to end her administrative leave. Dr. Woerner reportedly was barred from entering the hospital, resuming clinical duties and teaching at the medical school after unnamed medical residents lodged unspecified complaints against her.

That move came almost a month after she helped spearhead the Title IX complaints against Dr. Ghali.

In a statement Wednesday, Dr. Woerner’s attorney, Allison Jones, called her client’s suspension unlawful and retaliatory.

“Resorting to litigation against a school that she loves was not an easy decision for Dr. Woerner,” Jones said. “It was a last resort. Despite repeated attempts to gain clarity about the alleged complaints against my client, to receive a timeline for the school’s investigation, and to be given an opportunity to refute the alleged claims against my client, the school has not provided any meaningful information.”

Read Dr. Ghali’s full resignation letter below:

On Thursday evening, the attorney representing the four employees who filed the EEOC complaints issued a statement about Dr. Ghali’s resignation. The response by Allison Jones says:

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