In a major shake-up that's making national news, Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne announced his resignation on Wednesday, following more than a semester of controversy about research studies he co-authored in the past 25 years.

Tessier-Lavigne was accused of scientific fraud and misconduct, and an independent review board examined a dozen studies he was a part of, per the Chronicle. The reviewers found no evidence he knowingly falsified data, but he was reportedly forced to retract three of the papers in question from 1999 and 2001, and correct two others from 2004 and 2009.

The reviewers’ report, also released Wednesday, said that each paper “has serious flaws in the presentation of research data,” with “apparent manipulation of research data by others in at least four of the five papers.” The panel, however, admitted it couldn’t access some witnesses with relevant information, as certain individuals refused to cooperate or remained anonymous.

Tessier-Lavigne said in a released statement, "Although the report clearly refutes the allegations of fraud and misconduct that were made against me, for the good of the university, I have made the decision to step down as President effective August 31."

To fill the void, Richard Saller, a classics professor of European studies, has been appointed as the interim president, as announced by Jerry Yang, the president of the Board of Trustees. Yang thanked Tessier-Lavigne for his seven years of dedicated service.

The contention began last year when Stanford’s student newspaper, the Stanford Daily, reported on questions raised about the integrity of studies co-authored by Tessier-Lavigne throughout his career as an academic and former executive at the biotech company Genentech. As the newspaper reported, ex-Genentech scientists claimed one of his 2009 Nature studies into the brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease contained falsified data. Reportedly, its findings could never be replicated, although the company continued to try to develop drugs based on the work until 2012.

Stanford University, one of the most prestigious in the country, has faced a laundry list of other controversies in recent years including concerns over safety, mental health, sexual misconduct, and even a wrongful death lawsuit.

Feature image via Unsplash/Y S.