Pro-BDS protest
Pro-BDS protestiStock

Sonoma State University President Mike Lee has announced his retirement, just days after being placed on administrative leave for making concessions to anti-Israel student groups on campus, Fox News reported.

Lee on Tuesday announced a controversial agreement with pro-Palestinian Arab protesters that includes an academic boycott of Israel and a role for student activists to enforce the deal.

After the agreement prompted backlash, Lee was reprimanded by the university for making the concessions "without the appropriate approvals." Lee then announced he would be stepping aside, at least temporarily.

"President Ming-Tung ‘Mike’ Lee has informed me of his decision to retire from his role at Sonoma State University.," California State University Chancellor Mildred García said in a statement on Thursday, according to Fox News.

Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs and Chief Academic Officer Nathan Evans was appointed as acting president in wake of Lee’s leave.

In her statement on Lee’s retirement, García added, "I will continue to work with Acting President Nathan Evans and our Board of Trustees leadership during this transitional period. Additional information will be forthcoming."

Evans provided his own statement upon taking up the role, which read, "We will create spaces and places to process President Lee’s retirement and other recent developments as a community in the coming days and weeks. For now, I encourage all of us to focus on our graduates and their supporters."

A series of anti-Israel encampments have been set up at campuses across the US in recent weeks. Some of them have been taken down by police officers, while others have been cleared voluntarily following agreements with the administrations.

On Tuesday, anti-Israel protesters were voluntarily taking down their tents in Harvard Yard, after university officials agreed to discuss their questions about the endowment.

Last Thursday, LAPD and California Highway Patrol cleared an anti-Israel protest encampment on the UCLA campus, arresting 132 people.

Later, the Los Angeles Police Department removed a pro-Palestinian Arab encampment at the University of Southern California, pushing several dozen people out of the campus gates.

In another incident, police in riot gear cleared an anti-Israel encampment at the University of Chicago.

At Cornell University, meanwhile, the student encampment disbanded peacefully, with neither arrests being made nor a deal being reached with management.