Dear MSU Community,
Last September, I shared information about the completion of investigations by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights concerning MSU’s response to the abuses committed by Larry Nassar and former Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine William Strampel. As I stated then, we take these findings very seriously and we are committed to using them to significantly improve MSU’s prevention of and response to sexual assault.
Today I’m providing an update on the progress made over the past year and where we will direct our focus in the months ahead.
Some of the actions taken during the year include:
Today we are sending the OCR the results of two separate reviews of the actions of current and former employees connected to the Larry Nassar and William Strampel cases. More than 40 employees were identified as potentially having received notice of sex discrimination by Nassar or Strampel. In the majority of cases the individuals acted within the then applicable policies and laws or there was insufficient evidence to support the employees acted outside of the applicable policies and laws in place at the time.
For those employees identified to have not appropriately reported their knowledge of abuses by Nassar and Strampel, responsive steps have been taken in accordance with university policies. This includes documenting the lack of action in their personnel files. Several of these individuals are no longer in their roles or have left MSU.
Moving forward, the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct strategic plan is in the works. Under development by the RVSM Expert Advisory Workgroup using its members’ expertise and feedback from the MSU community, the plan will outline additional prevention efforts, policy updates and actions we can take to make our community safer and our culture one of greater accountability.
As we start the semester, I also want to remind everyone Title IX prohibits retaliation against reporters of sex discrimination, including reports of sex discrimination against administrators and other employees. MSU will independently investigate any alleged retaliation for participation in the Title IX process.
While the pandemic has resulted in our community being largely physically distanced for several months and into the fall semester, our work toward meaningful cultural change continues.
Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D.