Letter: There is no healing at MSU, trustees must resign
By Andrew Barsom
Barsom is a Penn State alumnus. He graduated in 2017.
As a Penn State alumnus, I have watched the ongoing Larry Nassar calamity at MSU unfold with bewilderment. Many members of the MSU community have begun to speak eagerly of "healing," but a festering wound does not heal.
We still do not understand how and why Nassar was allowed to abuse his patients for decades while practicing medicine at MSU. With no answers, we cannot implement any meaningful reforms to ensure it cannot happen here again.
This isn't an accident. Obsessed with limiting the university's liability, former President Lou Anna K. Simon, Interim President John Engler and the Board of Trustees have so far refused to acknowledge even the possibility of institutional failure at MSU.
Their actions betray a belief that, while unfortunate, it is otherwise unremarkable an MSU faculty member would use his occupational duties as a means to sexually assault children. Certainly, they seem to reason, it is not the university’s problem.
They are wrong. After a grand jury brought charges against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, Penn State’s Board of Trustees swiftly terminated senior university officials, commissioned an independent counsel to investigate potential institutional failures at the university, developed and implemented new policies based on the counsel’s findings, and put in place a process for survivors to receive compensation for the horrifying crimes they endured.
It took the MSU Board of Trustees more than a year to terminate former President Simon. From day one, Interim President Engler has pursued a policy of defensiveness and hostility toward Nassar’s victims.
Under the leadership of Simon, Engler, and the Board of Trustees, MSU has spent mind-boggling sums to stalk survivors online, called them liars and would-be thieves, mocked their suffering, and whined endlessly about bad press.
There is no “healing” going on here. Right now, there can be none.
If MSU wants to recover as an institution and a community, the next step must be the immediate resignation of the entire Board of Trustees, along with every single official in Interim President Engler’s cruel and corrupt administration.