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Trustees unanimously approve resolution to reopen healing fund

January 9, 2019
Trustees Schlichting and Scott listen to presentations at the MSU Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.
Trustees Schlichting and Scott listen to presentations at the MSU Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. —
Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

A resolution to reopen the Healing Assistance Fund was unanimously approved by the MSU Board of Trustees. 

Following MSU making the payment on a $500 million settlement with more than 300 women who sued the university after being assaulted by ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar, the Healing Assistance Fund — which was established to provide Nassar survivors with resources needed for counseling services — was closed

The resolution was written by Trustees Dianne Byrum and Brain Mosallam, and will establish a new fund that will replace the one that closed December 2018. 

"In light of ongoing concern for commitment to the survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse, a new fund should be established to provide further assistance with Nassar-related counseling and mental health expenses, subject to terms and conditions to be established by the Administration in consultation with the board," a memo released by the board said. 

The board’s support for the resolution was not initially unanimous, Mosallam said. He declined to say who was initially opposed.

“We needed to work on it,” Mosallam said. “We got eight now, so we’re good.”

Some were hesitant regarding parameters and how the new fund would be structured. The board will need to discuss how to stay unanimous on the issue moving forward, Mosallam said.

“When we agreed on a resolution where we would go back afterwards and work out the granular detail, I think everybody got on the same page,” Mosallam said. “It really wasn’t a question of ‘if,’ it was more of ‘when’, and now the question is ‘how.’ I think we all need to get back in a room and put that together.”

Byrum also commented on whether or not the Board has set any details regarding the monetary value of the fund. 

“The details are still to be worked out, it would be premature for me to even suggest what those details are because that needs to be a collective conversation. … Everything’s on the table right now,” said Byrum. 

Mosallam could not give a time frame on when the new fund will be active.

“This is why it’s incumbent on the leadership of the board, collectively, to push this,” Mosallam said.

This article was updated at 1 p.m. to include statements from trustees. It was updated again at 1:40 to include a digitized version of the resolution.

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