Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Reclaim MSU: 'We believe that the legacy trustees have failed MSU'

Protesters from Reclaim MSU hold signs during the Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 16, 2018 at the Hannah Administration Building. (Nic Antaya | The State News)
Protesters from Reclaim MSU hold signs during the Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 16, 2018 at the Hannah Administration Building. (Nic Antaya | The State News) —

By Reclaim MSU

Reclaim MSU is an alliance of students, staff, faculty and alumni at Michigan State University demanding transparency, accountability and equitable distribution of power and resources from the MSU administration.

Over the last two years, we have called for the resignation of every one of the legacy trustees. In 2018, trustees Brian Breslin and Mitch Lyons chose not to run for re-election. In 2020, trustees Joel Ferguson and Brian Mosallam should step aside as well.

We believe that the legacy trustees – Dianne Byrum, Dan Kelly, Melanie Foster, Ferguson and Mosallam – have failed MSU during their years of service on the board. 

They failed to respond to the sexual assault of hundreds of women by Larry Nassar and to the broader sexual assault crisis across campus. A damning report from the Department of Education shows that MSU hid Nassar’s crimes, broke federal law and failed to keep MSU students safe. 

They supported former President Lou Anna K. Simon to the bitter end, then gave her a $2.4 million payout

They unanimously voted to hire John Engler as interim president — a position of power to which he was completely unsuited — then did nothing as he insulted sexual assault survivors, hired his cronies on outrageous contracts and further damaged MSU’s reputation.

They shut down the MSU healing fund established to help survivors with counseling and resisted calls to reopen the fund, forcing survivors to go six months without support for their healing.

They neglected their fiduciary responsibilities, leading to Moody’s Investors Service downgrading MSU’s bond status.

They requested an investigation using public funds from the Michigan Attorney General and then stonewalled it by refusing to release over 6,000 documents under dubious claims of attorney-client privilege.

Reclaim MSU does not believe that any of the legacy trustees are fit to lead MSU. They failed in their response to Larry Nassar, failed to cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation and failed to protect students and other members of the MSU community. 

They continue to fight survivors seeking justice and continue to stonewall efforts to find out the truth about what happened under their watch at MSU. We call on them to step aside and make way for others who can better meet the needs of our university.

 Learn more and follow Reclaim MSU at reclaimmsu.com or on Twitter: @ReclaimMSU.

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