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MSU Museum director suspended following research misconduct allegations

February 24, 2020
<p>A sign for the MSU Museum photographed on Feb. 20, 2020.</p>

A sign for the MSU Museum photographed on Feb. 20, 2020.

Photo by Alyte Katilius | The State News

Mark Auslander, the director of the Michigan State Museum, has been suspended from his position for one month after he was found guilty of plagiarism and research misconduct by the Research Integrity Office in December 2019.

MSU Museum staff were informed today in an email from the provost's office.

Auslander's suspension is beginning today, according to MSU spokesperson Emily Guerrant. Dean of University Libraries Joseph Salem will serve in his position during the time of his suspension.

Although the reasoning for his suspension was not specified, it is assumed to be in relation to his alleged plagarism.

Retired MSU employee Barbara Wenger along with four others sent a letter, dated Feb. 13, to MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. and the MSU Board of Trustees questioning Auslander's continued employment.

"Academic integrity is a cornerstone of all educational institutions, and plagiarism by students and faculty is usually punished severely," according to the letter.

The letter referenced an excerpt from research misconduct procedures from the MSU Integrity Officer's website to justify Auslander's removal.

The letter also said a lack of swift action condemning Auslander explains how information flew under the radar concerning knowledge administrators had about disgraced ex-MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar's decades of sexual abuse.

"The world held MSU responsible for allowing Dr. Nassar to continue his misconduct, even though the administration allegedly knew nothing about what was really going on," according to the letter. "The bottom line is, Dr. Auslander's misconduct is public knowledge, but the University does not seem to be responding appropriately."

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