Thursday, April 15, 2021

MSU's reports on Strampel and Nassar: Who are the 8 people being investigated further?

September 1, 2020
<p> The Hannah Administration Building on Aug. 23, 2019, in East Lansing.  </p>

The Hannah Administration Building on Aug. 23, 2019, in East Lansing.

Photo by Sylvia Jarrus | The State News

Most of the more than 40 individuals who may have received notice of complaints regarding ex-Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar's decades of sexual abuse and the misconduct of Nassar's boss, ex-College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean William Strampel, were cleared by the university.

MSU sent "Reports of Employee Review" for both Nassar and Strampel to the U.S. Department of Education, which includes the current and former employees identified as receiving notice of sexual misconduct complaints from Nassar and Strampel.

"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," Stanley said. "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."

The reports are an update of what progress the university has made and also name many current and former staff members. Per the reports, only eight people are being further investigated about whether or not they we were aware of complaints and concerns involving Nassar and Strampel at the time.

The reports are included in 33 tasks completed that are required as a part of the federal agreement reached between MSU and the DOE's Office for Civil Rights — more than 90 are in progress — according to a university release.

The agreement resolved an investigation related to Nassar’s decades of sexual abuse while employed by MSU.

MSU also included a progress tracker for those requirements here.

Eaton County Circuit Court sentenced Nassar to 40 to 125 years in prison for three additional counts of criminal sexual assault in February 2018. Additionally, Strampel was sentenced to one year in jail by Judge Joyce Draganchuk in August 2019 but was released on good behavior in March.

What the reports on Strampel and Nassar say about former and current staff at MSU

In the reports, no current members of the MSU Board of Trustees were named. The investigation found that most of those named involved failing to report concerns about Strampel.

According to the report, only six former or current staff are being further investigated about their knowledge of Strampel's misconduct.

"MSU also identified the following MSU current and former employees as potentially having notice of a complaint or concern of sex discrimination by Strampel," the report said.

The former and current employees that could have potentially had notice of complaint or concern involving Strampel that are being further investigated include:

  • Former MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, who resigned in the spring of 2018, will have a summary of the review documented in her personnel file. State prosecutors have asked an appeals court to review her dismissed criminal charges.
  • Former Provost June Youatt, who resigned from her role in September 2019 and now serves as a consultant for MSU's international studies and programs. The further responsive steps being taken include that she will not be involved in a reappointment, promotion, and tenure decisions, discipline and dismissal of tenured faculty for cause matters or administrator — deans, chairs and directors — review decisions. Youatt will retire from MSU effective Dec. 31, 2021. In accordance with MSU policy, a summary of this review will be documented in her personnel file.
  • Former Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources Terry Curry, who remains a tenured faculty member. The report said that, "A preponderance of the evidence supports that Curry did not report any concern of sex discrimination related to Strampel's 2015 Review to OIE or the Title IX Coordinator."
  • Former Associate Dean Kari Hortos who currently has an unpaid (volunteer) clinical appointment with MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. "Hortos stated that she never received a complaint about the way Strampel engaged with women," according to the report.
  • Former Assistant Professor and Associate Director Elizabeth Petsche. Petsche resigned from MSU on Feb. 2, 2019. In accordance with MSU policy, a summary of this review will be documented in her personnel file, according to the report.
  • Former Associate Chairperson, Radiology, Thomas Cooper, who retired from MSU on Aug. 31, 2018. Cooper is currently employed as a consultant in MSU’s Office of Planning and Budget. Tuesday's report said, "The preponderance of the evidence indicates that Cooper generally had knowledge of concerns of potential sex discrimination committed by Strampel through his role as a CAC member and in conducting an anonymous survey of students and staff."

The report on Nassar states that two more former or current employees of MSU are being further investigated as a part of the review. Those include:

  • Dr. Gary Stollak, a former professor at MSU who retired in 2010. The report said, "Preponderance of the evidence supports that Stollak, as a private practitioner and outside the scope of his work as an MSU employee, had notice in 2004 of a complaint or concern of sexual abuse by Nassar and failed to notify authorities of a report of suspected child abuse as required under the law." Stollak will have a summary of the further review documented in his personnel file.
  • Strampel, who was convicted of two counts of willful neglect of duty and felony misconduct of a public official for allowing Nassar to continue to see patients while an investigation during 2014 was pending. Strampel was also convicted due to the fact he did not enforce protocols resulting from the 2014 investigation. In February 2018, MSU didn't allowed Strampel to return from medical leave while also revoking his right to receive benefits typically received upon retirement.

The reports said that only those eight people will be further investigated. That means that of the 42 the reports named as potentially knowing about ongoing abuse, the other 34 were cleared by university officials, according to the the reports.

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