Saturday, May 18, 2024

'These reviews will benefit the entire university community': board defends external reviews

October 11, 2022
<p>Students, staff and alumni raised concerns on MSU Swim and Dive, Office of Institutional Equity and the university firearm policy during the public participation section of the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.</p>

Students, staff and alumni raised concerns on MSU Swim and Dive, Office of Institutional Equity and the university firearm policy during the public participation section of the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.

"A majority" of the Board of Trustees sent a statement Tuesday to the Faculty Senate and Steering Committee, defending the external investigations of the departure of former Broad College of Business dean Sanjay Gupta.

Gupta resigned as dean in early August, following concerns with a failure in mandated reporting, according to Provost Teresa Woodruff. The board hired outside legal counsel, the Quinn Emanuel firm, on Aug. 31 to investigate the departure.

The Quinn Emanuel firm has recently asked MSU faculty to help in their investigation. The chair and vice chair of the faculty senate sent a letter to the board on Oct. 5, stating “grave concern” with the firm’s contact with faculty. 

The board’s statement says that Quinn Emanuel has been hired for two investigations. The first is an assessment of the Title IX office.

“The Board recognizes the University’s efforts to improve the Office are ongoing and believes an independent review will give the University's senior leadership a needed progress report to make sure the Office’s policies and procedures align with best practices and ensure a safe, respectful, and accountable University community,” the statement said.

The second investigation is around the circumstances of Gupta’s departure. Board members said they “respectfully disagree” with members of the MSU community who find the review inappropriate.

The statement cites several mandates that relate to the board’s responsibilities, including the Michigan Constitution, the Board of Trustees Bylaws and the Policy Manual of the Board of Trustees. According to these mandates, the Gupta review is within the board’s rights and responsibilities, the statement said.

The statement said the goal of the review is to provide clarity on whether university procedures were “in compliance with federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations, and institutional policies.”

“Ensuring that University processes and procedures were strictly followed will allow our entire community to have confidence that every stage of the process—from initial complaint to the conclusion of an investigation and University response—was properly handled and will be so in the future,” the statement said. “Such a review is particularly important at this institution in light of Michigan State’s long history with Title IX and the need for all of us—trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, and students alike—to grasp the scope of mandatory reporting obligations and compliance with University processes and procedures whenever allegations of misconduct arise.”

The statement said anyone who is interested in sharing their views regarding the Title IX office or the review of Gupta’s departure can contact Quinn Emanuel at MSUReviews@quinnemanuel.com.

Support student media! Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.

Discussion

Share and discuss “'These reviews will benefit the entire university community': board defends external reviews” on social media.