Sunday, February 25, 2024

MSU to review board chair Vassar's actions

October 23, 2023
Vice Chairperson Dan Kelly speaking at the Board of Trustees Meeting at the Hannah Administration Meeting on Sep. 8, 2023.
Vice Chairperson Dan Kelly speaking at the Board of Trustees Meeting at the Hannah Administration Meeting on Sep. 8, 2023. —
Photo by Denille Reid | The State News

MSU trustee and committee chair Dan Kelly has called upon the university's office of audit, risk and compliance to review trustee Brianna Scott’s allegations against board chair Rema Vassar. 

Scott called for Vassar’s removal as board chair Sunday night, alleging she bullied colleagues, interfered in legal disputes and attempted to keep word of her meddling out of an official report about the February campus shooting.

In a statement released Monday evening, Kelly said the University’s General Counsel’s Office initiated a review this morning into whether Scott’s claims “rise to the level of a violation of our Code of Ethics and Conduct is appropriate.” The investigation will be conducted by MSU's Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance.

Kelly said he hopes that while the review is ongoing, the board can "set aside their current distractions" and continue prioritizing the presidential search and improvements to the Title IX process.

"All too often, Board Member comments or frustrations do not reflect the consensus of the Board of Trustees on most of the University’s pressing issues and concerns," Kelly said in the statement. "I am confident the Board’s love of this university and commitment to public service will outweigh any distractions."

Here's the full statement:

“I have read Trustee Scott’s letter, and in my capacity as Chair of the Board’s Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee I agree to a review of whether these allegations rise to the level of a violation of our Code of Ethics and Conduct is appropriate.

"To do so, I will follow our existing practice of requesting the University’s Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance to thoroughly examine these allegations and provide an update to the ARC Chair. The University’s General Counsel’s Office initiated this review this morning. Following the completion of the review, any recommendations will be shared with the full Board, who I am confident will take the appropriate action in a fair and unbiased manner.

“Until the established process plays out, I sincerely hope that my colleagues on the Board can set aside their current distractions and return to our unanimously agreed-upon priorities of a successful presidential search, improvements to our Title IX obligations and responsibilities, and maintaining the wellbeing and safety of our entire Spartan community. All too often, Board Member comments or frustrations do not reflect the consensus of the Board of Trustees on most of the University’s pressing issues and concerns. I am confident the Board’s love of this university and commitment to public service will outweigh any distractions.”

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