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MSU announces external firm to investigate board chair Vassar's actions

November 7, 2023
The Board of Trustees during a meeting in the Hannah Administration Building on Oct. 27, 2023.
The Board of Trustees during a meeting in the Hannah Administration Building on Oct. 27, 2023. —
Photo by Sonya Barlow | The State News

MSU announced that the external law firm Miller & Chevalier will conduct the investigation into trustee Brianna Scott’s allegations that board chair Rema Vassar violated board bylaws and university policies

The Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance chose the firm in accordance with MSU’s processes for the Code of Ethics and Conduct, university spokesperson Emily Guerrant said in a statement to The State News on Tuesday

“Hiring an external firm is prudent and ensures those with information can come forward without fear of retaliation and that the campus community and people of the state of Michigan can have trust in the findings of this investigation,” Guerrant said

The investigation

Scott first sent a letter to the Board of Trustees on Oct. 22 alleging that Vassar bullied colleagues, interfered in legal disputes and attempted to keep word of her meddling out of an official report about the February campus shooting, among other things. Scott's letter also called for Vassar's removal as board chair

This prompted MSU trustee and committee chair Dan Kelly to call upon the university’s Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance to investigate Scott’s allegations against Vassar in a statement released on Oct. 23. 

In the statement, Kelly said the University’s General Counsel’s Office initiated a review on Oct. 23 to investigate whether Scott’s claims “rise to the level of a violation of our Code of Ethics and Conduct."

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