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MI House of Reps. passes resolution asking MSU president to resign

Posted at 4:32 PM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 17:03:37-05

LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan House of Representatives passed a resolution Wednesday afternoon calling on Lou Anna K. Simon to resign as president of Michigan State University.

House Resolution No. 234 passed 96 to 11.  The resolution states that if Simon doesn't resign, the Board of Trustees of Michigan State University should take action to remove her from office.

Simon has come under criticisms for her handling of the investigation into gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar who was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing over 150 female athletes since 1992.  Nassar was earlier sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

"The lack of leadership and accountability among MSU's highest ranks allowed a predator to continue to abuse, and victims to suffer in silence, for far too long. As university president, Lou Anna K. Simon must ultimately take responsibility for her actions, or lack thereof, and the university culture that allowed this to happen."

The MSU Board of Trustees released a statement supporting Simon earlier this week.  Simon has been president at MSU since 2005.

Wednesday afternoon, Trustee Dianne Byrum, released a statement saying she supports the resignation of Simon and the investigation by the Attorney General.  She also said she was disgusted by comments made earlier in the week by fellow Trustee Joel Ferguson.

Ferguson referred to the situation as "the Nassar thing" during a radio interview.

Here is Byrum's complete statement:

“It is clear that the public has lost confidence in the current administration of Michigan State University, and changes are needed to move the university forward.

First, I support the resignation of President Simon, effective immediately, and I support the investigation by the Attorney General that will provide a full accounting of what happened and take an important step toward restoring trust, which has understandably been shaken.

Second, I am disgusted by the abhorrent comments made earlier this week by Trustee Joel Ferguson, who does not speak for other members of the MSU Board in any way.

Unfortunately, through this terrible situation, the university has been tone deaf, unresponsive, unapologetic and insensitive to the victims. As a woman who has always fought for womens’ rights and victims’ rights, and encouraged women in all areas, it is deeply troubling to me that so much pain and suffering has been caused by my alma mater.

A full public accounting, top to bottom, is long overdue and I support it, along with a change in the current administration and a change to the culture at Michigan State University. We owe it to the victims, the public and ourselves to do the right thing and let the healing begin.”