Dept. of Education fines MSU $4.5M for handling of Nassar, provost resigns

Posted at 11:31 AM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 17:22:27-04

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education is fining Michigan State University $4.5 million as part of the continued fallout from the Larry Nassar scandal.

It is the largest fine in the department’s history and comes after two separate investigations by federal offices. Those investigations found “systemic failure” to protect students from sexual abuse.

The university announced Thursday Provost June Youatt resigned from her position, effective immediately.

In an internal letter to the MSU community on Thursday, President Samual Stanley Jr. said he is taking this matter very seriously.

“The letter of findings from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights made it clear that the provost and former president failed to take appropriate action on behalf of the university to address reports related to former dean Strampel,” Stanley Jr. said in the letter.

He said in the next month, there will be a feature on the university’s “Our Commitment” website to provide the public with updates on the university’s progress.

“We know what needs to be done and we will do it. As we make progress, if we need to do more, we will,” Stanley Jr. said.

Both the Office of Federal Student and Office of Civil Rights found MSU failed to adequately respond to reports of sexual misconduct by Nassar, didn’t protect students while complaints were pending and didn’t stop further harassment from happening.

The $4.5 million fine is the largest the Department of Education has ever handed down under the Clery Act, which requires universities to report crimes on campus.

The department will also require MSU to make changes to its Title IX procedures, including:

  • Hiring an independent Clery Act compliance officer
  • Create a committee with representatives from over 20 offices to help with campus safety
  • Make a system of protective measures and expand reporting procedures