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Statement on arrest of former Dean Strampel (March 27, 2018)

One of the first actions I took upon my appointment as interim president of Michigan State University in early February was to pursue revocation of tenure and removal of former Dean William Strampel. As explained then, it was plainly evident he had not acted with the level of professionalism expected of an MSU employee, particularly one holding an office that involves student and patient safety. MSU will continue to cooperate with all official investigations related to sexual assault or other misconduct. But we have and will do more. With our action to revoke tenure, we are sending an unmistakable message that employees who do not treat students, faculty, or anyone else appropriately are subject to administrative discipline up to and including firing.

Allegations about Strampel’s own behavior as well as lack of attention to the conduct of Larry Nassar now have resulted in criminal charges against him from the Michigan Attorney General. Some of the allegations about his personal conduct, especially conduct toward students, are disturbing. Today’s charges confirm our belief that he has fallen short of what is expected and required from academic leadership. They are not in alignment with this university’s values and they never have been.

His failings are unacceptable and that is why our work to change procedures, strengthen accountability and prevent sexual misconduct is so important. While the crimes of one doctor and the misconduct of his dean do not represent our university, they do demand the scrutiny of everyone in order to assure individuals like these can never be in a position again to harm others.

John Engler, MSU Interim President