Message from MSU Board of Trustees, Dec. 15, 2017

Last week, former MSU physician Larry Nassar was sentenced to the equivalent of life in federal prison. We are deeply saddened by the stories of abuse that led to this moment and grateful for the courage the victims showed in coming forward. We are genuinely sorry for what happened to you and express our deepest sympathies to each and every one of you, particularly those of you here today.

To express our concern for and commitment to these brave young women, we are establishing a $10 million fund for counselling and mental health services and instructed the MSU leadership team to accomplish this with the utmost urgency.

Over the past 15 months, since Nassar’s criminal actions were first brought to our attention, the Board has been focused on understanding what work we can and must do to provide a safer campus environment. As President Simon said earlier, we have taken a hard look at areas where we can improve and acted quickly and decisively. Whether it is the MSU HealthTeam, our Title IX program, how medical services are provided or how we protect youth on campus, steps have been and continue to be taken to better serve our MSU community.

We understand and respect the public’s desire for information and details about these matters. However, we are still engaged in civil litigation and it is simply not appropriate in most instances to offer specific details while that process continues. Our hope has been and continues to be for a fair and just resolution.

What we can state emphatically is that it is simply not true that there has been any kind of cover up. From the outset, we have directed our counsel to report immediately to us and to relevant law enforcement any knowledge of criminal behavior. We stand before you today and tell you that no such person has been identified to us.

We hope you understand that when we push back against accusations made by plaintiffs’ lawyers about the university, and the university defends itself in the civil litigation, it is not a reflection of our view of the victims for whom we have the utmost respect and sympathy but our desire to set the record straight and to protect MSU’s educational and research missions.

Finally, we would like to thank the MSU Police Department, FBI, Attorney General and the US Attorney for their roles in bringing Nassar to justice and reaffirm our full confidence in and support for President Simon and her leadership during this difficult time.

 --Chairperson Brian Breslin on behalf of the Board of Trustees