President Simon: Remarks to Board of Trustees, Dec. 15, 2017

Last week, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

I felt that the top priority from the beginning was for the MSU Police to expend whatever time, energy and resources were necessary to help bring Nassar to justice. I want to again express my respect and appreciation for all those in the law enforcement community—particularly the MSU Police special victims unit and cyber forensics team—whose tireless work helped accomplish that goal. I’d like to recognize Detective Lieutenant Andrea Munford and Cyberforensics Division detective Jerry Roudebush.

Over the past months, I have been intensely focused on making sure nothing interfered with the criminal investigation or bringing Nassar to justice. I also have been focused on taking steps to strengthen every part of MSU’s operations, policies and procedures that might in any way be improved to prevent something such as this from happening again.

Since Fall 2016, at the direction of the Board, we have engaged external experts to comprehensively review the MSU HealthTeam, our Title IX program, and how medical services are provided to student-athletes. We have restructured reporting lines, strengthened mandatory reporting compliance, and, in the case of youth protection, created a new position. Details about this work are available on the Our Commitment website.

As I’ve said before, it is critical we build a culture in our community where victims feel they can speak out confidently knowing their voice will be heard. It is only when brave women such as these here today are prepared to step forward will our community be safer from the plague of sexual assault. Without your voices and your courage, Nassar wouldn’t be behind bars. Thank you.

I am truly sorry for the abuse you suffered, the pain it caused, and the pain it continues to cause today. I am sorry a physician who called himself a Spartan so utterly betrayed your trust and everything this university stands for.