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Michigan State University

The "Sparty" statue on the MSU campus
Betsy Weber / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A group of Larry Nassar survivors are organizing a rally tonight at Michigan State University to call for the resignations of interim president John Engler and the entire board of trustees.

The rally comes after accusations and apologies about a meeting between Engler and one of Nassar’s victims. 

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

Interim Michigan State University president John Engler has appointed two long-time MSU professors, Bonnie Knutson and Michael Kaplowitz, as the school's new faculty athletic representatives. 

Their appointments come as MSU finds itself under fire for its handling of the sexual abuse scandal involving former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Kaylee Lorincz at MSU Board of Trustees Meeting Friday
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio NPR

"Fake news.” That's how a top Michigan State University official described a Nassar survivor's claims that Interim President John Engler offered her a $250 thousand payout in return for dropping her suit against the school.

The Detroit Free Press obtained emails sent by a top Engler aide following Kaylee Lorincz's appearance before the Board of Trustees, where she described the meeting she and her mother had with Engler, his aide, and a university spokesperson.

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Scott Westerman announced today he’s resigning as Michigan State University’s associate vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the MSU Alumni Association. While Westerman cited a desire to be near his grandchildren in Florida on his personal blog Tuesday, he’s also involved in an ongoing Title IX investigation, the university confirmed.  

John Engler at the final MSU Board of Trustees meeting of the 2017/18 school year.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

What struck Dan Wetzel, a national columnist for Yahoo Sports, most about last Friday’s MSU board meeting was the way Michigan State University Interim President John Engler interrupted Nassar survivor Kaylee Lorincz as she tried to tell a story about him.

“For him to interrupt her, to say, ‘Your time’s up’ – it’s like he has no idea,” Wetzel said. “I don’t think he even knows what the phrase means these days. It tells me he’s not paying attention to anything. He seemed to say it without irony.”

The Cobo Center in Detroit
Richard Landskroener / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan Democrats will gather at the Cobo Center in Detroit on Sunday for their party's state endorsement convention. These conventions are generally pretty drama-free, but this one could be different.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about the bitter race between Dana Nessel and Patrick Miles, who are both seeking the nomination for Michigan's next attorney general.


arcticpenguin / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Michigan State University seems to have used private statements between a student and a counselor in a press release to the public. David Jesse with the Detroit Free Press outlines the details in a story published yesterday.

Here’s the timeline: On Monday, a former student filed a lawsuit in federal court. That suit claims that back in 2015 three Michigan State basketball players raped the student. It alleges that university personnel discouraged the student from reporting the incident to police. On Wednesday, MSU officials issued a statement denying the allegations, and then proceeded to reveal when the student visited the counseling center and included details about what counselors advised.

Kaylee Lorincz at MSU Board of Trustees Meeting Friday
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio NPR

Updated April 13th at 5:40 pm

Kaylee Lorincz, a survivor of former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, accused Michigan State University Interim President John Engler of privately offering her a $250,000 check to drop her civil lawsuit against the school.

Lorincz says she told Engler it “wasn’t about the money.”

“Well give me a number then,” Engler replied, according to Lorincz’s allegations.

Michigan State needs cultural, systemic change

Apr 13, 2018
Michigan State Spartans
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

You might think the worst was now over for Michigan State. Larry Nassar is in prison, presumably for life. The university president who failed to get control of the scandal has been driven out of office, and one of the most powerful political figures in Michigan history is in charge of cleaning up the mess and moving on.

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

Update, Friday, April 13:

Michigan State University Interim President John Engler told the Board of Trustees Friday he "regrets" Wednesday's response to an alleged rape victim's federal lawsuit. The student claims she was discouraged by school counselors from reporting her assault in 2015.

Engler told the board the initial response "provided an unnecessary amount of detail," which was "perceived by some as violating privacy expectations." While MSU's statement on Wednesday described the woman's allegations as "untrue," Engler now says "we take these allegations very serious and are working towards improvements."

Flickr User Thetoad / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

State lawmakers want to hit universities in their pocketbooks if they don’t follow certain sexual assault policies.

A measure cleared a House committee Thursday as part of the House’s Higher Education committee budget bill. It would cut university funding by 10% if a university doesn’t follow certain Title IX and sexual assault policies.

“I do believe that a lot of the schools are already doing most of these things,” said state Rep. and committee chair Kim LaSata, R-St. Joseph. “But we just want it to be similar across the board.”

Plaque on the door of the MSU Board of Trustees
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

 

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees holds its final meeting of this school year on Friday after what was arguably the most damaging year in MSU history in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.  

The group Reclaim MSU was formed in response to the university's poor handling of complaints against Nassar. It's made up of students, faculty, and staff who promise to work for greater transparency and accountability from the board and school officials. 

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan schools scored poorly in the latest National Assessment of Educational progress, which tracks math and reading skills in 4th and 8th graders. Detroit schools ranked the worst for student performance.

Michigan Radio's senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry shares the results that stand out to him with Morning Edition host Doug Tribou.

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

A woman who attends Michigan State University filed a federal lawsuit against the school yesterday alleging that three former men’s basketball players sexually assaulted her in 2015.

The lawsuit says the assault occurred April 12, 2015 after the 18-year-old woman met the players at a local bar.

The woman says in the suit that she was taken to an apartment where the players took turns raping her in a bedroom.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids – and does not name the woman or the players.

A box of Ice Mountain brand water bottles
Steven Depolo / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has approved a permit for Nestle to increase the volume of water it pumps from its well in Osceola County from 250 gallons per minute to up to 400 gallons per minute.

More than 80,000 people spoke out against Nestle's permit request, but the MDEQ said it cannot base its decision on public opinion.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss potential political blow-back that could stem from the state's approval of Nestle's permit.


Belmont Tower at MSU
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

This week, a Michigan House inquiry about the handling of complaints over convicted sex offender and former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar completed its work. The information was turned over to the Attorney General’s office. Some of that information was released in a letter to House speaker Tom Leonard.

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

A state House inquiry released Thursday found Michigan State University failed to properly investigate or protect students from Larry Nassar, the former sports doctor recently convicted of sexually assaulting patients under the guise of treatment. A letter detailing the findings of the inquiry says at least 243 survivors have now reported Nassar to MSU Police. 

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

Three former Michigan State University football players pleaded guilty today in a sexual assault case.

Josh King, Demetric Vance, and Donnie Corley all took deals with the prosecutor’s office to lesser charges. They were charged last June and accused of assaulting a female student at a party in a campus apartment on January 16 of last year.

Larry Nassar
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Before the FBI arrested Larry Nassar for child pornography possession in December 2016, he was googling “Is it illegal to not use gloves with intravaginal manipulations,” “intravaginal manipulations for back pain,”  “vaginal massage,” and “Pubic Hair Removal Demonstration (18+) YouTube,” as police discovered after pulling 57,000 pages of search history from Nassar’s cell phone and laptop.

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

This week, Michigan State University's interim president John Engler announced the school was returning to mediation with victims of Larry Nassar, saying "The university remains committed to reaching a fair settlement with all the survivors."

But at the same time, MSU lawyers were trying again to dismiss the numerous federal lawsuits the university facing.

Belmont Tower at MSU
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Lawyers for Michigan State University and more than 200 girls and women say they will restart talks that could lead to a settlement in civil lawsuits related to sexual abuse by former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

In a court filing Tuesday, both parties say they are scheduling mediation with Layn Phillips, a former federal judge in Oklahoma.

Michigan State University
John M. Quick / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Larry Nassar's former boss Dr. William Strampel has been charged with a felony and three misdemeanors. Strampel denies the charges. Michigan Radio's Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss new developments in the Michigan State University sex abuse case.

MSU’s worsening nightmare

Mar 28, 2018
Dr. William Strampel
Michigan State University

In a way, the news that the longtime dean of Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine has been charged with criminal sexual conduct may be even worse than the revelations about Larry Nassar. MSU’s line all along has been that Nassar, the former sports medicine doctor who molested hundreds of women, was an anomaly.

Mugshot of Dr. William Strampel
Michigan Attorney General's office

The fallout from the Larry Nassar scandal at Michigan State University continues. Nassar’s boss and former Dean of MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, William Strampel, was arrested late Monday and arraigned Tuesday on felony and misdemeanor charges.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A state grant is helping Michigan State University expand its sexual assault program.

The program provides free and confidential individual counseling and support groups to MSU students.

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Dr. William Strampel, Larry Nassar's boss and former Michigan State University medical school dean, was arrested and booked into the Ingham County Jail Monday night.

People who remember, remember Republican John Engler as a blunt, pugnacious governor. And, before that, the same as state Senate majority leader.

Larissa Boyce testifies in Ingham County courtroom at Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing.
Emma Winowiecki

This week the Michigan Senate passed a package of bills that would, among other things, limit claims of immunity from civil suits for government entities, including public universities; extend the statute of limitations for when a victim can file a sexual assault complaint; and strengthen mandatory reporting laws.

Engler looks quite unsympathetic during House testimony

Mar 16, 2018

Twenty years ago, John Engler was by far, the biggest figure in Lansing, and perhaps the most powerful governor Michigan has ever had. He understood the legislature better than anyone, largely because he had been in it for twenty years before becoming governor.

He was both respected and feared, and lawmakers in both parties thought twice before taking him on. Times have changed, however, and yesterday Engler, now interim president of Michigan State University, found himself testifying before a skeptical senate subcommittee.

Michigan State University interim President John Engler scolded lawmakers today over bills that would make it easier for sexual abuse victims to file lawsuits.

He says the debate is affecting settlement negotiations with victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Engler appeared before a Senate universities budget subcommittee. He told the committee chair the bills could also drive up tuition. 

“Your legislation would certainly probably do that," he said. "I don’t know if it would force bankruptcy or not. I hope not.”

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