U.S. Dept. of Ed. fines Michigan State $4.5 million in Nassar case; provost resigns
The Education Department is fining Michigan State University $4.5 million for failing to respond to sexual assault complaints against Larry Nassar.
That announcement comes from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who says the university's failure to act created a "sexually hostile environment."
DeVos says the school also has agreed to take corrective action to protect its students.
Nassar is a former sports doctor at Michigan State who also worked at USA Gymnastics. He's serving effective life sentences for possessing child pornography and molesting young athletes.
The fine comes after two separate federal investigations: one by the office of Federal Student Aid and another by the Office for Civil Rights. In a press release, the DOE outlined four findings from those investigations:
- Failure to properly classify reported incidents and disclose crime statistics
- Failure to issue timely warnings in accordance with federal regulations
- Failure to identify and notify campus security authorities and to establish an adequate system for collecting crimes statistics from all required sources
- Lack of administrative capability
DeVos says the university did not adequately respond to complaints against Nassar and his supervisor, William Strampel. She says any school that fails to uphold its responsibility to students will be held accountable.
Strampel was convicted of using his position as dean to try to solicit sexual favors from students. He was sentenced to one year of prison last month.
The reports were highly critical of Provost June Youatt's handling of the accusations against Strampel. MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. announced that he accepted Youatt's resignation on Thursday.
This is far from the first financial hit the university has taken in the fallout of the Nassar scandal. MSU settled with more than 300 survivors for $500 million, which it finished paying in December 2018. And as of January 2019, the university had paid more than $20 million in legal bills.
This post was updated Thursday, Sept. 5 at 1:25 p.m.