President Stanley        

The Nassar Scandal

President Stanley At Six Months

Does Not Receive A Passing Grade

It is not unusual to evaluate the new head of an organization after six months on the job. MSU president Dr. Samuel Stanley reached the six month mark on Feb. 1, 2020. President Stanley’s job is very complex, and I am hardly in a position to evaluate his entire performance. This article will be mainly about what brought Dr. Stanley to MSU, which is the Nassar scandal, and a demand for a change in the culture and the personnel at MSU, which many felt was responsible for the Nassar scandal. My evaluation is about how President Stanley has dealt with the Nassar scandal.

When the Nassar scandal first broke there was a demand for everyone associated with the scandal, the enablers, to resign or be fired. This included all of the MSU trustees, President Simon, high level administrators that were implicated, and others who directly received complaints about Nassar from those he sexually assaulted. Getting rid of the enablers is what many including myself consider the most important step in changing the culture that led to the problem. Some of these people have left MSU, but others remain. None of the trustees resigned. Some of the trustees have been replaced through elections or resignation due to poor health. It is well documented that the trustees have ordered untruthful investigations in the past, and hindered the investigation of the Michigan Attorney General by refusing to release important documents so that their investigation was not meaningful. The trustees continue to withhold documents, therefore no investigations are being conducted at this time.

The trustees hired Dr. Stanley behind closed doors. The public does not know the mandate he was given and agreed to in order for him to be hired as the president. Perhaps, Dr. Stanley’s hands are tied.

MSU was cited for many technical and legal shortcomings concerning Title IX and the Clery Act. The interim presidents at MSU, Engler and Udpa, made many structural and policy changes They hired additional personnel so that MSU would be better able to handle the requirements of Title IX and the Clery Act. The interim presidents allowed Kristine Moore, who violated the Clery Act in 2014, to be the Clery Act coordinator until I complained to President Udpa.

I emailed the two interim presidents and stated that I wanted the next president to be very successful. I stated that the new president should start with a clean slate concerning the Nassar enablers. After replacing Engler interim president Udpa rather quickly fired Robert Young who Engler hired as the head of the Office of the General Counsel. No reason was given for why Young was fired. Did the trustees order the termination of Robert Young?

Former provost June Youatt is the only MSU administrator to leave her position since Dr. Stanley became the president on Aug. 1, 2019. She immediately resigned her position after MSU received a letter September 5, 2019, from the Office of Civil Rights, which blamed her for allowing Dean Strampel’s bad behavior dating back to at least 2005. The information contained in the letter from OCR was nothing new. The people responsible for the culture at MSU, the presidents, trustees, and others allowed her to remain as provost until she resigned. Ms. Youatt continues to work in some capacity at MSU at over $400,000 a year.

President Stanley is six months into the job and he has not terminated any of the enablers that remained.

I filed a complaint against MSU attorney Kristine Moore with the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission. They found that she acted in a very unethical manner in most phases of her investigation of a complaint against Nassar in 2014, which resulted in her exonerating Nassar. This allowed Nassar to work two more years at MSU during which time he sexually assaulted many patients. It is outrageous and disgusting in what MSU allowed Attorney Moore to do. She was promoted shortly after her very unethical conduct and still works for MSU.

I emailed presidents Udpa, Stanley, and all the trustees to inform them that the MAGC cited Attorney Moore for unethical conduct. I even spoke at the MSU Board of Trustees’s meeting on Dec. 13, 2019, and informed President Stanley and the trustees in person that Attorney Moore should be terminated from MSU. There has been no response from those that set the culture at MSU.

Paulette Cranberry Russell was the Title IX coordinator in 2014 when Kristine Moore committed her unethical conduct as the Title IX investigator of a complaint against Nassar. As the Title IX coordinator in 2014 Ms. Russell was at the epicenter of the Nassar scandal in 2014 and recently with her court testimony. 

It was her responsibility to make sure that Attorney Moore did the investigation properly, especially after she warned former president Simon that a MSU sports doc was being investigated. Ms. Russell has stated that she should not be held accountable for Moore’s unethical conduct because she was away on a vacation during the month of June, 2014, while Moore did her three month investigation, which concluded in July of that year. Russell should be held accountable for what happened on her watch, and be terminated from MSU. In January, 2020, it was announced that President Stanley would be transitioning Russell within the next year or two to be a special adviser to President Stanley.

Theresa Kelley monitored Attorney Moore’s investigation from her position in the Office of the General Counsel. Attorney Kelley read Moore’s final two versions of the report. Kelley should have corrected the errors and unethical conduct that she saw as the monitor, but did not. What was Kelley’s job as the monitor? Attorney Kelley should be terminated from MSU.

It is my opinion that President Stanley and the Trustees are doing about the same thing in 2020 that was done in 2014. The basic thinking and culture concerning the Nassar scandal has not changed. Therefore, President Stanley does not get a passing grade concerning how he has handled the Nassar scandal.

Theodore A. Golden, M.D.