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Education Dept. Investigates Michigan State

February 27, 2018
 
 

The Department of Education will conduct an investigation of systemic issues at Michigan State University involving the institution's response to allegations of misconduct by Larry Nassar, it announced Monday.

Nassar, a former Michigan State faculty member as well as the team doctor for USA Gymnastics, was sentenced last month to between 40 and 175 years in prison for the sexual assault of minors. More than 265 victims have stepped forward to accuse him of misconduct, many of them athletes who went to him for treatment for years.

The fallout of the Nassar case last month included the resignation of Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon, who had become the focus of many students and faculty members over the university's failures involving Nassar.

The Department of Education previously conducted a separate Title IX investigation at the university in 2015. This new inquiry will look specifically at the university's handling of reports of sexual violence involving Nassar. In a statement, Secretary Betsy DeVos said the members of the Office for Civil Rights will be in East Lansing, Mich., shortly to join a team from the Office of Federal Student Aid, which is conducting a Clery Act compliance examination at the Michigan State campus.

"We expect MSU’s full and complete disclosure about its actions to protect students from sexual assault," DeVos said. "The crimes for which Dr. Nassar has been convicted are unimaginable. The bravery shown by the survivors has been remarkable. My heart goes out to them as they have had to relive their horrific experiences and as they begin the long road to healing. Every student across every campus should know that I am committed to ensuring all students have access to a learning environment free from sexual misconduct and discrimination and that all institutions that fall short will be held accountable for violations of federal law."

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