LANSING, Mich. (WILX) Is Michigan State University's Board of Trustees as united as Joel Ferguson says they are?
There is new evidence of growing strife behind closed doors about the Larry Nassar scandal, and whether or not President Lou Anna K. Simon should step down. In an email posted on Spartan Nation's website Tuesday night, Trustee Mitch Lyons appeals to his fellow board members to "do the right thing" for the university. In it, he questions President Simon's lack of oversight in 2014 regarding Nassar, as well as allowing the doctor to return to work at MSU before the criminal investigation involving accusations of assault was resolved.
The email says "President Simon should step down immediately in the interests of this university. Whatever impact this does or doesn't have civil litigation, and/or on President Simon's legacy, are not and should not be our top concern at this point."
The email was posted after a tweet Tuesday by Trustee Brian Mosallam who refuted comments Trustee Ferguson made on Tim Staudt's radio show Monday, claiming the board only spent about 10 minutes at a 5-hour meeting last Friday talking about Nassar. Mosallam tweeted -- "the absolute majority of the meeting was about Nassar and how to move forward including what a succession plan would look like."
But Ferguson said this on Staudt's radio show, "We had so many other things we were going over, we unanimously decided in that meeting right away...we were going to support her staying as President. There are so many more things going on at the university than just this Nassar thing." That comment created a firestorm on social media.
Tuesday night, Ferguson issued an apology to the Detroit Free Press. In a statement he said, "he deeply regrets it ...and recognizes the suffering of these young women and had intended to refer to it as 'the Nassar tragedy.'