MSU’s Stanley weighs in on trustees’ decision to not pursue outside Nassar investigation

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EAST LANSING, MI (WILX) - New Michigan State President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. met with the media Thursday before giving a speech on campus.

New Michigan State President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. met with the media today before giving a speech on campus. (Source WILX)

He weighed in on the latest controversy surrounding the university.

A few days after Stanley, and the MSU Board of Trustees, were criticized publicly for not pursuing an outside investigation into complaints filed against Larry Nassar, Stanley delivered his take.

“I can understand how people would feel if something was promised and then not done,” Stanley said. “I can understand that feeling. As it stands for me right now, I have a (U.S. Office for Civil Rights) letter that’s come to me with a whole series of things that I need to do, including evaluate some of the results of their investigation in terms of personnel and so on … that’s what I’m really focused on.”

While pressed by a reporter on MSU officials’ decision to not pursue an outside investigation into Nassar’s crimes, Stanley stressed the importance of the Office for Civil Rights investigation that concluded this month.

“(The investigation’s findings) are fairly comprehensive, and so I need to work on that and use it as a blueprint going forward so we can really improve and make some of the changes that need to be made,” Stanley said.

MSU was fined $4.5 million by the U.S. Department of Education this month for failing to respond to sexual assault complaints filed against Nassar.

Nassar, a former Holt resident, is a former MSU sports medicine doctor. In 2018, Nassar was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting hundreds of women and girls.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s investigation into Nassar’s crimes and MSU handling of complaints remains open. In June, Nessel stated in a new release that MSU “lacks the credibility necessary to conduct a legitimate investigation.”

Nessel criticized MSU’s officials’ lack of cooperation and decision to not disclose “all information in its possession about Larry Nassar.”

Stanley said today MSU’s Board of Trustees has been “very clear” they aren’t going to waive attorney-client privilege and release all the documents.

“I think that’s been their stance for the beginning, and I don’t see that changing,” Stanley said.

Stanley gave today the keynote address at the Greater Lansing Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Club Luncheon. The event was held at the Kellogg Center.

Tune in to News 10 at 6 for complete coverage and reaction at MSU to Stanley’s comments.

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