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Aug. 19, 2019

MSU appoints presidential advisers on sexual misconduct issues

Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. has appointed two presidential advisers to support and drive the university’s efforts to address relationship violence and sexual misconduct issues.

Rebecca Campbell, chair of the RVSM Expert Advisory Workgroup and psychology professor, and Andrea Munford, a lieutenant with MSU Police Department’s Center for Trauma-Informed Investigative Excellence, will report directly to Stanley to provide guidance and make strategic recommendations.

In his first few weeks as the new university president, Stanley recognized the need to have advisers work more closely with the administration on an improved RVSM response.

“What happened at MSU was a horrible tragedy, and the institution failed survivors and members of our community,” Stanley said. “I am confident that the expertise, credibility and commitment of Rebecca Campbell and Andrea Munford will help MSU take the necessary steps to address critical issues head on.”

Campbell and Munford will work to coordinate meetings between survivors of sexual assault and the president; develop a strategic plan based on the Know More @MSU climate survey results and best practices for campus response to RVSM issues; and liaison with other RVSM-related groups and initiatives on campus.

“In my research and throughout my career, I’ve witnessed far too many times how the climate and culture of an institution impact how relationship violence and sexual misconduct incidents are treated, and we need broad-based systemic change at MSU,” Campbell said. “We need institutional courage to continue healing our community, and I’m optimistic that we can create change that benefits all survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence.”

Campbell will retain her current role as a tenured faculty member and continue her research grants from the U.S. Department of Justice on sexual assault victims’ experiences with the criminal justice system.

“Understanding how trauma can affect a victim of sexual assault or relationship violence has been the guiding principle behind much of our success in solving RVSM cases from a law enforcement perspective,” Munford said. “We need to take that approach into more of our culture at MSU, as well as continue the prevention and education efforts started over the past year. We all need to take the time to listen, without judgement or assumption, so that as a community we can create a culture of care. I look forward to working with the president and his administration on needed changes and improvements.”

Munford will remain with MSUPD’s Center for Trauma Informed Investigative Excellence. The new advisory roles are effective immediately.