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June 21, 2019

Trustees make Nassar-related announcements

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State University Board of Trustees announced creation of a new fund to support counseling and mental health services for Larry Nassar survivors. Trustees selected New Directions Behavioral Health to administer the Counseling and Mental Health Services Fund.

“We listened to the concerns expressed about the management of the initial Healing Assistance Fund and selected New Directions Behavioral Health with those concerns in mind,” said Dianne Byrum, chairperson of the Board of Trustees. “Based on their experience in this area and commitment to improving mental and emotional health, we are confident New Directions Behavioral Health can provide a more efficient and timely process as well as greater privacy for survivors.”

The new fund will be accessible starting Sept. 1, 2019. Additional details will be provided in August.

Trustees also announced their intention to initiate an independent investigation into the facts associated with the Nassar case. With input from survivors, the board selected McDermott Will & Emery through a request for information process to be the investigating organization. The full scope, timeline, cost and contract are still being negotiated.

The board today also approved an update to Policy 04-17-05 banning consensual amorous and sexual relationships between faculty and academic staff and undergraduate students.

“The purpose of this policy is to ensure that MSU’s learning environment reflects our moral and ethical responsibility to manage the power differential that exists when there are relationships between instructors and students,” said Provost June Youatt.

In addition, the board approved the 2019-20 budgets for AgBioResearch, MSU Extension and Intercollegiate Athletics. These are separate line items in the university’s budget and were not included in the two-year budget approved in June 2018.

Under the two-year budget, a tuition freeze for all undergraduate students takes effect, meaning tuition rates will not change from the 2018-19 academic year to the 2019-20 academic year. A flat rate tuition schedule for students taking 12-18 credits also will take effect in the fall 2019 semester.

Other board activity included:

  • A presentation by Arjun Krishnan from the Department of Computational Mathematics.
  • Authorization to proceed with an $18.8 million addition to Munn Ice Arena.
  • Approval of an amendment to Section 4.4.1 of the Bylaws for Academic Governance to provide the Honors College with representation on the University Committee on Undergraduate Education.
  • Authorization to proceed with the next phase of the T.B. Simon Power Plant modernization project.

Trustees closed the meeting with formal recognition of Acting President Satish Udpa “for his compassionate leadership, steadying influence and unwavering commitment to the university, its people and its mission.” Udpa was named acting president Jan. 17. He will serve until Aug. 1, when Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. will become MSU’s 21st president.

The next board meeting will be Sept. 6.