EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University provost June Youatt has resigned from her position.
Her resignation comes on the same day it was announced the Education Department fined the university $4.5 million in connection to the sexual assault case against Dr. Larry Nassar. The department released a long list of findings from its own investigation into the scandal that rocked the school, state and U.S. gymnastics world.
“(The Education Department's) letter of findings is very clear that the provost and former president failed to take appropriate action on behalf of the university to address reports of inappropriate behavior and conduct, specifically related to former Dean William Strampel,” said university President Samuel L. Stanley. "In my effort to build a safe and caring campus, we must have a culture of accountability."
Strampel, 71, was the former dean of osteopathic medicine at Michigan State. He was sentenced in August to one year in jail after he was found guilty of two counts of willful neglect of duty having to do with his supervision of Nassar and one count of misconduct in office over how he attempted to manipulate multiple female students in his role as dean, officials said.
Ousted former university president Lou Anna Simon has retired. She served as president from 2005 to 2018. She resigned as president in January 2018 during the criminal sentencing of Nassar in Ingham County. Nassar was convicted of sex crimes while working as a doctor for the Olympic women's gymnastics team.
Under her presidential contract, she was returned to a tenured faculty position. She retired from that position. Last fall, she went on a voluntary unpaid leave of absence while facing criminal charges in Eaton County. The case revolves around allegations that Simon wasn't honest with investigators about how much she knew and when she knew about abuse allegations against Nassar, who also served as a sports doctor for the MSU Athletic Department at the time.
More about Youatt
According to Michigan State's biography for Youatt, she took the provost position in April 2014. Before that Youatt served as Acting Provost (beginning January 2013) and as Senior Associate Provost (2006-2012) assisting in all matters related to the oversight of academic policies, programs, and budget.
"In her role as Senior Associate Provost, Dr. Youatt served on the University Committee on Academic Governance, coordinated accreditation, and reviewed all tenure and promotion recommendations. Recent projects have included the creation of campus 'Neighborhoods,' residential communities that provide innovative, integrated student support services. MSU Neighborhoods are designed to foster academic success, civic and social engagement, health and wellness, and intercultural development."
New fines against MSU
Meanwhile, the department will require MSU to pay $4.5 million in fines based on four serious findings of Clery Act noncompliance:
- Finding #1: Failure to Properly Classify Reported Incidents and Disclose Crime Statistics
- Finding #2: Failure to Issue Timely Warnings in Accordance with Federal Regulations
- Finding #3: Failure to Identify and Notify Campus Security Authorities and to Establish an Adequate System for Collecting Crimes Statistics from all Required Sources
- Finding #4: Lack of Administrative Capability
As a result of these findings, MSU must take corrective actions that include the following:
- Employ an independent Clery Compliance Officer, who will report to a high-level executive;
- Establish a new Clery Compliance Committee that includes representation from more than 20 offices that play a role in campus safety, crime prevention, fire safety, emergency management, and substance abuse prevention; and
- Create a system of protective measures and expanded reporting to better ensure the safety of its student-athletes in both intercollegiate and recreational athletic programs. Similar steps will be taken to better ensure the safety of minor children who participate in camps or other youth programs that are sponsored by the University or that are held on its properties.