EAST LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Faculty members at Michigan State University are concerned about the allegations, investigations, and legal proceedings associated with former MSU and USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar and more than 100 of them signed a letter to prove it.
Nassar faces more than more than 20 sexual assault charges, several federal charges of child pornography, and civil lawsuits by dozens of women who claim they were assaulted under the guise of treatment. MSU fired Nassar in September after officials say, they discovered he wasn’t following new restrictions he was told to follow after a 2014 investigation.
The Michigan State University Police Dept. is leading the investigation.
The letter, which was read during the University Council meeting Tuesday afternoon, urges the university to turn over the investigation to an outside agency.
Lou Anna K. Simon was in attendance.
“We, the undersigned faculty, want the best for Michigan State University, the institution, its people, and its image,” the letter reads.
“We believe that a body or bodies external to the University (in original) should take the lead in the Nassar investigation. That recommendation applies to both the Title IX and criminal investigation. For us, it is not a question of whether MSU Police can take the lead competently. It is a question of ensuring investigative independence. Hiring external consultants is not sufficient.”
Professor Emeritus Frank Fear, who worked for MSU for 35 years in a number of roles, said he helped to write and circulate the letter.
He said so far, the letter has 140 signatures and counting.
More of what the letter says:
“The guilt or innocence of an accused is not the only matter at hand. Public perception is critically important. MSU Police are accountable to the MSU administration and that portrays a lack of investigative independence. Moreover, that could give the appearance that MSU has something to hide, even if it does not.
Regardless of who leads the investigation, eventually the truth will come out. MSU will be far better off for having allowed external investigators to uncover whatever truth remains to be revealed.
We know that the University is not obligated legally to make an investigative shift. But we believe that voluntarily passing the baton will reaffirm public trust in Michigan State University.”
University spokesperson, Jason Cody released a statement saying: “We appreciate the concern and viewpoints raised by faculty members. As President Simon said in her Feb. 3 letter, we are confident in the robustness of the reviews that are underway.”
6 News reached out to MSU Police Chief Jim Dunlap, he said the police department continues to work the case.
“We will continue to maintain investigative jurisdiction and are moving forward with additional cases to present to the Attorney General,” Dunlap said.
Nassar has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and claims he always followed accepted medical techniques.
READ FULL LETTER: