Former Michigan State University Dean of Osteopathic Medicine William Strampel, who oversaw most of Larry Nassar’s tenure at the school, was arrested Monday. Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel provided more details on the charges and they are, once again, unconscionable.
Lansing State Journal reporter Chris Haxel dove deeper into the disturbing charges in this difficult-to-stomach thread. There’s also this:
ESPN obtained copies of Strampel’s past performance reviews which they report contain:
“several complaints about his habit of making inappropriate remarks of a sexual nature in professional settings. The reviews include surveys in which respondents paint a picture of Strampel as a capable fundraiser and decisive administrator, but someone who “rules with fear” and regularly interjected sexual innuendo and comments about the appearance of women into conversations with students and co-workers.”
Citing health reasons, Strampel stepped down as dean in December. In February, interim MSU President John Engler moved to revoke his tenure amid an attorney general’s investigation into the sexual misconduct at the school.
This was the person charged with monitoring Nassar.
Once again, MSU’s complete incompetence has seemingly been laid bare. While there is something to be said for those who skirted responsibility for so long being forced to take it, day after day, the breakdown of institutional safeguards are being exposed as more meaningless than before.
Amid all this, interim president Engler found the time earlier this month to actually stand in front of cameras and blast ESPN’s history regarding sexual misconduct.
“The 50,000 students on campus are going to class, and they want a safe environment. I think you have a safer environment today, and with the changes we are making, we’re making significant progress,” Engler told a small scrum of reporters. “That’s very much to the good and that response to the larger national debate that ESPN is wrapped up in.
“Look at the sexual assaults you guys are dealing with as a company. It’s pretty serious. In many ways, their company is one of the worst offenders in the nation. So we have a sexual assault challenge in America today. But for Michigan State, we’re dealing with it on our campus.”
Engler’s comments are a response to the network’s Outside the Lines report focusing on the Spartans basketball and football programs. And they are representative of a large faction of alums and students who feel the reporting was sensationalized and not entirely factual.
That’s a conversation worth having, though the verdict hinges on further information. I understand the impulse to protect the university. But how is it possible that the new regime in East Lansing is making the same mistakes as the one forced to leave in shame? How can it not see how tonedeaf these statements sound when Nassar’s boss is led away in handcuffs and accused of sexual misconduct himself?
At what point will they learn to shut up and clean the side of the street they are responsible for? I ask on behalf of countless alums and others who care about the university and are sick of seeing the leadership step on every available rake.
Whataboutism is always worthless but especially counterproductive and insulting in this case.
This is about far more than PR, but the mismanagement is just salt in the wounds. It’s time to shut up and act, to do everything possible to bring healing to the victims.