As investigations continue into who knew what and when about disgraced former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse at Michigan State, two more university employees face discipline.
MSU will fire Nassar’s boss, Dr. William Strampel, the dean of the university’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, revoking his tenure and refusing to cover his legal costs, according to multiple reports. Additionally, the school’s radiology department chairman, Suresh Mukherji, has been suspended.
Strampel stepped down from his post in December, citing medical reasons, but planned to continue as a member of the faculty. That plan is through, as the fallout continues following sentencing of Nassar, which resulted in what amounts to several life sentences for molesting more than 100 female athletes.
According to the Associated Press, campus police and the FBI interviewed both Strampel and Mukherji last March in search of answers as to why restrictions resulting from a 2014 Title IX investigation into allegations of Nassar’s sexual misconduct were ignored — specifically the presence of a third party for all of his exams. Strampel reportedly admitted to not following up or enforcing those restrictions.
“William Strampel did not act with the level of professionalism we expect from individuals who hold senior leadership positions, particularly in a position that involves student and patient safety,” interim Michigan State president John Engler said in a statement. “Further, allegations have arisen that question whether his personal conduct over a long period of time met MSU’s standards. We are sending an unmistakable message today that we will remove employees who do not treat students, faculty, staff, or anyone else in our community in an appropriate manner.
“I sincerely hope the courageous survivors of Larry Nassar will see this as an unmistakable indication that things are changing quickly at Michigan State. I said last week that their efforts would not be in vain. This is just the first step in restoring trust in Michigan State.”
Strampel, who supported Nassar after the Indianapolis Star broke news of the former USA Gymnastics team doctor’s misconduct, is currently a target of several lawsuits by the disgraced doctor’s victims.
According to NBC News, the university did not specifically explain why Mukherji was suspended, “but said in a pointed statement that it expects all MSU staff to cooperate with Nassar-related inquiries.”
Former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon, athletic director Mark Hollis and gymnastics coach Kathie Klages have also resigned in the wake of the scandal. Two former gymnasts allegedly informed Klages of Nassar’s misconduct as far back as 1997, but their pleas for help were ignored.