The fallout continues at Michigan State University after the school received a record $4.5 million fine for violating the Clery Act. Not only has the provost resigned; there was a bomb threat that targeted the main administration building on campus.
Record Clery Act Fine Against Michigan State University
We covered the record fine against Michigan State University in our last blog post. The fine followed an investigation by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, which found that school officials at the highest level failed to protect students from the sexual misconduct of Larry Nassar.
While this egregious oversight included Title IX violations, the fine centered on the Clery Act, which requires colleges to report crimes that happen on campus. By turning a blind eye and not reporting Nassar's misconduct under the Clery Act's regulations, MSU failed to give potential students an idea of how safe MSU's campus could be.
College Provost Resigns
The fallout from the fine was swift and significant.
The very day the report and the fine were issued, Michigan State's provost, June Youatt resigned from her position. She was one of the people in the officials at the “highest levels” that turned a blind eye to Nassar's conduct and the cover-up that let it continue far after complaints had begun to trickle in.
According to Youatt, she had received word of Nassar's conduct as early as 2014 but assumed that other people would look into it and tell her of any negative findings.
The person she was relying on to investigate Nassar, however, was William Strampel, the former dean of the school's College of Osteopathic Medicine. Strampel is currently serving a jail sentence for misconduct in a public office – a position he used to harass young women.
Bomb Threat Against College Administrative Building
The threat came in at 10:45 in the morning of Friday, September 6 – mere hours after the Board of Trustees met in the building.
The building was evacuated, but no suspicious packages were found. Faculty and students were kept out of the building and were warned of the ongoing situation through the campus alert system.
Joseph D. Lento: Title IX Defense and Guidance
The resignation and bomb threat are both signs of how powerful the #MeToo movement has become – and how dangerous these reactions can be. While the movement was created and designed to hold men accountable for using their positions of power to commit sexual assault and harassment, the people who are now facing repercussions are supervisors and collateral parties whose only misconduct was not paying close enough attention to what was going on.
The fact that the fine seems to have triggered a bomb threat to the school is truly disturbing, as it puts hundreds of innocent people at risk.