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MSU Trustees Hear From Assault Survivors On Presidential Search

Grace French speaks to MSU Trustees photo
Scott Pohl
Grace French (at microphone), a Larry Nassar sexual assault survivor, addresses MSU Trustees.

There were no disruptions by ReclaimMSU members at today’s MSU Board of Trustees meeting, but there was displeasure voiced over the makeup of the school’s presidential search committee.

Only a handful of people took part in public comment at the meeting, mostly to address the omission of a sexual assault survivor in the wake of the Larry Nassar case.

One speaker was Grace French, a Larry Nassar assault survivor. She says survivors have been reaching out to offer input on MSU’s presidential search, but got “zero response.” 

“Because we have reached out so many times saying we want to be involved in whatever cultural change, that they would be smart enough to connect the dots and be like OK, so they want to be involved,” continues French. “This is a way we can get them involved.”

One member of the presidential search committee is Trustee Joel Ferguson, who has made remarks some have criticized as being insensitive to survivors. Ferguson chaired the last presidential search at MSU. “I’m very qualified, I’m very able,” says Ferguson. “I can’t picture any remark that someone has a shot with. What’s someone unhappy about? I’ll do a very good job, like I always have.”

University spokesperson Emily Guerrant points out that even though no known Nassar assault survivors are on the committee, that doesn’t mean that there no panel member has ever been sexually assaulted.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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