MSU trustee resigns over handling of Nassar case


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Nancy Schlichting has resigned from Michigan State University Board of Trustees over concerns about how it continues to handle the Larry Nassar scandal.

Schlichting sent a letter of resignation to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the governor’s office confirmed to News 8.

The Detroit News, which first reported the resignation, said Schlichting cited concerns over failure to launch an independent investigation.

“It has become very clear to me that my commitment to have an independent review of the Nassar situation, and to waive privilege so the truth can come out, is not shared by the MSU Board Chair, legacy Board members, and some newer trustees,” Schlichting wrote in a portion of the resignation letter published by The Detroit News.

“Nancy was appointed to our board last year during a difficult transitional period for the university,” Board Chair Dianne Byrum said in a statement. “I’m grateful that she took on the role and helped us with the challenges we are facing.”

“Nancy brought tremendous experience managing large organizations to her role on the MSU Board of Trustees,” MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in a separate statement. “I’m sorry that she is stepping down, but I wish her much personal success and happiness with her other projects. We valued her insight and contributions while she was with us.”

The governor will have to appoint someone to replace Schlichting. The seat will be up for election in 2022.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessell issued a statement Monday on Schlichting’s resignation.

“I respect Trustee Schlichting’s decision to step down and I hope Gov. Whitmer appoints someone committed to transparency, which includes waiving privilege on the nearly 6,000 documents our department has yet to see so that we may complete our comprehensive investigation.”

A former chief executive of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Schlichting was appointed to the board in December 2018 by Gov. Rick Snyder, taking over for George Perles, who resigned after being accused of covering up a rape allegation against Nassar.

Hundreds of girls and women say Nassar, a former sports doctor for MSU and USA Gymnastics, sexually abused them under the guise of providing medical care. He is serving long prison sentences for federal child porn charges and state-level sexual assault charges.

Also Monday, former MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon was ordered to stand trial after being accused of lying to police during their investigation into Nassar.

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