EAST LANSING – William Strampel, dean of the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, is stepping down from his administrative role today for medical reasons.
Strampel informed MSU Provost June Pierce Youatt on Thursday morning that he is stepping down, said MSU spokesman Jason Cody. Strampel is going on immediate medical leave but will remain on the faculty of the college, Cody said.
Strampel has been dean of the college since 2002.
Strampel has come under fire in recent months for his role as dean of the college where Larry Nassar worked. He led the college during MSU’s 2014 Title IX investigation into Nassar’s conduct with a young female patient. That investigation found Nassar had not violated university policy.
Strampel regularly checked in on the status of the investigation when it was ongoing, voiced his support for Nassar and told Nassar he could return to clinical work before the investigation concluded, according to emails.
After the investigation ended, Nassar and Strampel reached an agreement on new protocols Nassar would be required to abide by. That agreement didn’t include a follow-up mechanism to ensure Nassar was compliant.
Additionally. records show that Nassar specifically recommended that the university’s investigator use one of the experts that backed him against the sexual assault claim.
Nassar, 54, was for two decades an esteemed sports medicine doctor for both MSU and USA Gymnastics, the latter of which sent him to several Olympic Games. He also worked with gymnasts at Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale.
Earlier this month, Rachel Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault, wrote that Strampel’s decision to side with Nassar following that Title IX was one of the factors that left victims feeling that no one at the university was hearing their voices.
“It doesn’t fix the problem,” Denhollander said, of Strampel’s stepping down, adding that his response to victim’s statements about Nassar was “absolutely abhorrant.”
Denhollander, who is among the more than 140 women and girls who have filed lawsuits against MSU, USA Gymnastics and Nassar, said that, until the university acknowledges its failings with respect to Nassar’s victims, it “continues to be an unsafe place for women and children.”
Nassar earlier this month was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges. He is set to be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to criminal sexual conduct charges in Ingham and Eaton Counties.
At least 125 women have made criminal complaints about Nassar.
Check back for updates.
Contact RJ Wolcott at (517) 377-1026 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @wolcottr.
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