After calls for her resignation, Lou Anna Simon, the 13-year Michigan State University president submitted her letter. She could not escape criticism that she knew of Dr. Larry Nassar's sexual abuse of students and didn't do enough. Simons admitted encouraging an investigation and not receiving the final report. Reports also say that at least 14 university staff members received complaints about Nassar over two years.
Although most of the board initially supported her, students and others did not, and in the end, the board chair wrote, "We agree with Dr. Simon that it is now time for change."
Simon's letter is a mix of sympathy for the victims, love for the college, and defeat. In this paragraph, she focuses on blame:
As tragedies are politicized, blame is inevitable. As president, it is only natural that I am the focus of this anger. I understand, and that is why I have limited my personal statements. Throughout my career, I have worked very hard to put Team MSU first. Throughout my career, I have consistently and persistently spoken and worked on behalf of Team MSU. I have tried to make it not about me. I urge those who have supported my work to understand that I cannot make it about me now. Therefore, I am tendering my resignation as president according to the terms of my employment agreement.
- Critics say Simon shifts accountability in her letter, particularly the paragraph above. What's your view?
- Did Simon make the right decision? Why or why not?
- What should the university do to help the campus recover from this situation? How can they rebuild trust and make MSU feel like a safe place?