THIS MONTH’S COVER STORY EVOKES A LOT OF EMOTIONS IN ME—AS A
woman, a former gymnast, a mom and a Michigan State University alum.
And if I had to pick a word to describe it all, it would be “nightmare.”
Senior reporter Sue Reisinger chronicles the story of how MSU’s
legal department was thrown into the spotlight for mishandling a
scandal in which Larry Nassar, one of the school’s acclaimed doctors,
committed years of sexual abuse against his child patients under the
university’s watch. We take a look into what happened and what the
department is doing now to restore to the world what it means to be
And this is no small task. The in-house department lost two of its
top leaders, both of whom were accused of failing to adequately handle
a situation. Then a third in-house lawyer was named in a bar complaint
for leading an inadequate investigation.
In fact, there were 11 probes into how the school handled the Nassar scandal. We discuss those probes and report on how much those
investigations have cost the university in consultant and attorney fees.
There is, however, hope in resolving this nightmare for the school
with the hiring of a new GC, Robert Young, Jr. Young shares with
Corporate Counsel what he is doing to assist as the investigation and
And during the reporting for this story, we heard from a former
MSU grad and GC who shared her personal opinion about how the
university could have done more. As she explains in her op-ed, she
sort of goes through the stages of grief in regards to her school. But
her conclusion? The scandal represents a “master class in how not to
respond to a crisis like this.” And with GCs being tasked with the role
of crisis manager and overseeing reputational risk for the company, she
provides some important takeaways.
In the end we all know that schools involved in scandal like MSU
can, and will, rebound from the damage. And hopefully through it all
they can learn to prevent such atrocities from happening again. Unfortunately, it is a lot easier for them to move on than it is for the victims
who have endured the pain under their watch. Those are wounds that
are not as easily forgotten.
RECOVERING FROM DAMAGE
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