MSU leaders address ongoing sexual misconduct investigations

Michigan

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Internal investigations at Michigan State Universityare taking way too long, according to victims and community members.

Leaders at the school discussed the issue at the Board of Trustees meeting.

Elizabeth Abdnour has helped several people navigate investigations with the university’s Office of Institutional Equity as an attorney–and today was no different. She spoke at the meeting on behalf of an MSU employee.

“My client is an employee here at Michigan State University and she experienced several years of ongoing harassment and stalking,” Abdnour says, “and just a number of inappropriate comments from her direct supervisor.”

Her client was able to get a restraining order against the professor from an East Lansing judge, but the school is still investigating more than a year later: 544 days, to be exact. Abdnour says the fact that he’s still on campus at all, and that the investigation is still going on, takes a toll on her clients.

“They experience severe stress, anxiety,” Abdnour says. “It can impact their ability to do their jobs.”

The board says they’re working on it and trying to do better.

“I think we’ve had data already that’s been presented to us that says that we’re taking too long in a number of these cases,” President Samuel Stanley says, “so there is work to be done.”

Until then, the victim has to live with knowing her supervisor is still working on campus.

“That’s just something that she thinks about every day, every night, keeps her awake,” Abdnour says. “It’s very, very stressful.”

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