Open Letter to the College

  • Jan 26, 2018
  • Open letter to the College of Natural Science
  • Homepage Hero, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Research, Students, College of Natural Science

I am profoundly saddened and heart-broken by the harm and suffering inflicted on the survivors by the despicable actions of Larry Nassar. I can only imagine the pain that the survivors and their families have endured and continue to experience.  We all feel the shock, disbelief, shame and sorrow in coming to grips with the fact that something this horrendous and of this scope happened within our community. 

Out of the recent whirlwind of survivor impact statements, the Nassar sentencing and the resignation of President Simon, comes a critical juncture and opportunity for change at Michigan State University.

No one has all the answers right now, but the first step is to honor and support the girls and women who had the courage and fortitude to confront Larry Nassar and expose him for the contemptible person he is. We can’t change the past, nor can we make the victims whole again. But we can resolve to look honestly at ourselves, learn from our failures and commit to changing the culture that permitted this tragedy to occur.  

My priority in the coming weeks and months is to work collaboratively within the college and with other deans and colleges across the university to begin to rebuild the trust that will foster openness, honesty and accountability as we work to create a community that is more responsive, just and safe.

The path we are now on will undoubtedly be difficult at times. The example set by these women and girls stands as a model of inspiration and right action for all of us. May we, as a university community, emulate their bravery and resilience as we seek to forge a culture of responsibility, respect and mutual support at MSU.


Cheryl Sisk

NatSci interim dean