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Board of Trustees Statement on Sexual Assault (Feb. 16, 2018)

The following statement, from the Ferris State University Board of Trustees, was read by Vice Chair Lori Gwizdala, on behalf of fellow trustees, at the board's Feb. 16 meeting in Big Rapids.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we want to publicly express our concern and sympathy for the brave women who have come forward and shared their testimony of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar.

As an entire Board, we all take very seriously our roles and responsibility to the University and the commitment to shared governance we have at Ferris State University.

The administration has provided us with a full briefing on the efforts that have already taken place and its ongoing efforts to continuously improve sexual assault prevention, victim support and education for all at the university. We support President Eisler’s Jan. 29 message to the campus community on this topic, and the task force Vice President Jeanine Ward-Roof is leading. This work is important, in fact vital, for our students and the entire university community.

We are pleased that President Eisler has directed the formation of the task force, upon counsel with his staff, and with the advocacy of the Board of Trustees. We expect that the task force’s work, followed up by the Administration’s actions, and Board support, will ensure that:

The policies, procedures, and practices of Ferris State University regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment, are in line with the applicable Federal and State laws, and are in accordance with leading practices in higher education.

As the Board of Trustees, we will review with the Administration, on a scheduled basis, reports of sexual assault and activities related to sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention and education at Ferris State University.

We are proud this University embraces its mission, vision and values. The significant work that has been done on sexual assault prevention and education, and the work that continues to be done, flows directly from the core values this institution lives and breathes every day. Thank you for practicing the University’s core values in all you do. It takes each and every one of us to build and sustain the campus culture we can all stand behind and take pride in together.