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MSU Board of Trustees takes heat over cutting healing assistance fund

Plaque on the door of the MSU Board of Trustees
Cheyna Roth

The MSU Board of Trustees held its first meeting on Friday after the school’s controversial decision to cut the Healing Assistance Fund for survivors of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar.

Most commenters were angry about the decision to cut the Healing Assistance Fund, which had earmarked $10 million for mental health services for survivors.

The school announced last week that it would move the remaining $8 million into a settlement fund.

Trustee Brian Mosallam has opposed the move. He says he’s frustrated but optimistic.

“Hopefully, reinforcements are on their way here in January, so we’ll see how things shake out with the new trustees,” he says.

Mosallam says he hopes two new trustees will mean enough votes to reinstate the fund or create something similar.   

But Interim President John Engler says he thinks the amount of money in the settlement fund is enough.

“We think $425 million transfered to the survivors is a big, big statement,” says Engler.

One survivor at today’s board meeting, Larissa Boyce, pointed out after the meeting that only one trustee, Mosallam, mentioned the demise of the fund.

“It showed that they really don’t have any type of backbone. They couldn’t even acknowledge it. So, once again, very disappointing that they’re trying to ignore the situation,” she says.

This was the last meeting for outgoing Trustees Brian Breslin and Mitch Lyons, two Republicans who did not run for re-election. Democrats Brianna Scott and Kelly Tebay will take their places.

Governor Rick Snyder has yet to name an appointee to serve the final four years of Democrat George Perles' term since his recent resignation.

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