February 8, 2018
Michigan State University has come under federal investigation for its handling of sexual assault allegations, including failure to respond to reports that former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused his patients for nearly twenty years. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos met with University President Lou Anna Simon in September 2017, just two days before her department rolled back Title IX regulations that dealt with reporting of sexual assault. Michigan State also unveiled a major new medical research facility in Secretary DeVos’ hometown of Grand Rapids, thanks in part to a generous $10 million gift from the DeVos family.
CREW requested all communications between DeVos and representatives of Michigan State University, including those regarding the Department of Education’s investigation into the university’s handling of sexual assault cases under Title IX and Larry Nassar, as well as communications regarding investigations of sexual assaults by university basketball and football players.
The requested records will reveal the extent to which Michigan State officials were pushing the Department of Education to drop its investigations and monitoring activities of the school. They will also reveal if Secretary DeVos’ personal connections to the university played a part in her decision to alter the Title IX rules governing on-campus sexual misconduct at the Department of Education.
Read the FOIA request here.