Jacques: Taxpayers cover pervert's retiree benefits? No thanks
As a Michigan taxpayer, I’m furious. And you should be, too.
Your hard-earned tax dollars are going toward the cushy retirement of an alleged pervert who spent much of his career at Michigan State University -- and one who did nothing to stop the decades-long abuse by Dr. Larry Nassar of young female athletes.
If anything is, that should should be grounds for immediate firing. But the academic world and its protections of tenure can shield even those who deserve punishment the most.
William Strampel, the former dean of Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine who directly oversaw Nassar, was given the option to retire recently by university officials. So while it’s good news that Strampel is no longer an employee of the college, it’s alarming he was able to enter retirement on such great terms.
Strampel himself is facing four criminal charges related to inappropriate sexual conduct against female students. He could also lose his medical license.
By signing the retirement agreement with MSU, he was able to cut a sweet deal and save himself from potential benefit losses if his tenure was taken away — something interim President John Engler was putting into action.
The Board of Trustees had approved Engler’s suggested policy, which gave Strampel the ability to fight dismissal proceedings with the potential of losing benefits if MSU won — or retire right away.
Strampel won’t get the accolades of emeritus status, but he (and his wife) will get basic retiree health care since he was hired in 1999 when MSU offered that benefit. Strampel will also be paid $175,000, under the retirement agreement.
One of Nassar’s victims, Morgan McCaul, said it best on social media: “So ... you can literally be charged with sexually assaulting and harassing students by the MI Attorney General without being fired by (Michigan State). Scary.”
It is scary. And nowhere close to justice.