The State – 02/27/23

Rachel Fulton

Today’s weather forecast is predicting light freezing rain early and then that should change into rain in the afternoon with possible significant icing with a high of 37 degrees and a low of 32 degrees.

Former business dean sues interim president, top MSU officials

Michigan State University’s controversial former business school dean Sanjay Gupta has sued many of MSU’s current and former top officials for allegedly defaming him in a presidential succession plot.

The suit, filed Friday, Feb. 24, names seven defendants who all allegedly contributed to the defamation including interim president Teresa Woodruff, former president Samuel L. Stanley Jr., interim provost Thomas Jeitschko, Title IX coordinator Nicole Schmidtke, Title IX investigator (and senior coordinator) Allison Towe, interim associate provost Ann Austin and university spokesperson Emily Guerrant. The “defendants are sued both in their personal and official capacities.”

Gupta served as the dean of MSU’s business school from June 2015 until he was asked to resign in August 2022.

In the suit, Gupta is asking for reinstatement as dean of the business college, a ruling that affirms his due process and constitutional rights were violated, financial relief in attorney fees and “any additional equitable relief that appears appropriate at the time of judgment.”

In the lawsuit, Gupta alleges in a June 2022 performance review that he told Woodruff “if asked, he would be happy to serve upon the conclusion of then-president Stanley’s term.”

MSU’s Board of Trustees have also questioned the legitimacy of Gupta’s exit, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to investigate Gupta’s removal and the state of the university’s Title IX office. The Los Angeles-based law firm the board hired also provided “crisis management” public-relations consulting to the board.

The results of those investigations have been shrouded in secrecy, being presented to the board in closed-door meetings and delivered verbally to evade the Freedom of Information Act. But at its February meeting, the board announced it would release the findings as a single report when “complete” and promised what’s released will include the entirety of the firm’s findings.

The secret’s out: all about whales this past weekend at the Wharton Center

“National Geographic Live: Secrets of the Whales” came to the Wharton Center yesterday.
National Geographic photographer and filmmaker Brian Skerry said the show offered a “behind the scenes” look of the 40-page cover story and Disney plus series, also titled “Secrets of the Whales.”

It’s a three-year fieldwork project that spanned 24 locations worldwide, from the equator to the North and South Poles. The project documents the lives of five species of whales including humpback, sperm, orca, beluga and narwhals.

Some of the shared tendencies between humans and whales include language and dialect differences, diet preferences, singing competitions and even needing a vacation, Skerry said.

Skerry’s presentation featured director’s cuts videos and personal anecdotes in addition to the project in order to give the audience a “more intimate sense of these whale families and their complex lives.”

Skerry said he hopes that the audience will come out of “Secrets of the Whales” with a new perspective on the planet.

An unusual pair: Auntie Anne’s and Jamba Juice open joint location

For MSU students and other East Lansing residents, Grand River is the place to be for a quick snack, a casual dinner or even something a little fancier. A recent addition to this melting pot of foods is the new Auntie Anne’s and Jamba Juice joint location.

The decision to open in East Lansing was brought on by Focus Brands, a developer of multi-channel food service brands. It is the parent company to a number of well-known franchises including Carvel, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill as well as Jamba Juice and Auntie Anne’s.

Though Jamba Juice and Auntie Anne’s are typically a staple of malls, Focus Brands chose to expand outward with the two franchises, starting in East Lansing.

The establishment opened its doors over a month ago on January 5.

Manager and psychology freshman Alyssa Fredin said the location is constantly busy. She said she thinks it has to do with the fact that it is right across the street from campus, making it a convenient location for people in the dorms.

The store provides an environment for MSU students to thrive in, notably in its willingness to collaborate with the numerous student organizations that MSU is home to.

As a business that employs many MSU students, there is a visible certain level of connection between worker and customer.

Based on original reporting by Alex Walters, Jaden Beard and Siya Modi.