Michigan State University Student Radio

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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM


The State – 03/15/24

Today’s weather forecast is predicting cloudy skies early which will become partly cloudy later in the day with a high of 51 degrees and a low of 34 degrees. For the weekend, it looks like it will be mixed clouds and sun with temps in the lower 40s and 50s.

Former MSU employee sues university, alleges discrimination on basis of race, national origin and age

A former MSU employee in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is suing the university, alleging that he was terminated and discriminated against on the basis of his race, national origin and age.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Monday, claims that Zhongxiao Michael Chen, a former regional quality assurance director in MSU’s IR-4 Project, was terminated unjustly in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

As quality assurance director, one of Chen’s responsibilities was to monitor and review data and reports to ensure the IR-4 Project’s compliance with U. S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. As a part of this responsibility, Chen would have to report any potential study misconduct or data manipulation for corrective action.

According to the lawsuit, Chen conducted an audit of two lab reports around January 2021 where he noted that data had been manually manipulated. After reporting the manipulation, through Freedom of Information Act requests, Chen discovered that management had begun holding “secret meetings” to find a reason to terminate him, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit alleges that in an email obtained through these requests, Chen’s supervisor, John Wise, discussed three potential avenues for terminating Chen.

The lawsuit first lays out the argument for MSU having discriminated against Chen on the basis of race and national origin.

As a result of the alleged discrimination, Chen and his lawyer, William Selinsky, are demanding Chen receive backpays, retirement benefits, and additional punitive damages.

New MSU president ‘looking forward’ at goals, not ‘backwards’ at distrust, disarray

Kevin Guskiewicz spent Tuesday afternoon at Michigan State University’s School of Nursing, touring the facilities and talking to students and staff.

They told him that their simulation rooms — where students practice drawing blood or palpating abdomens — were aging and in need of repairs, said Guskiewicz, who began work as MSU’s president last week.

He quickly devised a plan: finance new simulation rooms by identifying interested donors or leveraging Michigan’s current nurse shortage to get state funding for the project.

The visit and ensuing discussions was one of the first stops in a months-long “listening and learning tour” Guskiewicz plans to complete as he begins his presidency. He hopes to do what he did at the nursing school at each of his 48 visits: hear directly from his constituents and conceive creative solutions for problems they’re facing, he said.

It’s the centerpiece of his vision for his first 100 days, which he laid out in a letter to MSU’s board last month. Guskiewicz shared a copy of the letter with The State News and sat down for an interview to discuss it.

The former neuroscientist and University of North Carolina chancellor is beginning his term at the cusp of years of distrust in and disarray at MSU.

The primary goal is to better inform himself of the strengths and weaknesses of each part of MSU, Guskiewicz said.

His secondary goal is finding a “signature initiative” that MSU can be known for statewide.

Based on original reporting by Emilio Perez Ibarguen and Alex Walters.

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About the Contributor
Rachel Fulton
Rachel Fulton, Podcast Director/News Producer
Rachel (she/her/hers) is a junior at MSU studying Journalism with a minor in Broadcasting. She found her love for radio in high school, where she was the News Director and a DJ for 89.5 WAHS Avondale Community Radio. She has been with the Impact since her Freshman year where she has continued as the News Producer for The State podcast and now our Podcasts Director. Her love for radio turned into love for Podcasting as outside of the Impact she is the Associate Producer for Lauren LoGrasso’s award-winning podcast “Unleash Your Inner Creative.” On her free time, Rachel loves to workout, swim, and cheer on her boyfriend Zack who coaches for MSU Football. “Let me fade into flashing lights”

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