Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM


The State – 03/21/24

Today’s weather forecast is predicting partly cloudy skies with a high of 37 degrees and a low of 26 degrees.

MSU Faculty Senate votes no on Israel divestment

Michigan State University’s Faculty Senate voted no on a proposed resolution to advocate for MSU to “divest from all financial holdings that support and profit from Israel’s military campaign and plausible acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip.”

Thirty-three voted no and 16 voted yes to the resolution, with some members instead promising to create a subcommittee to discuss MSU’s investments and potentially craft an alternative resolution instead.

The decision is a marked departure from continued calls for divestment by student government groups and activists. Both MSU’s undergraduate student government ASMSU and the Council of Graduate Students passed resolutions advocating for divestment earlier this month.

Financial experts say the complex web of outside asset managers and contractually-bound investments put the university in a bind — without much control over its own endowment.

Findings of misconduct warrant MSU trustees’ removal by governor legal experts say

Months of tension within Michigan State University’s administration came to a head on March 3, when an embattled Board of Trustees voted to refer two of its own members to the governor for removal.

It’s now up to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to decide whether the findings of trustee misconduct that prompted the vote meet the bar set by Article Five, Section Ten of the state constitution — a provision that gives her broad power to remove publicly elected officials from office for “gross neglect of duty or for corrupt conduct in office.”

Legal experts told The State News that the findings — that trustee Rema Vassar and Dennis Denno breached board bylaws and code of ethics by interfering in university affairs and using student groups to retaliate against colleagues, among other things — do warrant removal under the constitution.

But they said it’s important for the board members to be able to counter the findings before Whitmer makes a decision, and warned of their potential removal being used as political fodder — something Vassar claimed is already happening.

Whitmer’s press secretary last said her office will “carefully review” the request.

But there’s very little precedent to guide her decision. Officers usually resign or are convicted of a crime before governors can see their removal to completion.

But legal experts say Whitmer has enough reason to make history by removing Vassar and Denno.

Paul Finkelman, a visiting law professor at Marquette University Law School and an editor of a book on the history of Michigan law, agreed that the trustees’ reported actions — in particular that Vassar accepted private jet flights and basketball tickets from a donor — give the appearance of impropriety, which could warrant removal.

But Finkelman said that legally, the findings only present one side of the story.

For example, Vassar’s unsuccessful attempt to release the thousands of long-withheld documents relating to the university’s handling of disgraced ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar — a move that investigators said violated board policies — could be interpreted as an attempt at transparency rather than interference, he said.

All the more reason for Whitmer to wait for Vassar and Denno to present their side of the story before making a decision, according to Finkelman.

Based on original reporting by Theo Scheer.

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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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