William Strampel, dean of the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, is stepping down from his administrative role today for medical reasons.
Strampel informed MSU Provost June Youatt on Thursday morning that he is stepping down, said MSU spokesman Jason Cody. Strampel is going on immediate medical leave but will remain on the faculty of the college.
He has been dean of the college since 2002.
Strampel has been criticized for his role as the head of the college where Larry Nassar worked for two decades. Strampel led the college during a Title IX investigation undertaken by MSU in 2014 after Nassar was accused of sexually assaulting a female patient.
That investigation found Nassar had not violated university policy. Relying on the opinions of four medical experts who worked for MSU and had close ties to Nassar — including one recommended by him — the investigator determined the woman didn't understand the "nuanced difference" between an appropriate osteopathic medical procedure and sexual assault, according to university records.
Strampel regularly checked in on the status of the investigation when it was ongoing, voiced his support for Nassar and told Nassar he could return to clinical work before the investigation concluded, according to emails. It's not clear whether Nassar did so.
University emails obtained by the State Journal through a public records request indicate two versions of the final investigative report exist. One was sent to Nassar. The one sent to the woman had information withheld from the conclusion section. She is among the more than 140 women and girls who have filed lawsuits against MSU, USA Gymnastics and Nassar
After the investigation ended, Nassar and Strampel reached an agreement on new protocols Nassar would be required to abide by. That agreement didn't include a follow-up mechanism to ensure Nassar was compliant.
Attempts to reach Strampel Thursday were unsuccessful.
Nassar, 54, was for two decades an esteemed sports medicine doctor for both MSU and USA Gymnastics, which sent him to several Olympic Games. He also worked with gymnasts at Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale.
He pleaded guilty in November to multiple counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. At least 125 women have made criminal complaints about Nassar.
Earlier this month, Rachel Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault, wrote that Strampel's decision to side with the doctor after victims came forward was one factor that left victims feeling that no one at the university was hearing their voices.
"It doesn’t fix the problem," Denhollander said Thursday, of Strampel's stepping down, adding that his response to victim's statements about Nassar was "absolutely abhorrent."
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges earlier this month. He is set to be sentenced next month on the criminal sexual conduct charges.