Wife of Ex-MSU AD Questions Board on Transparency

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Nancy Hollis, the wife of retired Michigan State University athletic director Mark Hollis, joined the call for MSU to release thousands of documents related to the investigation of serial sexual abuser Larry Nassar.

As reported by the Lansing State Journal, Nancy Hollis spoke during the public comment period of the MSU Board of Trustees meeting Friday, calling on trustees, to release the more than 6,000 documents requested by the Michigan attorney general’s office as it investigated the case. MSU has said the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege. 

Hollis said the documents in question would shed light on the process that led to Bill Beekman's promotion from interim status to athletic director in July 2018 after former interim MSU President John Engler had announced plans for a national search in February.

"The legacy members of this board approved and endorsed the prior administration’s vice president and your very own secretary to this Board of Trustees as first the interim president and then onto his current position as athletics director," Hollis said. "I believe his role within the administration should be disclosed by the release of the over 6,000 emails you are withholding. This board strongly endorsed and vocally supported this hire with apparent disregard for transparency and accountability."

Hollis also singled out trustees Brian Mosallam and Renee Knake Jefferson, questioning them for their refusal to release the documents that have been requested by the attorney general’s office.

“Five of you on the board announced you would read these emails,” Hollis said. “Now there is silence from you. What was the purpose of reading these emails? Miss Knake, you are an ethics specialist, and you announced last year that you would read these emails. You must have something to say. Mr. Mosallam, you, too, said you would reconvene the board and discuss the next steps every after reading these emails. Yet, there's just a silence from you as another year has passed. Take action and call for a vote.”

Board chair Dianne Byrum reiterated her support for Beekman's hire and said Beekman fully complied with the Nassar investigation. Nassar was an MSU team physician who is currently serving a 125-year prison sentence for sexual assault of minors, among other charges.

As reported by The Detroit News, Mark Hollis retired as athletic director in January 2018 as the effects of the Nassar investigation were beginning to impact the university. Beekman, the Board of Trustees secretary at the time, was named athletic director in July 2018.

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