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MSU professor resigns after sexual harassment investigation proved violation of university policy

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 16:27:08-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A former Michigan State University professor who was found to have multiple incidences of sexual harassment resigned just before the Board of Trustees was set to terminate his employment at their June meeting.

David Foran was a criminal justice professor when at least four students reported his behavior to the Office of Institutional Equity. According to the OIE report, Foran kissed each of the four women on the head, forcibly massaged their shoulders, and hugged them without their consent.

In at least one instance Foran was found to have retaliated against a student for their role in the OIE’s investigation. Under recommendation from the OIE for his violation of Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy, then-Dean of the College of Social Science Rachel Croson and Dean of the College of Natural Science Phillip M. Duxbury initiated the process to dismiss Foran.

A hearing committee unanimously decided to recommend the university dismiss Foran on the basis of “clear and convincing evidence that Dr. Foran engaged in acts of discrimination, including harassment, and retaliation prohibited by University policy,” according to a letter President Stanley sent to Foran April 30.

Foran’s dismissal was set to be confirmed by the university’s Board of Trustees at their virtual meeting on June 18. Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Teresa Woodruff notified Foran when the board would take action in his case in a letter delivered May 26.

Eight days later, on June 3, Foran resigned from his position. In a letter to the university’s human resources department, Foran said, “owing to matters beyond my control, I am hereby resigning from my position at Michigan State University.”

A spokesperson for MSU says that although Foran resigned prior to being released for his actions, the university ensures Foran cannot be affiliated with MSU in any capacity moving forward.

“We acknowledge that these actions alone may not undo the harm he has caused, but we hope they provide a measure of accountability and reinforce our university leaders’ shared commitment to change, accountability, and upholding policies designed to build a safer campus for everyone at MSU,” Deputy Spokesperson Dan Olsen said.

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