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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Three alumni join Board of Trustees
By Hannah Marr, News Editor • June 21, 2024

LeBlanc apologizes for Swain hiring following widespread criticism

File Photo by Grace Hromin | Assistant Photo Editor
University President Thomas LeBlanc said he knows students, faculty and staff want certainty regarding fall plans but is asking the campus community to be flexible as officials continue monitoring the ongoing situation.

University President Thomas LeBlanc said he “deeply” regrets his hiring of Heather Swain, who rescinded her offer as GW’s vice president for communications and marketing earlier this month.

Swain fell under widespread criticism from students and faculty following her hiring for her role in the Larry Nassar case at Michigan State University. LeBlanc said in an email to the University community Tuesday that he accepts “full responsibility” for the hiring.

“I sincerely apologize for the distress and distraction that this has caused many in our community,” LeBlanc said in the email. “I should have recognized the sensitivities and implications of this hire. It is a mistake I deeply regret.”

Swain withdrew her GW offer days after LeBlanc announced her hiring earlier this month. A petition calling for Swain to rescind her offer garnered more than 1,350 signatures before officials said she would no longer come to the University.

Investigators said  in 2018 that Michigan State had a culture of “anti-transparency,” referencing messages sent by Swain to trustees in her role as vice president of communications and brand strategy.

“Moving forward into the fall, and thinking ahead to next spring, we will continue to foster a dialogue, listen to your concerns and enhance our communications with you,” LeBlanc said.

Swain will stay on in her current role at Michigan State, a spokesperson told the Lansing State Journal last week.

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