losangelesnewstoday.com May 24, 2018

Former Gov. John Engler expected to be named interim MSU president

01 February 2018, 12:36 | Katrina Lee

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Former Michigan Governor John Engler has been tapped as interim president of Michigan State University, providing some stability as the school works through legal and reputational threats stemming from the sex-abuse scandal around university physician Larry Nassar.

The five at-large faculty members of the university's steering committee, which is involved in academic governance, said they recommended that the interim president be a woman with experience devising and implementing anti-sexual harassment and sexual abuse programs.

Last week, the board appointed Bill Beekman as the university's acting president following the resignation of Lou Anna Simon.

Engler, a Republican, served as Michigan's governor from 1991 to 2003.

He was appointed to fill the vacancy left by the school's president, who resigned amid accusations that the school mishandled sexual assault allegations against former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar's return to court to face another prison sentence for molesting gymnasts could unfold much the same as a hearing last week in another MI county.

Also coming on board is another former MI governor, Jim Blanchard, a Democrat, who will be named as a senior adviser. In her resignation statement, she said Michigan State officials did not cover up allegations against Nassar.

However, there has been no word from Michigan State and two sources told The News late Tuesday that nothing had been finalized.

The split MSU board, a group of influential donors, athletics boosters and individuals with the political connections to win a party nominating convention to be on the ballot, portrayed Engler as the best available option to lead the university in a time of crisis.

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McCabe said they would call for a no-confidence vote in the Board of Trustees.

After Simon resigned, Engler, Blanchard and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm were suggested to the board as possible interim presidents.

Byrum is a Democrat, but despite past disagreements, she said she thinks Engler will do right by students, staff and the broader community.

Most of the questions and forms of protest after Wednesday's board meeting centered on that case, but Engler also was asked about the state of the athletic department after a recent ESPN report called into question its handling of sexual-assault cases within the football and men's basketball programs. While he was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison last week, the aftershocks from what happened and didn't happen at Michigan State are still rippling.

He says working to change things "starts today".

"This is what I wish people understood", Tracy said about the ire her public comments created when she referenced this conversation.

But she is hopeful he will lead the university in a new direction.

A MI judge says more than 265 people have come forward to say they were sexual assault victims of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

"Not me, but I'm confident they will find a strong, clear leader".

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