EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Dianne Byrum tells 6 News she will not return as chair of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.
“I am not a candidate for Chair of the board. I am passing the torch after being the chair for the past four years,” Byrum said.
Byrum will stay on the Board until her term expires on Jan. 1, 2025, but will no longer serve as chair.
The Trustees are scheduled to hold their first meeting of the 2023 calendar year to elect officers, including board chair and vice chair, to serve for a two-year term, said MSU deputy spokesperson Dan Olsen. The meeting is set to start Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Byrum’s time as chair can only be described as eventful.
In the aftermath of the Larry Nassar scandal, there has been a revolving door of presidents at the school.
Lou Anna K. Simon was forced out in 2018 and was replaced by John Engler. He eventually resigned as well and Satish Upda served as acting president until Samuel L. Stanley officially took over.
“I, like the Michigan State University Faculty Senate, and the Associated Students of Michigan State University, have lost confidence in the action of the current Board of Trustees, and I cannot in good conscience continue to serve this board as constituted,” Stanley said.
Teresa Woodruff has been serving as interim president since Oct. 31.
The direction of the Board has also been criticized by board members themselves. Pat O’Keefe resigned in late November, saying he can ‘no longer serve on a Board that purports to promote cultural change yet struggles itself to be transparent.’
The Board also came under heavy criticism when the university canceled the MSU Swim and Dive programs. In many of the monthly meetings since the decision was made, supporters of the swim and dive programs have voiced their disappointment during public comment. MSU was also sued for violating Title IX as a result of the decision.
In a December meeting, the Board concluded that there is no ‘viable path’ to reinstate the MSU swim and dive teams, mainly due to financial issues.
Byrum was first elected to the Board in 2008 and was re-elected in 2016. Previously, she was the Democratic leader of the Michigan House and served on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners from 1983 to 1990.