The interim president at Michigan State University says he plans to donate his salary to charity.The Board of Trustees appointed former governor and Spartan alum John Engler on January 31st.
He will run the university after the resignation of Lou Anna Simon, who stepped down last month in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal.
As his title suggests, Engler is only serving on an interim basis while the Trustees conduct a search for a permanent president.
Engler took the job without a contract or salary. Engler spokesman John Truscott now says he has a contract.
Truscott did not know the amount, but he says Engler has pledged to donate his salary to “MSU related charities.”
Engler’s appointment has come under fire by students and staff alike. Both say they should have been consulted about picking the former governor, who led Michigan for three terms between 1991 and 2003.
The choice of Engler, among other issues, was one of the reasons the Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly on a “no confidence” vote in the Board of Trustees. The vote was symbolic and non-binding.
In his first few weeks on the job, Engler has moved to fire former dean William Strampel, who was Larry Nassar’s boss at MSU. Strampel was aware of a sexual assault complaint against the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor in 2014. In response, Strampel issued a set of guidelines to manage Nassar’s behavior, but by Strampel’s own admission, he never notified other staffers what those guidelines were.
Nassar went on to sexually assault women and girls for two more years before he lost his job for not following those guidelines. He pleaded guilty to 10 charges of sexual assault in Ingham and Eaton counties, although the Michigan Attorney General’s office says the number of victims totals more than 250 over a 20 year period. Nassar is serving a 60 year federal sentence on child pornography charges, and if he survives that sentence, he will then will serve 40 to 175 years for the sexual assault charges.