Interim MSU President John Engler keeps his temporary title after surviving a vote to remove him from office. MSU trustees voted 6 to 2 against a motion to remove him as the leader of the university. The vote comes after Larry Nassar survivors, lawmakers, and two MSU trustees have publicly called for Engler to resign after e-mails were made public showing him criticizing some abuse survivors.
Friday’s board of trustees meeting started with a sorry from Engler, but the tone swiftly shifted after trustee Brian Mosallam called for a vote to remove Engler from his role as interim president. The request riled up those demanding Engler to resign, but despite the noise, the no’s outnumbered the opposition.
Trustee Dianne Byrum joined Mosallam in the ouster attempt.
“The votes weren’t there today,” said Byrum. “We can move forward and that’s what we need to be focused on as an MSU community. We need to move forward, we need to heal, the survivors need to heal.”
“I think we’ve made it very clear that his comments are drowning out all the policy changes and all the reform in place,” says Mosallam. “Clearly this university can’t take an adversary relationship with our survivors, so hopefully going forward he’s learned his lesson.”
MSU trustee Mitch Lyons expressed his displeasure with dissatisfied fellow Spartans, but he, along with other trustees who voted to keep Engler as interim president say his actions are overtaking actual accomplishments made by his leadership.
“The things that are going to keep people safe are happening,” says Lyons. “It’s drowned out by comments that are not acceptable.”
Another major development at Friday’s meeting was the approval from the MSU board of trustees to authorize issuing bonds to fund the $500-million settlement for Nassar survivors. Trustees say, this means the money will not come from a tuition increase, nor will it include money from state appropriations.