EAST LANSING (WWJ) – Former Michigan Gov. John Engler has been chosen as the interim president of Michigan State University.
The MSU Board of Trustees is expected to make the appointment official Wednesday morning.
“Barring an eleventh hour change of heart by the MSU Board of Trustees, it appears that John Engler, former Republican Governor, will be appointed as the interim president of MSU,” said Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick. “This would be an opportunity for him to bring a healing process to MSU — which clearly badly needs that in the wake of the Larry Nassar controversy.”
Last week, the board appointed Bill Beekman as the university’s acting president following the resignation of Lou Anna Simon.
“Remember, this is a four-four board — four Republicans and four Democrats — and so apparently on a bi-partisan basis, they found at least five votes to make Mr. Engler the next interim president of MSU,” said Skubick.
Simon quit last Wednesday, hours after former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison for molesting some of gymnastics’ top athletes and others.
In sentencing Nassar, an Ingham County Circuit Count judge called the disgraced ex-doctor the “possibly the most prolific serial child sex abuser in history.”
Amid the fallout, the board had expressed support for Simon before her resignation, while she continued to face immense pressure from students, faculty and legislators. While there has been no hard evidence that Simon knew Nassar was sexually abusing girls and women, some of the more than 150 women and girls who have accused him said they complained to university employees as far back as the late 1990s.