MSU Board of Trustees listens to comments from faculty and student groups.
EAST LANSING - Former Michigan Governor John Engler was named the Interim President of Michigan State University today at about 9:30 a.m. following a short meeting and votes by the MSU Board of Trustees. Almost immediately after Engler was confirmed as President there was backlash from faculty and students who had gathered in the meeting room.
Laura McCabe, President of the Steering Committee at MSU was present and read a letter calling for a vote of no confidence in the newly appointed Interim President. The letter detailed the Steering Committee's requests for a, "month long or even semester long process to be undertaken to hire an Interim President, so that all members of the MSU community, from undergraduate students to graduate students to staff to faculty to deans, could provide input and guidance in a transparent fashion to the Board of Trustees." The Board of Trustees did not follow the advise of the Steering Committee with their appointment of Engler. The Steering Committee appeared ready for this circumstance and McCabe informed the Trustees that a motion will be sent to the Academic Congress to hold a vote of no confidence in the Board of Trustees. Should the motion pass, a vote of No Confidence in the Board will be held at the next Faculty Senate meeting. If the Faculty Senate meeting passes the vote they will ask the Board of Trustees to resign immediately.
Students who were at the meeting voiced their concerns with the Boards choice of Engler shortly after the vote and then again during the press conference. Dan Martel, the President of the MSU College Democrats took to the floor reading a list of 4 demands the College Democrats had brought to the Board. They were, "an immediate statement by the board of trustees that reflects its attitude toward future allegations of sexual assault at MSU. Secondly, a list of immediate changes that the board will enact to empower sexual assault survivors and restore trust. Third, an open meeting with community participation as soon as possible (ideally within the week), and again upon completion of the Attorney Generals and NCAA investigations. And fourth, a plan that addresses shortfalls in MSU's transparency which is agreed upon by the Board of Trustees and ASMSU." No board members commented on the student points and Mr. Engler deferred any comment until a later date saying, "I've only been President here for about 50 minutes." Engler's side stepping of questions left the students who had gathered thoroughly disgruntled, and chants of 'Shame' began.
Engler asked for the Universities patience in the upcoming weeks and hopes to make MSU, "a model for this kind of change." He ended by vowing to, "do everything in my power to fix the situation, to protect our students, to repair the damage at Michigan State University, and plot a course forward so we can all hold our heads up high and call ourselves Spartans."