EAST LANSING, MICH. - It turned into an uproar inside the boardroom at Michigan State. Students and faculty expressing their disappointment over the trustee's decision to appoint former governor John Engler as the university's interim president.
"It came as a surprise to us, that you know not only that he was the choice but that it had been done so quickly without any input from faculty and students," senior Connor Berdy said.
In last week's meeting, MSU Chairman Brian Breslin talked about the importance of input.
"Because the timeline for making this appointment is short we will seek input from the leadership of academic governance, representing the faculty and the board’s student liaisons representing the students," Breslin said.
Students and staff sid their voices were not heard, and, because of how many showed up to the board meeting, many were not allowed inside.
"We’re here frustrated that we can’t attend the meeting, they have stopped people from going upstairs to the meeting," professor Liam Brockey said. "I'd like to attend this meeting it concerns the administration of my university where I work, I am a faculty member as far as I know this is not a corporation, this is a university and it should be run like a university.”
Engler did his best to assure the community that change is coming to the university.
"In the coming weeks, I’ll be moving swiftly and decisively to implement changes that will protect anyone affiliated with our campus from sexual assault, harassment and bullying," Engler said.
He said his focus is on Nassar's survivors.
"This is not a time to be political, I don’t see a political advantage for somebody to try and gain here," Engler said.
Many believe Engler is merely a political figure.
"He’s a good politician, he dodged his questions well, he used the survivors as a way to blanket himself from the real questions," Berdy said.
One professor said the board didn't follow through on their commitment.
"I don’t think they listen and I don’t know that they care that faculty and students who want to be there can’t be there," professor Andaluna Borcila said.
In his statement, Engler told students and faculty that he is only here to help address the crisis, assist in the investigations and lay a positive foundation for a permanent president.
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