EAST LANSING - Members of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees unanimously selected former Michigan Governor John Engler as MSU's interim president while a nationwide search for the next permanent leader of the institution is conducted.
Immediately following the vote, a man jumped into the middle of the long table where board members sit in protest and faculty and student board liaisons gave statements opposing Engler's selection.
"John Engler is the wrong direction," said Ashley Fuente, president of the Council of Graduate Students and a doctoral candidate in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education.
Watch video from the meeting here
Engler, a Republican, served as governor from 1991 to 2003.
Lou Anna Simon, MSU's president for the past 13 years, resigned on Jan 24, hours after former university doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after sentencing hearings in Ingham County Circuit Court. This after lawmakers, students and faculty members called for her to resign amid fallout from the Nassar case.
Faculty leaders said Tuesday that Engler is the wrong choice and that they would call for a vote of no confidence in the board if Engler were selected.
"We learned of their apparent decision to select Gov. Engler through public media," at-large faculty members of the MSU Steering Committee said in an open letter to the community on Tuesday. "They seem to have selected, without appropriate consultation from the MSU community, an individual with no academic leadership experience as an interim president."
On Wednesday, following the vote, Laura McCabe, president of the Steering Committee and a professor in the Department of Physiology, said the group would be "sadly forced to bring a vote of no confidence."
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