Reports: Job of Michigan State Interim President in Doubt After Comments on Abuse Victims
Author: Scott Jaschik
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Michigan State University‘s board has scheduled a special meeting Thursday morning to discuss “a personnel matter” amid growing calls for the ouster of John Engler as interim president.
Engler has been under increasing criticism for comments he made about some of the scores of victims of Larry Nassar, the former university employee now in jail for abusing them. In an interview with The Detroit News, he contrasted those who have received public attention with those who have not. “You’ve got people, they are hanging on and this has been … There are a lot of people who are touched by this, survivors who haven’t been in the spotlight,” he said. “In some ways they have been able to deal with this better than the ones who’ve been in the spotlight who are still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition. And it’s ending. It’s almost done.”
Michigan State declined to comment when Inside Higher Ed asked if Engler had any response to those angered by his remarks. This was not the first time Engler has been in the news for controversial remarks.
One trustee, Brian Mosallam, told The Detroit News, “I have watched Engler not only interact with our courageous survivors but our faculty, employees and students as well. He’s not only a bully, he is a mean-spirited human being. His time is up.”
Another trustee, Joel Ferguson, said, “We’re better off looking for a new president right now and having less controversy and less drama as possible. We just have to put our best face forward.”
Mosallam told The Detroit Free Press, “John Engler’s reign of terror is over. Michigan State University will be returned to its people.”