MSU to select new president by 2019, releases search plan

- Michigan State University has released a plan to select a new president by June 2019.

Trustees Melanie Foster and Diane Byrum spoke Wednesday on the plan, which includes committee selection, public listening sessions, and online comment forms. 

Officials released the following timeline:

  • July-October 2018: Host listening sessions with stakeholders
  • July 2018: Issue request for proposals from presidential search firms
  • August 2018: Form the search committee
  • September 2018: Conduct search firm interviews and make a selection
  • October 2018: Finalize the position profile and make public
  • November 2018-January 2019: Identify candidates and conduct initial interviews
  • February-May 2019: Host finalist interviews with the Board of Trustees
  • June 2019: Announce the selection of the new MSU president

MSU says users can follow the search at

Earlier this month, 120 survivors of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse signed a letter calling for the board to oust nterim president John Engler, saying he had reinforced a "culture of abuse" at the school.


"There is no debate: President Engler has failed miserably," they said in the letter. "Nothing at MSU - none of the mindsets that allowed Larry Nassar to abuse children for decades - have changed. Therefore, it is our position that MSU cannot move forward and become an institution of integrity and safety until John Engler is no longer president."

Trustees rejected calls to fire Engler for emails that disparaged survivors and their lawyers, including an email to another MSU official saying  Rachael Denhollander was likely getting "kickbacks" from her attorney. 

Engler called the incident "a big mistake" and apologized, but said he would not step down.

On June 22, trustees approved a plan to sell bonds to pay for a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women and girls who said they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar. 

As part of the approved settlement plan, the university agree to freeze salaries for top administrative and leadership roles and raising faculty salaries by 1.5 percent instead of the typical 2.5 percent. Engler also is counting on payments from insurance companies to fund the settlement.

Tuition will be higher for most students in fall, but Engler says the new revenue won't help cover the Nassar settlement. 


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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