Former Gov. John Engler named interim MSU president amid Nassar criticism

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Former Michigan governor John Engler has been named interim president at Michigan State University Wednesday.

The Board of Trustees called a meeting for 9 a.m. Wednesday, in which they announced the hard-nosed former governor and alumnus as interim president. The school's Board of Trustees unanimously voted Wednesday to hire John Engler following last week's resignation of Lou Ann Simon. 

Simon resigned last Wednesday amid calls to step down from former sports doctor Larry Nassar's abuse survivors, local politicians and many more, despite continued support from the Board. 

Trustees also named another former governor, Democrat Jim Blanchard, to advise the school as it faces lawsuits filed by more than 100 girls and women and investigations by the state attorney general, the NCAA and Congress.

Engler was elected Michigan's 46th governor in 1990 and served until 2003. After leaving office because of term limits, the 69-year-old Republican directed business groups in Washington.

He earned a degree from MSU in agricultural economics and his JD degree at Thomas M. Cooley Law School while serving as state senator, according to

In 1984, he was then selected as Senate Majority Leader and held that position until elected governor in 1990.

Engler's was most recently employed with Business Roundtable for six years, retiring this past July.

Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct while sexually abusing young girls under the guise of medical treatment while working for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics.