Students and faculty protest MSU interim president John Engler
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - Students and faculty at Michigan State University are making sure the board of trustees know they're not pleased with the selection of John Engler as the school's interim president.
Former Michigan Gov. John Engler was formally named interim president at Michigan State, following Lou Anna Simon's resignation last week from the school's top post. Engler will head the school as it deals with lawsuits filed by more than 100 abuse victims and investigations by the state attorney general, the NCAA and Congress.
Protesters made their voices heard inside the room where the board met.
Ashley Fuente, the president of the MSU Council of Graduate studies, was at the table when the vote was cast. She made it clear the students are not in support of the decision.
"The damage that can be caused by appointing a politican on an already polarized campus is catastrophic. engler has passed legislation in the past that are in direct conflict with our core values of inclusion," she said.
She wasn't alone. One student was so frustrated by the Engler decision, he walked up to the board room table and sat cross-legged to voice his disent.
Dan Martel is the head of the campus Democratic Club was left out of the selection process. He described the Engel decision as backhanded.
"What we got were shady back rooom deals which resulted in the political appointment of a straight, white wealthy man who is just conservative enough to keep our elected officials down Michigan Avenue pacified for a little while longer," he said.
Faculty representatives argue that Engler has not academic credentials.
Despite the opposition, Engler maintains that he can fix the broken culture on campus but concedes no amount of rhetoric is going to apease his opponents.
"There is no confidence in anybody or anyone or any institution at the moment. People have been shattered by this and lives have been changed. This is not something where words suffice nor do rhetorical statements or manifestos or anything else," Engler said.
He starts his new position on Monday.