johnengler State of Michigan
Former Michigan Gov. John Engler

Michigan State University appoints former governor as interim president

In the wake of a sexual abuse scandal involving the university and the U.S. gymnastics team, MSU trustees choose John Engler to lead the institution.

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees has appointed former Gov. John Engler as interim president in a bid to steady the school after the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

The Detroit News reports that following the appointment, the university's faculty steering committee said it would call for a vote of no confidence to oust the entire Board of Trustees.

Engler, 69, is a Republican who graduated from the university in 1971 and was Michigan governor from 1991 to 2002. 

The trustees unanimously voted at a board meeting on the East Lansing campus to appoint Engler. The action comes just days after MSU President Lou Anna Simon resigned and Athletic Director Mark Hollis abruptly retired.

Nassar was a faculty member at MSU and a doctor for USA Gymnastics, the organization responsible responsible for selecting and training national teams for the Olympics, He worked for two decades with elite gymnasts, in addition to thousands of youth athletes and women and girls who saw him for sports injuries.

Public pressure mounted for the resignations after Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexual misconduct. More than 150 victims testified that Nassar abused them.

He was previously sentenced to 60 years in prison for possession of child pornography.

The Nassar scandal has prompted the U.S. Department of Education, two congressional committees, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, state lawmakers and a special prosecutor for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to investigate Michigan State  for potential legal and rule violations by .

A Detroit News investigation found eight victims told at least 14 MSU representatives about Nassar’s sexual misconduct over two decades.

University officials have been criticized for being tone-deaf to the problems uncovered by the Nassar scandal. 

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