Update, 3:02 p.m. EST: John Engler will resign as MSU interim president, according to the Detroit Free Press. The original story is below.
How are things going for beleaguered Michigan State interim president John Engler? Let’s check in with one of MSU’s trustees:
The board of trustees has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday morning, and has one and only one item listed on the agenda: a “personnel action.” The Detroit News was first to report (the Detroit Free Press and Wall Street Journal have since confirmed) that the board will vote on whether to fire Engler, who has spent the last 11 months messing up big-time the school’s response to the fallout from Larry Nassar’s years of sexual abuse.
Among his lowlight reel as interim president: Engler meeting with one Nassar victim (without her lawyer present) and offering her $250,000 to drop her lawsuit; Engler spiking an issue of the MSU alumni magazine issue featuring the survivors because he wanted to focus on the positive; and just yesterday, Engler saying that some of Nassar’s victims are “enjoying” the “spotlight.”
Multiple trustees who have long opposed Engler, including Brian Mosallam, claim the board will have the five votes necessary to fire him.
“I have watched Engler not only interact with our courageous survivors but our faculty, employees and students as well,” Mosallam said. “He’s not only a bully, he is a mean-spirited human being. His time is up.”
It may not even make it to a vote; the board has reportedly given Engler the option of resigning before Thursday morning’s meeting.
Engler took over upon the resignation of Lou Anna Simon, who faced intense criticism of her handling of Nassar; Simon is now facing criminal charges. In June, more than 120 Nassar survivors publicly called on Engler to resign. It’s been too long, but they may finally get what they want.