John Engler set to stay at Michigan State as interim president
It was revealed last week that Michigan State University interim president John Engler, who replaced former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon after she resigned in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal in late January after serving as the university's president for more than 13 years, sent an e-mail to Carol M. Viventi, the vice president and special counsel to the president, back in mid-April.
It was revealed that this e-mail contained disparaging remarks about Rachael Denhollander, who was the first person to accuse Nassar, the 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State physician, of sexual assault when she took her story to The Indianapolis Star shortly before they published it in September of 2016.
In this e-mail, Engler accused Denhollander of likely receiving a "kickback" from her lawyer. Her lawyer, John Manly, is the lawyer for several of the other people who have accused Nassar of sexual assault. More than 300 people have done so, as he sexually assaulted many of his patients under the guise of medical treatment for more than two decades.
Nassar is currently serving the 60-year federal prison that he was given this past December on three child pornography charges. He is serving it at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.
Nassar was also given two state prison sentences. One is for between 40 and 175 years on seven sexual assault charges and the other one is for between 40 and 125 years on three sexual charges. He was given these two state prison sentences in January and February, respectively.
After receiving tons of criticism from several people, including lawmakers, Michigan State trustees and people who have accused Nassar of sexual assault, as a result of the fact that this e-mail was revealed and his disparaging remarks about Denhollander were made public, the former Michigan governor issued an apology. Here is a link to his full apology statement.
After he issued his apology, it was confirmed by Brian Breslin, the Chairman of the Michigan State Board of Trustees, that Engler is set to stay at Michigan State as the interim president. Here is what Breslin had to say about the matter, according to Detroit Free Press.
“John’s apology for the comments contained in an April email that was released last week is appropriate and appreciated by a majority of the Board. The majority of the Board believes Interim President John Engler has played a significant leadership role developing our new approaches and has been a driving force in the rapid rollout of many of these reforms. He will continue to serve as Interim President until a new President is selected. John is not a candidate for the permanent position and has stated repeatedly that he wishes to depart as soon as the new President is chosen.”
There is no doubt that the criticism directed at Michigan State for how poorly they have handled the Nassar scandal pretty much from the start of it up until now will escalate to a higher point than it was already at following this announcement.