Michigan State trustee Dan Kelly voices his support for interim president John Engler
After two Michigan State University trustees publicly stated that they believe Michigan State interim president John Engler should resign over the disparaging remarks he made in an e-mail that he sent to Carol M. Viventi, the vice president and special counsel to the president, back in April, trustee Dan Kelly voiced his support for Engler.
Engler took over for former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon, who resigned in January in the wake of the sexual assault scandal pertaining to 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State physician Larry Nassar.
The remarks made by Engler in his e-mail to Viventi pertained to the Nassar scandal. In fact, they pertained to Rachael Denhollander, who became the first of more than 300 people to accuse Nassar of sexual assault when she took her story to The Indianapolis Star nearly two years ago now.
Denhollander took her story to The Indianapolis Star shortly before they published it in September of 2016, which was three months before Nassar was finally arrested after sexually assaulting his patients for more than two decades under the guise of medical treatment.
In the e-mail that Engler, who replaced former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon when she resigned in late January in the wake of the Nassar scandal, sent to Viventi, he claimed that Denhollander was likely receiving a "kickback" from her lawyer, John Manly.
Here is what that disparaging e-mail said, according to Deadspin.
“It is deeply appreciated. At least we know what really happened. The survivors now are being manipulated by trial lawyers who in the end will each get millions of dollars more than any of (sic) individual survivors with the exception of Denhollander who is likely to get (sic) kickback from Manley (sic) for her role in the trial lawyer manipulation.
"It is too bad we can’t have a debate about who is really trying to help those who were harmed by Nassar. At least, all of the positive changes are beginning to get some modest attention. It will be years before the use and abuse by trial lawyers point is understood. Have a good Sunday. See you Tuesday morning. John.”
The two trustees who almost immediately called for Engler's resignation are Brian Mosallam and Dianne Byrum.
Here is what Mosallam had to say about the matter, according to ABC News.
"He needs to resign immediately. He lacks empathy. He lacks the tone needed to be university president. His comments regarding Rachel Denhollander are unconscionable. He is not fit to lead Michigan State."
Here is what Byrum had to say, according to ABC News.
"He's the wrong leader for Michigan State University. He needs to step down and resign."
But Kelly did not jump on board with Mosallam and Byrum. Instead, he voiced his support for Engler. Here is what he had to say about the matter, according to Detroit News.
"I don't support asking the president to resign.The university needs some stability."
With Engler having not yet stepped down, it would appear that he, too, would like to maintain some stability within the university since he only replaced Simon, who served as the president of Michigan State for over 13 years, a few months ago.
However, whether or not the kind of stability that would be produced by Engler not resigning is good stability has become a major question and concern now that the disparaging e-mail he sent to Viventi about Denhollander was revealed.