Michigan State University Should Move Quickly to Remove John Engler

A recent interview with the interim President of Michigan State University was long on aspersions towards victims of sexual abuse and short on answers and apologies. In light of this interview, we believe that the MSU Board of Trustees should move quickly to find a new interim president.

Interim President John Engler’s interview with The Detroit News was yet another black mark for Michigan State. Rather than apologize vigorously and extensively for the sexual abuse of more than 300 women by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, President Engler instead chose to disparage those victims. By steadfastly refusing to investigate further into the culture that allowed Nassar to prey on so many, and by insulting those victims who have come forward to share their experiences as “enjoying the spotlight,” President Engler shows that he is the wrong person to be in charge at MSU.

The fact is that more investigation is still needed. MSU owes both survivors and the world writ large an explanation for how crimes of this magnitude could take place. University officials should look long and hard into the kind of culture they created which allowed both serial abuse to occur and for allegations of that abuse to be ignored and minimized. Getting to the bottom of this case is exactly what MSU should be doing as they “get back to work.”

We hope they do so without President Engler in charge.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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  • Andrea DiMaggio
    commented 2019-01-15 09:25:24 -0600
    He is truly offensive, and it amazes me that even those on the board who have demonstrated their support for the survivors have yet to remove this insensitive ignoramus.

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