Michigan State University Trustees Dianne Byrum and Melanie Foster will unveil the timeline for the search for a new president of the university this morning at 10 a.m.
The university has been rocked by a sexual assault scandal involving former sports doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar enter a guilty plea on possession of child pornography charges in federal court July of 2017. FBI officials testified a hard drive they seized from Nassar’s home in 2016 contained at least 37,000 images of child pornography. He also entered guilty pleas in charges of criminal sexual conduct in Eaton and Ingham counties in November of 2015. Many of the charges were directly related to his work with gymnasts and athletes at MSU.
In January of this year, Nassar faced hundreds of accusers in court during a sentencing hearing before Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aqualina. The marathon of testimony was raw and emotional. MSU officials were chastised by victims for not being present. And calls for MSU President Lou Anna Simon to resign began to grow. Trustees held a press conference to announce they supported Simon, but on Jan. 24, she announced her resignation.
Trustees hired former Republican Michigan Gov. John Engler as the interim president. His time at the helm has been rocked by mini-scandals, including release of emails in which he accused victims of Nassar who were suing the university were receiving “kick backs” from attorneys. Byrum and Trustee Brian Mosallam called for Engler’s resignation. Last week Byrum attempted to force Engler out with a vote of the board, but failed to garner enough votes from the trustees to boot him.
MSU has agreed to pay $500 million to the victims of Larry Nassar, the largest sex abuse settlement related to a university in American history.