37ºF

Nassar victims settlement approved by Michigan State Board of Trustees; motion to fire Engler fails

EAST LANSING, Mich. – An emotional meeting occurred at Michigan State University Friday where those abused by Larry Nassar called for interim president John Engler to be fired.

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees voted to approve a $500 million settlement between the school and victims of former doctor Nassar, but at the same time they decided Engler wasn't going anywhere. Trustee Brian Mosallam brought a motion to terminate interim president John Engler, but the vote failed 6-2.

While many of those who Nassar abused made their voices heard at the meeting, many felt it fell on deaf ears.

"It doesn't take John Engler to make the right decision," said Kaylee Lorincz, "They can make the right decision on their own because they're human. They know what the right decision is, they just chose not to do it."

"They can make all the policy changes they want, but they'll still have a leader who is a misogynist and is outspoken against survivors of sexual assault at the helm of their university," said Morgan McCaul.

At times, Engler looked directly at the survivors as they spoke, but for the most part he looked away and sat stone faced as they urged the board to fire him.

"I chose to join this litigation when my faith in the leadership of Spartan nation came crashing to the ground," said Jennifer Rood-Bedford. "And a very painful awareness set in that you wouldn't be able to listen, to change or accept responsibility in other way." 

It took nearly three hours into the board meeting for trustees to address survivors.

"Frankly, if John goes, in my mind, we all should step down," said MSU trustee Mitch Lyons.

The interim president is under fire after he attacked the first survivor of Nassar. In a private email, Engler said the woman was looking for kickbacks.

Related: Interim Michigan State President John Engler apologizes for comments about Larry Nassar victim

Engler has only addressed this controversy once.

"I didn't give it the consideration it warranted, that was a big mistake," said Engler. "I was wrong and I apologize."

Not everyone was accepting his apology.

"Unlike you, Engler, I don't get paid to be in these meetings," said McCaul.

"The only reason Engler apologized is because he got caught," said Leslie Miller, whose daughter was abused by Nassar. "What you do in private shows your true colors and those are his true colors."


About the Authors: