Nassar survivor: John Engler's ouster at Michigan State University was long overdue

Engler's resignation effective immediately

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Kayla Clarke

EAST LANSING, Mich. - John Engler is out as interim president at Michigan State University.

At a special meeting Thursday, the MSU board of trustees voted unanimously to accept Engler's resignation and moved up the effective date to immediately. Now, there's a brand-new interim leader at the school.

The board voted for Satish Udpa to fill the vacant spot and he has a long history with Michigan State University. He began his academic career by earning a doctorate in electrical engineering from Colorado State University.

He joined the MSU faculty in 2001 and has served as the dean of the College of Engineering and most recently as executive vice president for administration. The board said Udpa has all the qualities necessary in this time of crisis.

"To the survivors and their families and the community: We hear you and we're listening and we are sorry it took so long," MSU trustee Kelly Tebay said.

One of the survivors who attended the meeting was Kaylee Lorincz. She has publicly sparred with Engler over the last year, including an exchange that outraged a lot of people.

Lorincz told the MSU board of trustees during a meeting in April that Engler had tried to secretly settle her civil suit against the university for $250,000 without her attorney being present.

READLarry Nassar abuse victim accuses Michigan State president of trying to secretly pay her off

Michigan's new attorney general, Dana Nessel, wants lawyers to question Engler over what she said was a lack of transparency while he was interim president. She is expecting him to honor that request now that he's no longer working for MSU.

The chair of the MSU board of trustees, Dianne Byrum, released the following statement:

"Today, the Board accepted the resignation of John Engler as interim president of Michigan State University. The Board appointed Satish Udpa to serve as acting president until the conclusion of our presidential search. We anticipate a permanent president will be on campus by July.

MSU has been working hard to make needed improvements regarding the prevention of and response to sexual misconduct and relationship violence, as well as enhancing patient care and safety. But none of our work will matter if our leaders say hurtful things and do not listen to survivors. Engler’s statements regarding survivors of sexual assault have been extremely hurtful and do not reflect the values of our university. The Board deeply regrets the impact on survivors and our community.

The Board appreciates all the MSU community collectively does to keep the university dedicated to its mission of advancing knowledge and transforming lives. We are diligently seeking a new leader to continue our healing and guide our campus to achieve our aspirations in integrity, inclusion, research and education."

 

View: John Engler's resignation letter