Engler Resigns As MSU President, Board Tabs Replacement
After a tumultuous, year long run as Michigan State University’s interim President, John Engler is officially done.
Thursday morning the school’s Board of Trustees unanimously accepted his resignation and appointed his replacement, Dr. Satish Udpa, the school’s vice president of administration.
The MSU Board said they had to get this decision correct because after a year of turmoil they wanted to not only fix the image of the University and give some confidence to the survivors and those impacted by the entire Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal.
“To the survivors and your families and this community, we hear you and we’re listening,” says board member Kelly Tebay. “We are sorry it took so long.”
Former Governor Engler came in to lead MSU out of the Nassar scandal plaguing the campus. Many say he just made things worse.
“A lesson for all of us, that we can take from this experience, is that leadership matters,” says board member Brian Mosallam. “That the tone set by leadersship matters.”
In an interview last week, Engler said some Nassar victims were enjoying their time in the spotlight. Many board members saw that as a final straw and scheduled Thursday’s meeting to fire him. Engler responded with his resignation, effective next week. The board countered saying it was to be immediately.
“We need to start immediately and Satish is here and he’s ready to start the job,” says board chair Dianne Byrum. “The board is ready to move on and it was time to make the break. Make the break immediately with John Engler.”
The board immediately elected Dr. Udpa as Engler’s replacement. A long time administrator for the Spartans and a leader the board now sees is necessary to lift the university.
“This past two years have been very difficult for this institution and this institution means a lot to me and it means a lot to the citizens of Michigan,” says Udpa. “It would’ve been irresponsible on my part not to have undertaken us.”
The board expects to have the decision for the full-time president made by June and Dr. Udpa says he does not have any interest in the full-time position.