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MSU Trustees Mosallam, Byrum Call For Interim President Engler To Resign

Brian Mosallam, Dianne Byrum, John Engler
MSU, Twitter/MSUPresEngler
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Left to right: MSU Trustees Brian Mosallam, Dianne Byrum, interim MSU President John Engler

UPDATE: MSU Trustee Dianne Byrum has added her voice to calls for Interim MSU President John Engler to resign. Michigan State University Trustee Brian Mosallam has become the first of eight trustees to call on Interim MSU President John Engler to resign. Fellow Trustee Dianne Byrum has become the second.

In a statement, Mosallam pointed to the recent release of emails in which Engler insinuates that Rachel Denhollander, a survivor of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse, might be taking kickbacks from lawyers involved in lawsuits against the university.

"We need leadership that sets the tone of empathy and compassion towards our courageous survivors, and re embraces them as important members of our Spartan community. John Engler simply can no longer do that," said Mosallam. 

He referred to Engler's comments as "disgraceful and unfit for a university president."

On Twitter, Denhollander said she appreciates Mosallam’s call, but adds that she still is waiting to see leadership from other trustees.

The Lansing State Journal reported that Trustee Byrum has concluded that Engler “is no longer the right person” to lead MSU during this difficult period. She called on Engler to apologize for his remarks about Denhollander, and he has not done so.

Trustee Dan Kelly told The Detroit News that he disagreed with Mosallam. Kelly said “the university needs some stability.”

President Engler issued a statement touting the successful negotiation of a settlement with Nassar survivors and continuing efforts to strengthen sexual misconduct prevention on and off campus. He adds that he looks forward to next week’s Trustees meeting, where in his words, “we will continue our progress and efforts to move forward. I believe actions matter, and that is how the success of our work will be determined.”

A growing list of bipartisan officeholders asking for Engler’s removal or resignation now includes U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Rick Jones, chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

The campus group ReclaimMSU is using the Mosallam statement to renew their online call for Trustees to fire Engler.

President Engler's office provided this response:

June 15, 2018 statement from interim MSU president John Engler.
Credit Emily Guerrant
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June 15, 2018 statement from interim MSU president John Engler.

Here is the entire statement from Trustee Mosallam:

June 15, 2018 statement from MSU Trustee Brian Mosallam.
Credit June 15, 2018 statement from MSU Trustee Brian Mosallam.
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June 15, 2018 statement from MSU Trustee Brian Mosallam.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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