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MSU Trustees Aim To Choose New President By June 2019

MSU Trustees Dianne Byrum (L) and Melanie Foster will be leading the search for the next university president.
Katie Cook
MSU Trustees Dianne Byrum (L) and Melanie Foster will be leading the search for the next university president.

The tumultuous era of Michigan State University interim president John Engler is expected to end by June 2019.


Trustees Dianne Byrum and Melanie Foster announced the timeline for choosing MSU’s next president Wednesday morning.

It includes listening sessions with the MSU community and the public from July to October, candidate selection and interviews starting in November, and the naming of a new president in June of 2019.

When asked what qualities they think the next president should have, given the current backlash against interim President John Engler, Byrum answered, “You have to be a good listener, obviously. And not only to be able to be a good listener and be empathetic, but it’s also having that intellect that can understand people’s feelings and internalize that. And be able to show compassion.”


“And I would add to understand and embrace institutional integrity,” said Foster.


Former Spartan University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan will advise the presidential search process. The public can follow the search as it progresses at this website: www.msu.edu/presidentialsearch.


The full presidential search timeline includes:

•July-October 2018: Host listening sessions with stakeholders
•July 2018: Issue request for proposals from presidential search firms
•August 2018: Form the search committee
•September 2018: Conduct search firm interviews and make a selection
•October 2018: Finalize the position profile and make public
•November 2018-January 2019: Identify candidates and conduct initial interviews
•February-May 2019: Host finalist interviews with the Board of Trustees
•June 2019: Announce the selection of the new MSU president



Student members of the advocacy group Reclaim MSU who were in attendance Wednesday were frustrated the trustees didn't answer all their questions. Specifically, questions about how members of the search committee will be chosen.


They also expressed skepticism of the process announced by the trustees.


Katie Paulot, a second year at James Madison college, said, “We want to be included from the beginning- what the timeline is, what the process is. Because honestly, they did the same exact thing when they hired Engler. They asked us questions, they had listening sessions, but we weren’t listened to. We were simply an advising committee that they didn’t listen to.”


Interim President Engler was tapped to lead the university in February amid a crisis surrounding former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Nassar, who also worked for USA Gymnastics, is now imprisoned for sexually abusing hundreds of girls and women while employed at Michigan State.

Sexual assault victims of Nassar have protested Engler's leadership and want him to resign. Two trustees backed a motion to oust Engler, but it failed.

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