(MPRN-East Lansing) Michigan State University has named a search committee to find a new president. The school has been under fire since hundreds of women said they were sexually assaulted by former MSU sports doctor, Larry Nassar.
During Nassar’s sentencing, multiple women said they reported Nassar to school officials – who did nothing. Since then, the school’s longtime president, Lou Anna K. Simon resigned, and controversial interim president John Engler has taken over.
Dianne Byrum is a presidential search committee co-chair. She said she recognizes that students and faculty have lost faith in the administration of MSU, but they plan to listen to the community during the search process.
“Our decisions may not always align with what you want,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t taking them into consideration.”
The 19-member search committee includes MSU professors, deans, Board of Trustee members, and students. Katherine Rifiotis, a senior at MSU and member of the search committee, said she plans to pay attention to what community members say at listening sessions the school will hold.
“It’s not so much of what I think and what I feel, it’s a little and a lot of what are people saying and how can that be conveyed back into a person?” Rifiotis said.
But students and faculty are still hesitant to trust the board – which will have final say in who the president is, although the committee will present them with a pool they can choose from.
“They’ve never once showed us that they’re concerned about what the community thinks,”
said Natalie Rogers, with student activist group Reclaim MSU.
Michigan State plans to announce its new president by June of 2019.