LANSING — On Wednesday, Jan. 31, it was announced that former Michigan Gov. John Engler would act as interim president for Michigan State University after Lou Anna K. Simon stepped down Thursday, Jan. 25. In response, state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) issued the following statement:
“Michigan State University’s appointment of former Gov. John Engler further proves that the university is not putting survivors’ interests first. Not only does Gov. Engler have convenient ties to the political sphere, but he has a track record of ignoring women who reported rape or assault while he was governor. Due to his refusal to listen to those women, he was ultimately responsible for the largest sexual abuse settlement in our state’s history. Yet now, the MSU Board of Trustees thinks he has the skills and judgment necessary to lead them out of this crisis?
“Given the opportunity, Michigan State University Trustees failed to remove former President Simon when it was obvious to everyone that she was not exhibiting the leadership needed to move the university forward. So how can we trust them to choose a new president, even an interim one, when they obviously don’t know what real leadership looks like?
“With the many changes happening at MSU, it is important that we don’t lose sight of our responsibility to ensure that a full and independent investigation is conducted and those who failed the test of leadership are held accountable. Only then will the survivors and our state begin to move forward.”