The Michigan State University Board of Trustees has named John Engler as interim president. The official announcement came after the board voted unanimously in his favor, per the Detroit News.
Engler served as Michigan’s 46th Governor from January 1991 through January 2003. He is also a graduate of Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics in 1971.
Engler is a member of the Republican Party. Before his governorship, he was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 1971 through 1978, serving the 100th district and the 89th district. He then became a member of the Michigan Senate from 1979 through 1990, serving the 35th and 36th districts.
The Board of Trustees is comprised of four Republicans and four Democrats. They will work together to conduct a thorough national search for a long-term president, a position the Detroit News mentions that Engler is not interested in.
The decision to name Engler as interim president already comes with backlash. Rachael Denhollander, the first survivor to publicly accuse Larry Nassar of sexual abuse was not happy about the decision. She took to social media to say that she was “beyond disappointed with the decision.”
Denhollander cites Engler’s deep political connections to the university as a major reason why she is concerned with the selection. The Michigan State University Steering Committee also objects to Engler as interim president.
Engler will take over for Lou Anna K. Simon, who resigned last week amid the Nassar fallout.