MSU trustees name former Michigan governor John Engler interim president

Contact: General media office: (517) 353-7077, media@cabs.msu.edu

Jan 31, 2018

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees unanimously voted at a meeting today to appoint former Michigan Governor John Engler as interim president of the university. Engler, an MSU graduate, will assume his duties Feb. 5.

“As the father of three daughters who just completed their undergraduate degrees, I put myself in the place of every parent who has sent their loved one to this great institution,” Engler said. “I understand the concern and uncertainty as well as the frustration and anger. To those parents, be assured that I will move forward as if my own daughters were on this campus and will treat every student as I would my own daughters.”

Board Chairman Brian Breslin said Engler’s depth of executive experience - his years of service to the state of Michigan and his experience as the CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers and president of the Business Roundtable - will benefit MSU enormously.

“John served as Michigan’s governor for 12 years, then successfully led two major national organizations,” Breslin said. “We are pleased he has agreed to become MSU’s interim president as we commence the search process to find and appoint a new, permanent leader for the university.”

Breslin noted Engler will not be a candidate for the position of permanent president.

Bill Beekman, the Vice President and Secretary of the Board, who served briefly as Acting President following the recent resignation of former MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, will assume his former responsibilities.

Engler is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in agricultural economics and earned a law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He served as Michigan governor from 1991 until the beginning of 2003.