Board of Trustees Statement Regarding Interim President John Engler

June 21, 2018

A majority of the Board of Trustees appreciates the statement issued today by the MSU Interim President John Engler.

“John’s apology for the comments contained in an April email that was released last week is appropriate and appreciated by a majority of the Board,” said Brian Breslin, Chair of the MSU Board of Trustees.

The Board remains very hopeful that the $500 million settlement reached with the Nassar survivors will allow them to heal and MSU to accelerate efforts to enhance campus safety and security for all who study, work or visit one of America’s most beautiful universities.

The Board supports the efforts of Interim President Engler and key leadership to implement Board of Trustee endorsed reforms that include:

  1. Establishing the positions of Associate Vice President for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance and Director of Title IX Prevention, Outreach and Education
  2. Creating the Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics and Compliance
  3. Establishing the position of Chief Compliance Officer (CCO)
  4. Creating the Michigan State University Policy Library
  5. Making the funding of key campus safety programs a priority in the 2018-19 academic year budget
    • 13 new Title IX and related positions, including preventive and investigative staff
    • 10 new positions in Counseling and Psychiatric Services
    • Four new MSU public safety officers
    • Two new Employee Assistance Program positions
    • Two new Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics and Compliance positions

The combined impact of these organizational changes, new leadership roles and the addition of new staff continues the overhaul of the MSU approach to prevention, investigation and compliance. The comparison of where we are today to one year ago is stunning. The changes listed above do not include the significant changes that reorganized the leadership of MSU Health Affairs and saw new requirements mandated for doctors such as increased record keeping, detailed patient chaperone policy, strengthening information kept on volunteering off-site and new medical protocols.

The Board of Trustees believes the effect of these changes is to protect patients, increase prevention and encourage anyone who may have been a victim to come forward, speak up and receive appropriate services, and to be confident that they are being heard.

The majority of the Board believes Interim President Engler has played a significant leadership role developing our new approaches and has been a driving force in the rapid rollout of many of these reforms. He will continue to serve as interim president until a new president is selected. John is not a candidate for the permanent position and has stated repeatedly that he wishes to depart as soon as the new president is chosen.

The Board met this week with Dr. Theresa Sullivan, our advisor in the presidential search process. It was a positive conversation and we are hopeful that we will soon have more information to share. We can confirm that there was considerable discussion devoted to the process and the need for extensive outreach to the university community and for an inclusive approach to the actual search committee.