MSU faculty, students protest appointment of Engler as interim president

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – More than 100 MSU faculty members and students marched from Erickson Hall to the Hannah Administration Building Tuesday morning, in protest of Interim President John Engler.

The march was organized by faculty at the MSU College of Education.

Members of that community say they feel left out of the Board of Trustees decision to appoint Engler.

Chris Thelen, a doctoral student at MSU, says choosing Engler without more input was the last straw for many at the university.

“Once they hired Governor Engler that was the last straw for people because there were so many people attempting to give meaningful constructive input into the decision of who to hire for interim president,” Thelen said.

Those at Tuesday’s march said the former governor is the wrong choice, and while they don’t know exactly who would be right, they have some ideas on where they would start.

“Somebody who can listen and not just be a bureaucrat,” said Dr. Beth Herbel-Eisenmann, a professor in the College of Education. “Somebody who actually has a background in disrupting injustice.”

MSU student Serena Dochstader says the next university president should be somewhat of an outsider.

“Someone that doesn’t have any history with MSU,” Dochstader said.

But a replacement for Engler isn’t the only issue the students and faculty at the march had with the Board of Trustees.

MSU student Laura Mortensen said she would like to see more accountability all across the board.

“I’d like to see the investigations go further into not just Nassar, but these other cases also,” Moretensen said. “I’d like to see a change in reporting procedures to make them easier.”

“We want better leaders, we want actual support, we want people to listen to us, so I hope that they actually listen,” Dochstader said.

6 News reached out to get reaction from Engler following the march. A spokesperson told 6 News that Engler is focused on dealing with the problems at hand and working to move forward.

The spokesperson also said Engler hopes people at the university give him a chance to do his job.