Interim President John Engler faces mounting calls for his resignation this week after emails were released in which he disparaged attorneys for the survivors of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.
Calls for his resignation have been fueled by a report from The Chronicle of Higher Education, which detailed April correspondences between Engler and his aide, Carol Viventi. In emails obtained by The Chronicle and the Detroit Free Press, Engler suggested that his critics were using the survivors, specifically Rachael Denhollander, to stir up outrage against the university.
Engler suggested that Denhollander, the first woman to publicly speak out against Nassar, would be getting "kickbacks" from her attorney, John C. Manly.
Early Friday, MSU Board of Trustees member Brian Mosallam issued a statement in response to The Chronicle's report. He called for Engler to "step down immediately."
.@MSUPresEngler should step down immediately as MSU's interim president.This university needs leadership that sets a tone of empathy and compassion towards our courageous survivors, and reembraces them as important members of our Spartan community. John Engler can not do that. pic.twitter.com/sYIqKsDhPi
Diane Byrum, another trustee who had originally called for him to apologize for his comments in the emails, said that he was no longer the right person to lead MSU.
"Yesterday I called upon the interim president to apologize for these hurtful remarks, he failed to do so, and therefore I have concluded he is no longer the right person to lead Michigan State University during this difficult period," Byrum said.
Engler was unanimously appointed interim president by the board in late January. Engler, a former Michigan governor, replaced former president Lou Anna K. Simon after she stepped down Jan. 24. Her resignation came following intense criticism of her handling of the Nassar crisis at MSU.
As of late Friday morning, Engler did not appear to have any intentions to step down. He released a statement shortly after Byrum and Mosallam addressed him.
This is a developing story. Stay with The State News for updates.