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Satish Udpa appointed to replace Engler as interim president

January 17, 2019

Satish Udpa — former dean of MSU’s College of Engineering — has been appointed to replace Interim President John Engler following his resignation Wednesday. Engler’s resignation will be effective immediately.

At an emergency Board of Trustees meeting Thursday morning, the board voted unanimously to appoint Udpa as MSU’s new interim president. 

“I’m very excited about the course we will start to chart at Michigan State immediately,” Board Chair Dianne Byrum said. “I believe this is the beginning of a better relationship between board members and the MSU community.” 

Udpa currently serves as executive vice president for administration. A university distinguished professor, Udpa has worked at MSU since 2001.

Several trustees cited Upda’s leadership. Trustee Brian Mosallam said he believes Udpa will help survivors and the university move forward. 

“He is a person of integrity, compassion and empathy,” Mosallam said. “I’m extremely confident he will help us heal.” 

Byrum said the board “deeply regrets” the impact that Engler’s comments had on survivors of Nassar’s sexual abuse and the rest of the MSU community. 

Once it was publicly known Engler was resigning, sources close to the administration told The State News the board was likely going to replace him with an in-house dean. 

Thursday morning's meeting was scheduled solely for Engler’s departure and appointing his replacement.

According to Engler's letter of resignation, Board Chair Dianne Byrum informed him five trustees — enough to successfully fire him if a vote was called — had requested his resignation early Wednesday. Engler turned in his resignation later that night.

Engler was not present at the meeting, as he is in Texas for his father-in-law’s funeral. His resignation will be effective immediately. 

MSU Communications and Brand Strategy released a statement announcing Engler's resignation and Udpa's appointment following the meeting. The statement included a link to Byrum's full statement on behalf of the board, which can be found here.

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