Saturday, April 4, 2020

Hundreds sign petition calling for open MSU presidential search

February 27, 2019
<p>Reclaim MSU held a rally outside of the Hannah Administration Building Jan. 24, 2019. On the same date in 2018, Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.</p>

Reclaim MSU held a rally outside of the Hannah Administration Building Jan. 24, 2019. On the same date in 2018, Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison.

Nearly 400 people have signed a change.org petition calling for open interaction between the Michigan State community and the top candidates of the university's presidential search

Launched by a group of faculty senators last week, the petition has 378 supporters as of Tuesday afternoon.

A November update from search committee co-chairs and MSU Trustees Dianne Byrum and Melanie Foster stated the search for MSU's next president would be closed to "draw the strongest pool of candidates." The petition states a willingness to meet with the MSU community would show a commitment to transparency and accountability.

"We, the undersigned, believe that 'the best possible person' is someone who is willing to engage with students, staff and faculty in open dialogue to address the cultural problems at MSU," the petition reads.

James Madison associate professor Anna Pegler-Gordon, a member of Reclaim MSU, is among those to sign the petition. In a note detailing her reason for signing, Pegler-Gordon wrote she doesn't trust the process without community input, citing past decisions by the MSU Board of Trustees to affirm support for former President Lou Anna K. Simon and appoint former Interim President John Engler.

"If we really are going to have fundamental change," Pegler-Gordon said, "we need to have the opportunity to engage openly with the top candidates for the president of the university."

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