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Get to know Michigan State's administration

August 19, 2019
MSU president designee Samuel L. Stanley Jr. speaks during a press conference at the Hannah Administration Building on May 28, 2019.
MSU president designee Samuel L. Stanley Jr. speaks during a press conference at the Hannah Administration Building on May 28, 2019. —
Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Michigan State has recently experienced several changes to its administration and leadership. Here is a list of the people you should know at the university.

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.


Stanley — Stony Brook University president for almost 10 years — was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees at special board meeting May 28 as Michigan State's next president. Stanley officially began his term as president on August 1, 2019.

The presidential announcement came about a year after the Board of Trustees outlined a presidential search following ex-MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon's resignation in light of the university's handling of Larry Nassar's sexual abuse.

At a press conference following the announcement, Stanley said he plans on living close to campus, wants to be engaged with the university community and is eager to meet with survivors of Nassar's abuse.

"Know this: I'm committed to being a great listener. I'm committed to learning from you," Stanley said. "I have a lot to live up to, but I will do my best to be the president that Michigan State needs."

Chair of the Board of Trustees Dianne Byrum


Trustee Dianne Byrum served as co-chair of the presidential search committee — the committee responsible for leading the presidential search.

She has been on the board since 2008.

Although the presidential search was closed to the university community, Byrum has said the committee made an effort to include the community through input sessions.

The closed presidential search was critiqued by groups like Reclaim MSU and community members.

Trustee Melanie Foster

Trustee Melanie Foster served alongside Byrum as co-chair of the presidential search committee.

Foster was elected in 2004 and was re-elected in 2014.

Trustee Brian Mosallam


Trustee Brian Mosallam — elected in 2012 — has been one of the most outspoken members of the board when it comes to the university's handling of reports against Nassar.

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In the summer of 2018, Mosallam called for John Engler's termination as interim president of the university. Engler — appointed as interim president following Lou Anna K. Simon's resignation — was highly criticized for comments he made about survivors.

Only Mosallam and Byrum supported Engler's termination at the time.

In January 2019, the board unanimously approved Engler's resignation — effective immediately — and appointed former dean Satish Udpa as the new interim president at an emergency meeting.

Mosallam said Engler's resignation was a "new day" for MSU.

Trustees Kelly Tebay, Brianna Scott and Nancy Schlichting


Trustees Kelly Tebay and Brianna Scott were elected in 2019.

Scott was a former prosecutor who worked on criminal sex cases, and Tebay graduated from MSU in 2008 and is a survivor of sexual assault.

Both Scott and Tebay have said they want to be a part of a cultural change at MSU.

In December, former Governor Rick Snyder appointed Nancy Schlichting, former CEO of the Henry Ford Health System, to the board.

Trustees Joel Ferguson and Dan Kelly

Trustee Joel Ferguson was elected in 1986, making him the longest-serving member of the current board.

Ferguson has been met with criticism in recent years for his comments about there being more at the university than "this Nassar thing."

In January 2019, he stepped down from the presidential search committee when he discovered that Scott was interested in being a member.

Trustee Dan Kelly is the vice chair of the board. He was elected in 2016.

ASMSU President Mario Kakos


The Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, unanimously elected Mario Kakos as president of the 2019-20 session in April.

ASMSU is MSU's undergraduate student government, which offers various resources to students with the goal to “enhance our individual and collective student experience through education, empowerment, and advocacy by dedication to the needs and interests of students.”


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