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MSU Board of Trustees holds first formal meeting with Engler

The "Sparty" statue on the MSU campus
Betsy Weber
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan State University’s major governing body held its first official public meeting with interim president John Engler today.

The Board and Engler tried to keep the meeting "business as usual," although several members acknowledged calls by students and faculty to step down. 

At the end of the meeting, several students stood up with posters condemning the board and Engler.

“We condemn the lack of functional institutions to investigate instances of sexual misconduct, prevent instances of sexual assault, and to support the survivors,” said Natalie Rogers, a sophomore from Canton, told the board.

Earlier this week the MSU Faculty Senate voted 61 to 4 that they have no confidence in the board. At today's meeting several board members addressed what has become a consistent call among students and faculty for them to step down.

"There’s no denying that these are pretty somber times for Michigan State University," said Board Chairman Brian Breslin. "And the no confidence votes that took place this week were humbling to say the least.”

At the meeting, trustees also approved football coach Mark Dantonio’s annual contract extension. In a unanimous decision, Dantonio’s contract now runs until 2024.

Interim president John Engler called Dantonio’s handling of previous sexual assault cases involving players “textbook.”

“That’s a great tribute to him because that’s the kind of man he is, that’s the integrity that he has," Engler said.

The contract extension comes as the school is under investigation by the NCAA. That investigation concerns how the school handled complaints against former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar was recently convicted of sexually assaulting patients under the guise of treatment.

Michigan State University’s Board of Trustees held its first meeting since the Faculty Senate overwhelmingly asked its members to resign.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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