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MSU announces search committee for new president

Cheyna Roth

Michigan State University says it will find a new, permanent president by June of 20-19 – And now it has a committee in place to help find the right person for the job.

But the school still faces a trust problem in the community.

Students and faculty didn’t like how the Board of Trustees selected current interim president John Engler. They say the board didn’t accept their input.

The school hired Engler after former president Lou Anna K Simon resigned in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal. Nassar is the former Michigan State sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients for decades.

Natalie Rogers is with the student activist group Reclaim M-S-U.

“They’ve never once showed us that they’re concerned about what the community thinks,” Rogers said.

Committee members say they plan to be transparent and hold listening sessions with the community. They’ll put together a pool of potential presidents – but the Board of Trustees has the final say.

Dianne Byrum is a presidential search committee co-chair. She says she recognizes that students and faculty have lost faith in the administration of M-S-U. But they plan to listen to the community during the search process.

“Our decisions may not always align with what you want. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t taking them into consideration,” Byrum said.

The 19-member search committee includes M-S-U professors, deans, Board of Trustee members, and students. Michigan State plans to announce its new president by June of 20-19.

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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