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MSU faculty Senate to hold no confidence vote in Board of Trustees

Belmont Tower at MSU
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

Michigan State University’s Faculty Senate will hold a no confidence vote in the school’s Board of Trustees Tuesday. The vote is, in part, the result of the Board’s appointment of former governor John Engler.

“Although it’s mostly a symbolic vote, I think it very accurately represents our community at this point,” said MSU senior Alondra Alvizo.

MSU has been in an upheaval lately. That’s because of allegations against the school’s handling of sexual assault cases following the sentencing of former MSU doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar was sentenced to at least 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting patients.

The Faculty Senate decided to hold the vote after a majority of the school’s faculty voted in favor of the Senate holding the vote. If it passes, the Senate will ask the Board of Trustees to step down.

Dr. Robert LaDuca is on the Faculty Senate. He said this vote isn’t about Engler being a Republican, rather the board hasn’t listened to the faculty, especially their request that the interim president not be a political person.

“The vote of the faculty senate is non-binding on the board,” he said. “But we hope that by taking a clear moral stand we can hopefully enact some change.”

But some members of the faculty think calling on the Board to resign isn’t the right move.

MSU professor and member of the Faculty Senate, Doctor William Dutton said he’s not sure if calling on the Board to resign is what the school needs right now.

“I think rather than act quickly and in the heat of the moment, I hope we listen for some time and reflect on what can be done to fix the problem,” he said.

Dutton said he is willing to listen to what people have to say before the vote. But right now he is a likely no vote.

The vote is scheduled to take place Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. at the MSU International Center.

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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