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MSU faculty move toward vote of "no confidence" in Board of Trustees

Michigan State University sign
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Michigan State University faculty decided to take a vote of “no confidence” in the school’s Trustees, as a response to the Board’s selection of former Governor John Engler as MSU’s interim president.

Members of the Steering Committee sent out an email this weekend, reporting 86% of faculty who took an electronic ballot support the vote.

“Based on the numbers, we have a more than a quorum and will bring the vote of no confidence forward in Academic Governance,” the email stated. “We have held an emergency meeting of the faculty of the Steering Committee who have voted to move the vote of no confidence to an emergency Faculty Senate meeting, where it can be discussed further and then voted upon.  We are currently working to find a time and place for this meeting.”

If the “no confidence” vote passes, faculty leaders say they’ll ask for everyone on the Board of Trustees to resign.

Faculty leaders expressed their concerns about Engler’s appointment last week – concerns they said they’d shared with Trustees directly.

“At this meeting, we expressed in no uncertain terms, that appointing a former Governor with no academic leadership experience as Interim President would not be the best way to heal the wounds of our community…We suggested that the Interim President have significant experience devising and implementing programs to mitigate sexual harassment and sexual abuse,” leaders of the Faculty Steering Committee said in a letter.

“We have issues with both the selection itself, and a selection process that used meetings with students, faculty and Deans to give appearance of consultation.”

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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