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John Engler resigns as interim MSU president

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler speaks at Hillsdale College on on January 25, 2009.
Chuck Grimmett
John Engler has resigned nearly one year after taking the job.

John Engler has resigned as Michigan State University's interim president, nearly one year after taking the job. Engler sent his letter of resignation to Board of Trustees chair Dianne Byrum Thursday evening. 

"This evening I received a letter of resignation from John Engler and this will be discussed and acted upon at the BOT meeting tomorrow morning," Byrum said on Twitter. 

Engler's resignation comes just hours before the board was prepared to fire him at a last-minute meeting Thursday morning. Byrum called for the meeting today, after comments Engler made  to the Detroit News Editorial Board last week about Nassar survivors "enjoying" the "spotlight" began drawing national criticism.

Learn more: Believed, the podcast from Michigan Radio and NPR, looks at how a team of women brought down Larry Nassar

These most recent comments are far from the first time Engler has drawn criticism in regards to the Nassar scandal. Survivors have been calling for his resignation for months, and many were outraged when he was appointed after the resignation of former president Lou Ann Simon.

In April, Engler was accused of offering Nassar survivor Kaylee Lorincz $250,000 to drop her lawsuit against the school. That same month, he sent an email in which he said survivor Rachel Denhollander was likely receiving a “kickback” from lawyers.

Manysurvivorstook to Twitter to cheer the news of Engler's resignation. 

ReclaimMSU, a group of students, faculty, staff and alumni, tweeted a thread celebrating the news.

MSU board member Brian Mosallam tweeted early Wednesday, "JOHN ENGLER'S REIGN OF TERROR IS OVER."

The board is expected to announce their choice for a new interim president Thursday. 

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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