Former Governor John Engler will serve as interim president of his troubled alma mater, Michigan State University.
Engler will take the job as Michigan State faces multiple investigations into what went wrong at MSU to allow former sports doctor Larry Nassar to abuse female athletes for two decades.
State Representative Kim LaSata is co-chairing a House investigation, which is seeking documents from MSU.
“If Governor Engler can help Michigan State be more transparent and accountable, then I support him.”
State House Speaker Tom Leonard praised the choice. But he said it won’t change plans for the House to conduct an inquiry into what went wrong at MSU. Two House committees have requested documents from MSU under the threat of subpoena.
“At this point, I fully expect us to charge ahead, but, certainly, I’d like to sit with our new interim president, Governor Engler, chat about this situation, and see how we can best work together to begin the healing process.”
Governor Rick Snyder would not say whether he knows about the decision, but says Engler would be a solid choice to lead MSU.
“I admire and respect Governor Engler. I’m not going to speculate on any particular topic, but, I mean that he’s a former governor that I respect.”
Engler will run the university as the MSU board seeks a permanent replacement for Lou Anna Simon, who stepped down last week.
Engler is a Republican who served as governor from 1991 to 2003. The Detroit Free Press is reporting former Governor Jim Blanchard will serve as a “senior advisor” to the board. The former political rivals are both MSU alums.