By Josh Rouwhorst
Michigan State University has been attempting to move on in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal. Of course, scandal is too small of a word to capture what this was. I don’t think there is a word that can convey the devastation of not only Nassar but all of those who failed to stop him.
The news has been filled with victims talking about all the ways they tried to reach out over the years. Yet the people of authority put more credibility in Nassar’s celebrity status than the girls and women asking for help. Only when the sentence came from Judge Rosemarie Aquilina that Larry Nassar was going to spend the rest of his life in prison did the president of MSU step down. This meant the board needed to fill her place.
While the MSU board is trying to put the pieces back together, Bill Schuette, the current Michigan Attorney General, is investigating the case.
Enter John Engler, the new interim president of MSU.
If you’re a millennial you might not remember John Engler. He was our governor from 1991 to 2003. He was even considered for George W. Bush’s running mate in 2000. You would think John Engler would be clean of any sexual assault baggage for MSU to invite him on as leadership during this time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
When female inmates in Michigan prisons were being assaulted by guards and were trying to reach out for help, John Engler did his best to keep them quiet. Even going so far as to refuse the United Nations from holding interviews about the accusations.
Which is making some wonder why MSU would want this man to be in charge now.
It could be because John Engler, and his wife Michelle, donated $10,000 to Bill Schuette’s campaign in 2017. It could be that Engler endorsed Schuette’s gubernatorial bid in September. It could be that Schuette worked for Engler when he was governor.
Maybe the MSU board wants to avoid repercussions at all costs, so they’re calling in John Engler. Maybe it’s because they think Bill Schuette is incapable of bringing a case against his friends.
We’ll have to wait and see what Bill Schuette does going forward, but it is interesting seeing what his peers think of his priorities and decision making.