Michigan State University

People who remember, remember Republican John Engler as a blunt, pugnacious governor. And, before that, the same as state Senate majority leader.

Larissa Boyce testifies in Ingham County courtroom at Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing.
Emma Winowiecki

This week the Michigan Senate passed a package of bills that would, among other things, limit claims of immunity from civil suits for government entities, including public universities; extend the statute of limitations for when a victim can file a sexual assault complaint; and strengthen mandatory reporting laws.

Twenty years ago, John Engler was by far, the biggest figure in Lansing, and perhaps the most powerful governor Michigan has ever had. He understood the legislature better than anyone, largely because he had been in it for twenty years before becoming governor.

He was both respected and feared, and lawmakers in both parties thought twice before taking him on. Times have changed, however, and yesterday Engler, now interim president of Michigan State University, found himself testifying before a skeptical senate subcommittee.

Michigan State University interim President John Engler scolded lawmakers today over bills that would make it easier for sexual abuse victims to file lawsuits.

He says the debate is affecting settlement negotiations with victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Engler appeared before a Senate universities budget subcommittee. He told the committee chair the bills could also drive up tuition. 

“Your legislation would certainly probably do that," he said. "I don’t know if it would force bankruptcy or not. I hope not.”

Protesters against Richard Spencer at MSU
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

White supremacist Richard Spencer might not be visiting the University of Michigan anytime soon.

He announced an indefinite halt to his national college tour Sunday in a video posted on YouTube.

Spencer blames violence between his supporters and protestors at his Michigan State University event last week, where more than a dozen arrests were made.

Rachael Denhollander and her husband
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Melody Posthuma spent a lot of money on therapy over the last year and a half.

“I have to be really strict about what we were spending our money on, because we needed to know that I had enough to go to counseling,” the 22-year-old Grand Rapids resident says.

Photograph of Downtown Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan delivered his annual State of the City address last night. He talked about ways to improve the city's public schools, and the city's demolition program.

Michigan Radio's senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry joined Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to discuss the speech.

protester wearing gas mask
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of protestors spent hours on the Michigan State University campus yesterday. They were demonstrating because of white supremacist Richard Spencer, who gave a speech last night. When protestors and Spencer’s supporters met outside the venue, things turned violent.

Michigan Radio Capitol reporter Cheyna Roth was there. She spoke with Michigan Radio's "Morning Edition" host Doug Tribou.

Protesters against Richard Spencer at MSU
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

The outskirts of Michigan State University’s campus were flooded with protesters Monday. Police estimate more than 150 people showed up to demonstrate against white supremacist Richard Spencer. Some say they were there because they wanted to show up against fascism.

Richard Spencer
User V@S / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A white supremacist, Richard Spencer will speak at Michigan State University this evening – much to the dismay of many in the community. Spencer’s request to speak was initially denied by the campus – but a lawsuit resulted in a compromise between the two sides. Spencer is permitted to use the MSU pavilion on the outskirts of campus during spring break.

Igor Ovsyannykov/Unsplash.com

A Metro Detroit bar has canceled a party booked by an alt-right group, whose members were reportedly planning an event around white supremacist Richard Spencer's speech tonight at Michigan State University.

Megan St. Pierre is a manager at Tipsy McStaggers, an Irish bar in Warren.

She says a couple weeks ago, they got a reservation request from the group, Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State University campus is preparing for Monday’s event featuring white supremacist Richard Spencer.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend Monday’s speech at the MSU Pavilion.

The speech comes during the university’s spring break. But many people are expected to take part in a demonstration a short distance from the event. 

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Another investigation into Michigan State University has been opened. 

The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that a new Title IX investigation will look at how the university handled sexual assault complaints against former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler speaks at Hillsdale College on on January 25, 2009.
Chuck Grimmett / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Former Governor John Engler will donate his salary while serving as Michigan State University's interim president. Engler took over the role after Lou Anna Simon resigned amid criticism over MSU's handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Engler's appointment has drawn both praise and criticism. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about how he's doing so far. 

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Back in the late 1850s, a handful of farm boys were taken to the woods outside Lansing and told to cut down some trees and build themselves classrooms and a dorm.

That was the beginning of what became Michigan State University. Last month may have been the worst in that school’s long history.

As part of the state Legislature’s response to Michigan State University’s handling of Larry Nassar, lawmakers are asking the state’s 15 public universities to explain their policies on sexual misconduct.

But, the questions are not stopping there.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (left) and Special Counsel Todd Flood, along with Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton and the Flint Water Investigative Team have been investigating the Flint water crisis for most of the year
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State Attorney General Bill Schuette faced questions this week over whether the state's inquiry into Michigan State University's handling of the Larry Nassar scandal is truly independent. In a newly released letter regarding his appointment of Bill Forsyth to lead the investigation, Schuette says Forsyth will "serve under my direction and at my pleasure."

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss Schuette's role in the investigation.

The "Sparty" statue on the MSU campus
Betsy Weber / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan State University’s major governing body held its first official public meeting with interim president John Engler today.

The Board and Engler tried to keep the meeting "business as usual," although several members acknowledged calls by students and faculty to step down. 

At the end of the meeting, several students stood up with posters condemning the board and Engler.

user dig downtown detroit / Flickr

Lawmakers are considering a proposal to change how the state selects the governing bodies of three of its major universities.

Right now, 12 university governing boards are picked by the governor. Three – Michigan State University, University of Michigan, and Wayne State University – are elected. The measure would turn those three university boards into governor appointments.

kate wells / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s two U.S. Senators want universities that receive federal funding to certify they are properly handling sexual abuse investigations.

Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, along with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced “The Accountability of Leaders in Education to Report Title IX Investigations (ALERT) Act" this week.

michigan state university sign
Branislav Ondrasik / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan State University wants to change up its health systems structure. In an effort to streamline the school and increase communication among colleges, the university plans to create two new oversight positions.

Norman Beauchamp is currently the dean of the College of Human Medicine. He is expected to become the newly created associate provost and assistant vice president for health affairs. That job will be focused on finding ways to improve safety and quality practices across all of MSU’s health care services.

Michigan State University sign
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The Board of Trustees at Michigan State University knows exactly where they stand with the Faculty Senate.

By a vote of 61-4 yesterday, the Faculty Senate approved a vote of no-confidence in the Board.

Courtesy of Deb McCaul

Here’s a sample of the kind of comments parents of Larry Nassar’s victims see online these days. Or, for that matter, just overhear at work and the grocery store:

“Why don’t the parents of the Nassar victims take any responsibility?”

“I wonder how many of those girls complained to their parents, and their parents turned a deaf ear about it.”

“The parents are equally to blame. Should be sharing a cell with Nassar.”

Deb McCaul says on some level, she gets it.

aerial photo of the Great Lakes
National Oceanic and And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

President Donald Trump's new budget proposal would cut 90 percent of the funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The program helps clean up the lakes and protect them against invasive species.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State University Faculty Senate passed a vote of no confidence in the schools’ Board of Trustees Tuesday.

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Some Democratic state lawmakers are laying out what they want in new legislation aimed at addressing the problem of sexual assault on college campuses.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

The push is on to change the way Michigan selects trustees for its Big Three universities.

Using statewide ballots to choose trustees is no way to govern highly paid university presidents running multi-billion dollar institutions.

Michigan is the only state in the country to do it that way.

In the school of bad practices, the home of the Green and White perennially contends for Number One. Time for that to change.

Michigan State University

Michigan State University Interim President John Engler has requested that Dr. William Strampel be stripped of his tenure.

Strampel is currently on medical leave, after stepping down as dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine in December. He was Dr. Larry Nassar's boss and did not enforce the protocols that were enforced the 2014 Title IX investigation cleared the former sports doctor of wrongdoing. 

Michigan State University
John M. Quick / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes believes one result of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal should be to reform the way trustees are chosen to govern Michigan State, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University.

“We’re the only state in the country that elects the trustees to our three major universities on a statewide, partisan ballot,” he said.