Engler silent following release of survivor emails

Posted: 10:03 AM, Jun 15, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-15 14:03:05Z

No response from Michigan State University Interim President John Engler about his claim that a Nassar survivor would likely be getting a kickback for manipulating other survivors.

Engler’s office tells FOX 47 he's traveling on business and couldn't talk.

He did have time to tweet about Michigan State adding two more people to a campus workgroup that is looking at relationship violence and sexual harassment.

Trustee Dianne Byrum is sounding off after the Chronical of Higher Education published Engler's e-mail criticizing Rachael Denhollander and other Nassar survivors.

“They were despicable, they were unnecessary, they were hurtful,” said Byrum. “This is a time where we need healing.”

Trustees do hold the power to oust Engler at any time but show no signs of taking action.

“I have called on him to apologize, which is what I expect out of the president of the university when you make a mistake,” said Byrum. “You own that mistake and you apologize and that apology comes with sincerity and you do that right away.”

In a statement to FOX 47 Trustee Brian Mosallam says Engler's e-mails "lack empathy and more startling, dignity."

Mosallam also questions Engler's role as interim president.

Emails also reveal Engler's top aide, Carol Viventi, accused Mosallam of not doing enough to protect Engler.

“This isn't about protecting anybody,” said Byrum. “This is making sure that we heal the campus community, we provide healing for the survivors and that we focus on the future and making sure that we are changing the culture permanently.”

As a community tries moving forward, history continues to impact the present.

“These are unnecessary mistakes, they're missteps, they're not reflective of there the board is of where we need to be as a MSU community to heal,” said Byrum.

Trustee Byrum says that a search for the next president needs to get underway. She says she's spent hundreds of hours working on that process.

Two state senators including Republican Rick Jones of Eaton County are calling on Engler to resign.