Trustees angered students and members of the faculty attending the meeting with the unanimous vote, before anyone beyond the board had an opportunity to offer input on the selection.
Board members believe that by adding both Engler and Blanchard - former leaders of both major political parties in MI - any concerns about politics will be muted. Moving forward in that spirit, we will work to our utmost to change the culture of Michigan State University so that this, and other such instances of harassment or abuse or institutional neglect and condescension, will never happen again. But yesterday, roughly 24 hours after meeting with students, campus or deans across campus, many of us learned that the decision had already been made.
Reaction to the Engler nomination started appearing in social media soon after it leaked.
The Detroit News reports that following the appointment, the university's faculty steering committee said it would call for a vote of no confidence to oust the entire Board of Trustees. She said she was "beyond disappointed" with the choice of Engler, citing him as an example of the consummate MSU insider at a time when an outsider is needed to ensure accountability.
Engler's appointment comes a week after, under vast pressure, Lou Ann Simon resigned from her long-held position as president.
David Doyle was the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party while Engler was governor.
McCabe said they would call for a no-confidence vote in the Board of Trustees.
Students were furious that they were left out of the voting process and that the board remained unwilling to engage with student and faculty members. In a letter, they charged that the board seemed to have selected, "without appropriate consultation from the MSU community, an individual with no academic leadership experience".
Later, Engler accepted the board's nomination, reinforcing that it is an interim appointment.
And that may help university leaders get a handle on external communications.
"I don't know what you all think at the moment, but I'm guessing our pool of candidates would be somewhat limited this morning because they would be concerned listening to the questions, reading the press and thinking about where we are today", Engler said. Bill Beekman will continue to serve in that role until then.
"He is a strong leader with a proven track record of reform, and the school needs someone who is able to come in from the outside, stand up to the status quo and make immediate changes".