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Michigan State Faculty Senate Send No Confidence Vote to Board of Trustees

Faculty and students hope that this vote comes as a sign of accountability to trustees for the future.

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Michigan State University Faculty Senate approved a no confidence vote against the school’s board of trustees on Tuesday.

The overwhelming approval of the vote came with a 61-4 decision, and is a response to the recent trials of former USA Gymnastics and MSU doctor, Larry Nassar, exposing decades long sexual assault of his young patients.

Tuesday’s meeting brought an increased pressure for the vote after the board of trustees chose to appoint former Michigan Governor, John Engler, as interim president. Former MSU President, Lou Anna Simon, resigned in late January at the height of the Nassar sex-abuse scandal.

The vote, while symbolic, carries no legal weight.

Faculty and students alike hope that this vote comes as a sign of accountability to trustees for the future. Nassar’s sex-abuse scandal caused many to call for the resignation of the entire board of trustees.

“I hope it tells the board of trustees that the spartan community is not with them,” said Natalie Rogers, a sophomore studying comparative culture and politics. “The spartan community is not behind them. We don’t respect them as our leaders, we want new people representing us.”

Rob LaDuca, a professor and associate dean of Lyman Briggs College, described that two trustees will not run for reelection at the expiration of their terms by the end of the year.

“We really need to have eight board members leave … out of love for the university and put eight academic leaders in place to move us going forward,” LaDuca said.

Tuesday’s meeting brought many students and faculty coming together, boasting signs voting in favor of the no confidence vote.

“If I was a member of the board of trustees and there was an unprecedented vote by this many people on the faculty in a vote of no confidence, I would certainly start listening,” said Deborah Moriarty, a professor in the College of Music.

John Verboncoeur, a professor in the College of Engineering, believes faculty needs to work on focusing the factors they can change because there is now a lack of confidence in the board of trustees. Factors faculty can change include finding a permanent president for the university, improving accountability and changing the culture surrounding sexual assault.

“If all we do is complain, I don’t think we’re going to get anywhere,” he said. “Yes, we have a lot of rage. But at some point we also have to focus our energy on the things we can and should change.”

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Savannah is a third year Journalism major with a French minor at Colorado State University. She works as a Communications Intern for the CSU Alumni Association, and hopes to one day work in a French speaking country.

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