MSU board to discuss presidential transition Friday; rally planned for survivors

Posted at 10:02 PM, Jan 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-25 22:02:48-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State University spokesman Jason Cody said the school's board of trustees will meet Friday at 1 p.m. to discuss President Lou Anna Simon's resignation and her replacement.

The campus rock, which some perceive to be the heart of MSU, had a much different look as of Thursday. On it, the message "Thank You" is painted along with more than 150 names of survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse. The convicted sexual predator sexually abused girls for over two decades and continued to do so while under investigation by MSU. He worked for MSU and USA Gymnastics (USAG.)

President Simon, who is accused of failing to do enough to prevent further victimization, resigned the same day Nassar received his sentence. Her resignation came after mounting pressure.

"I think it's a good thing," said student Student Kayla Braun. "I don't think the university will be able to move past this until we have that change in leadership."

"I think that it's good that she resigned and that it probably needed to happen," said student Darrien Spicak, "But I think there are probably other people who need to be held accountable too."

"Yes and no. Yes, she did do a good job," student Alaina Lustine said. "But at the same time she knew, and for any healing process to start you need to start new."

Last week, board trustees, as a whole, played a much different tune as they stuck by Simon. But board chair Brian Breslin changed direction Wednesday night, issuing a statement in whcih he said, "President Simon has offered her resignation to the Board of Trustees, and we will accept it."

"We agree with Dr. Simon that it is now time for change." Breslin added. "We will be working through the details of transition with President Simon through the rest of the week and will announce them as soon as we can."

Simon's resignation letter stated, in part, she is sorry she trusted Nassar, and she apologized to the victims.

"I think that Simon resigning is the great first step," said Jessica Smith, a current MSU student and survivor. "I, however, am having a little bit of trouble with the fact that she will still be affiliated or still be able to pull strings and have connections. I don't think that is best for the institution."

Posts on social media indicate a rally and/or march is planned in support of survivors and is set to start at the campus rock.