EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) Michigan State University trustee Dianne Byrum is calling for the resignation of President Lou Anna K. Simon over the University's handling of the Larry Nassar scandal. Byrum released a statement a few hours after Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40-175 years in prison for sexually assaulting young women.
Byrum says it's clear the public has lost confidence in the current MSU administration. She also says, "I am disgusted by the abhorrent comments made earlier this week by Trustee Joel Ferguson, who does not speak for other members of the MSU Board in any way." On Monday Ferguson told News 10's Tim Staudt the board stood behind Simon in part because the job she has done raising money for the University. He also referred to the scandal as "the Nassar thing" and said the board only spent 10 minutes of a five-hour meeting last Friday discussing Simon. Ferguson postponed a scheduled interview with WILX Wednesday until later in the week.
Byrum is the second trustee to publicly call for Simon's resignation. Mitch Lyons did the same last Saturday. The Board of Trustees has the authority to remove the President but so far there is no indication that there are enough votes to do so.
Nassar must serve 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges before starting his state term. At age 54 it's unlikely he will ever leave federal prison. He still has to be sentenced in Eaton County. That hearing starts January 31.