MSU will keep presidential search closed

By  | 

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A new regime at Michigan State University will stay with the old presidential search policy.

The Board of Trustees turned away calls to make the process more transparent on Friday. Students have been asking the board for several months to make the search public.

The students have said the closed search is indicative of the culture that allowed Larry Nassar to become a serial molester.

"Coincidentally, I look back at my speech one year ago and found that I can almost entirely reiterate today, one year later," said MSU student Siaira Milroy.

Milroy reflects back on spring 2018 when she asked for culture change and transparency in the search for a new president. She said the board is ignoring her again.

"How can we move forward if a culture of silence is still endorsed on this campus by this administration? We require more not more of the same," said Milroy.

Although many students, staff and parents who spoke at Friday's meeting appreciated the board's apologies, they feel like very little has changed at the top.

"We cannot trust all the decisions that are made behind closed doors, and I think that you need to take that into consideration when you're looking at opening up the search," said Bryan Tarrant, a parent of a Nassar survivor.

MSU board members told News 10 they understand the students' perspective but said they can't conduct a proper search in the open.

"It was important to them as both of our leads in different sessions, made clear to them that we would honor that search process and confidentiality. At least until we get to our top candidates. While we may wish that to be different, we have to acknowledge the converse of people who are in positions that may not want to lose in the event that they don't make it," said MSU Trustee Brianna Scott.

The board does plan to possibly open up the process once the finalists have been chosen. Trustees hope to hire someone within the next six months.

The board also started the work on re-opening the healing fund to cover therapy bills for survivors of sexual assault.