Skip to content

John Engler Resigns as Michigan State Interim President, Says Sexual Abuse Victims “Enjoy Spotlight”

January 16, 2019

Former Michigan governor, John Engler, will resign effective January 23, 2019, from his position as Michigan State University (MSU) interim president following comments he made about victims of sexual predator and former USA gymnastics team doctor and MSU physician, Larry Nassar.

In discussing a fund to assist Nassar’s victims in a January 11, 2019, interview with Detroit News, Engler stated that some of Nassar’s victims are “enjoying the moment [in the] spotlight.” From Reuters via

The university’s board had scheduled a meeting for Thursday [January 17, 2019] to discuss a “personnel action.” While it was not known what that action was to be, the meeting was to come on the heels of an interview with The Detroit News during which Engler said:

“You’ve got people, they are hanging on and this has been … there are a lot of people who are touched by this, survivors who haven’t been in the spotlight. In some ways they have been able to deal with this better than the ones who’ve been in the spotlight who are still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition. And it’s ending. It’s almost done.”

When he was Michigan’s governor, in 1993, Engler brought a 20-gauge, sawed-off shotgun into a meeting of Michigan legislators to sensationalize school choice as a way to save students from allegedly violent, traditional public schools. In December 1993, the Michigan legislature passed charter school legislation that Engler signed into law in July 1994. (See pages 61, 62, and 74 in my book, School Choice: The End of Public Education?)

Decades earlier, Engler was one of a number of politicians who formed the early membership of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), formed in 1973 and largely kept secret from the public until Common Cause launched its 2012 whistleblower complaint against ALEC for exploiting its tax-exempt status by engaging in excessive lobbying.


John Engler


Interested in scheduling Mercedes Schneider for a speaking engagement? Click here.


Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.


  1. In XLV’s never-ending quest for someone sleazy enough to work for him, he’s bound to hit on Engler sooner or later.

  2. What a detestable creep. I suspect that Jon is right. A perfect fit for the Trump Misadministration. Will it survive long enough to hire Engler? Who knows.

  3. Laura H.Chapman permalink

    Agree with Jon and Bob…And thanks for the post.

  4. Linda permalink

    Now that Enlger’s out, will we be able to learn the source of the start-up funding for the EPIC center, part of MSU’s Ed. Dept. ? EPIC is working on a grant with the Arnold-funded ERA center at private Tulane University.
    At George Mason Public University in Virginia, tried to get info about a Koch-funded center at the university. An FOIA request was rejected because the center claimed it was structured as a private entity.
    Private, unaccountable academic entities acting as “partners” to public universities are scary. And, the liability issues are great.
    BTW- MIT which is private had a sanctioned Russian oligarch on its board until recently.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mercedes Schneider: Bye, Bye, John Engler (LINK ADDED) | Diane Ravitch's blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s