In an April 13 ESPN story it was reported that Kaylee Lorincz, a Larry Nassar survivor who is suing Michigan State University, met recently with interim president John Engler. Also present at the meeting was Carol Viventi, university vice president and special counsel to Engler.
To my knowledge, Mr. Engler has never practiced law himself, but he is a law school graduate. Furthermore, someone in his position should know better than to meet with a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the University. Doing so demonstrates an incredible lack of competence on his part. It also demonstrates an utter lack of competence on the part of Ms. Viventi. Both of them should be terminated immediately for their gross incompetence at the very least.
Even setting aside that incompetence, it is clear that Mr. Engler completely bungled the matter and continues to do so. He has issued a statement saying in part, “Our memories and interpretations of the March 28 meeting are different than hers.” That sounds to me like an attempt at a denial without actually making a denial. I see it often with people who are lying about things they’ve done wrong. That doesn’t even mention the fact that he attempted to cut Kaylee Lorincz off before she finished her statement at the board meeting.
Engler closes his statement with “We’ll be working for an equitable settlement to allow all the survivors to move forward in their process of healing.” Again, a lack of understanding about what these survivors really want which is to see MSU get it right with handling sexual assault, not just paying off survivors. Had John Engler actually listened to Kaylee Lorincz during that meeting, he probably wouldn’t have had to issue the apology he read earlier in the day.
John Engler was a curious selection at best for interim president and is clearly not the person to lead this university through this troubling time. The board of trustees has clearly shown again and again that they are not capable of making proper decisions. Michigan State University is in desperate need of new leadership probably not limited to the president and the board of trustees, but that would be a start. If these people are unwilling to resign, the Michigan legislature should step in immediately to remove them.
So to sum it all up very briefly (and admittedly bluntly):
You are royally fucking things up. I hope some real leaders get to work on cleaning up your mess soon.