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Jan. 17, 2019

Engler resigns as interim president; Board of Trustees appoints Satish Udpa as acting president

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees today accepted the resignation of Interim President John Engler, effective immediately.

The board also voted unanimously to appoint Satish Udpa, currently executive vice president for administrative services, as acting president. Udpa is now responsible for all duties associated with the Office of the President and will serve in the role until a permanent president is selected as part of the university’s ongoing search.

“While we collectively are working very hard to make needed improvements regarding the prevention of and response to sexual misconduct and relationship violence, as well as enhancing patient care and safety, none of our hard work will matter if people in leadership say hurtful things and do not listen to the survivors,” board Chairperson Dianne Byrum said. “To the survivors, the entire Board of Trustees extends our remorse over the regretful comments Engler has made. We are diligently seeking a new leader to continue our healing and guide our campus to achieve our aspirations in integrity, inclusion, research and education.”

Byrum's full statement on behalf of the Board can be found here.

Before becoming an executive vice president, Udpa served as dean of the College of Engineering and chairperson of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Prior to joining MSU in 2001, he was the Whitney Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University. He also served as the permanent secretary of the World Federation of NDE Centers from 1998 to 2003. Udpa received his doctorate in electrical engineering from Colorado State University.

“I’m honored to serve as the acting president of MSU,” said Udpa. “I am eager to work with the board during this transition, helping the university move forward.”

The board continues its nationwide search for the university’s 21st president. Nominations are being accepted, and the board and search committee plan to review applicants and conduct interviews beginning in February, with the goal of selecting a permanent president in June.

Engler had served as interim president since Jan. 31, 2018.