Board Chairman Brian Breslin said Engler's depth of executive experience - his years of service to the state of MI and his experience as the CEO of the National Association of Manufactures and president of the Business Roundtable - will benefit MSU enormously.
Engler was Michigan's governor from 1991 to 2003 and is an MSU alumna.
After the board meeting, Engler held a news conference to address the media.
During the course of the investigation and trial of Nassar, blame was directed towards MSU and MSU President, Lou Anna Simon. Yesterday afternoon, the Detroit Free Press ran with statements from Rachael Denhollander, the first person to file criminal charges against ex-USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. She stepped down after Nassar was sentenced to decades in prison for sexual abuse. He will also have to shake up a culture that critics say led to the university turning a blind eye to Nassar's victims for years. He will lead the school as it confronts civil lawsuits from more than 100 women and girls, and investigations by the state attorney general, the NCAA and Congress.
University officials have been criticized for being tone-deaf to the problems uncovered by the Nassar scandal. We suggested that the Interim President have significant experience devising and implementing programs to mitigate sexual harassment and sexual abuse. "I am proud of my support of their work even though the results have been very painful to all who watched", Simon said.
At-large faculty members of MSU's Steering Committee are threatening to seek the resignations of the entire MSU Board of Trustees if it follows through with its plan to appoint Engler.
Engler unseated Blanchard in the 1990 election.
She also says she sincerely hopes the board reconsiders.
Faculty member Laura McCabe said she and her colleagues will push for a no confidence vote in the board because of its decision to hire Engler.
"We have issues with both the selection itself and the selection process", the faculty representative said. If it passes, the group would call on all trustees, who are elected in statewide votes, to resign.
It is humbling to accept this interim president position in these hard times for my beloved alma mater MSU. Engler, a Michigan State alumnus, was praised by fellow Republicans as a good choice for the job.
Michigan State denies wrongdoing, saying nobody at the university believed Nassar was guilty until news reports began to emerge in 2016, CNN reports.