The MSU Board of Trustees Should “Suspend” Selves

By on February 8th, 2018

Chuck Perricone
Chuck Perricone, Publisher

The MSU Board of Trustees Should “Suspend” Selves

February 9, 2018 

With at least a half-dozen investigations underway, students marching, editorials condemning and a Faculty vote pending, MSU is in the midst of a meltdown, not just a crisis.  There are so many shoes yet to drop…and the NCAA is wearing Shaquille-sized boots.  The NCAA’s sanctions will push Penn State off the stage and shift the spotlight from “Happy Valley” to “Spartan Nation.”

No doubt millions will be spent on PR overcoming what former President Simon and the current Board of Trustees failed to do: Step up, step in and take ownership of the inexcusable, long-lived victimization of the young women their parents entrusted them to protect.

While President Simon (finally) woke up to the folly of attempting to shift lanes once her passengers believed they had no driver, the Trustees still cling to the wheel. 

The reality is this: Replacement by Governor Snyder, impeachment by the Legislature and recall by the public requires the one thing MSU’s Board of Trustees doesn’t have: Time.

However, there is a way to halt the marches and encourage everyone to take a deep breath before Faculty—MSU’s greatest asset—vote “no confidence”:    

Step 1: Chair Breslin must persuade his fellow trustees to join with him and “self-suspend” themselves pending the outcome of investigations by the NCAA and Attorney General.

Step 2: To demonstrate inclusion and maximize impact, current Governor Snyder should then seek former Governors Engler and Blanchards’ recommendations for interm replacements.

These steps clear interim President Engler’s runway of the last—and largest—obstruction. By stepping aside, the Trustees enable Engler to begin to make up for lost time and restore the confidence the campus community, alumni and the parents of future alumni have lost.

As for the rest of us, our state’s universities are—in so many ways—our identity.  They’re top-tier in our social fabric from playground thru retirement.  Even U of M fans are devastated, regardless of their chosen sport. 

Enough.  This travesty has already tainted one generation.  If we are to avoid this becoming a lasting legacy, the Trustees must subordinate their personal fears and egos to a “hard reset.”    

If nothing else, “self-suspension” puts the Board ahead of events (and now the NCAA) for the first time.

Chuck Perricone served as the first Speaker of the House under term limits. After leaving office, he launched the Perricone Group of companies, including Capitol Strategies, LLC. To better connect the public with the private sector, he then acquired, an award-winning, virtual publication featuring Pulitzer and Emmy-winning columnists. You can reach former Speaker Perricone via e-mail: [email protected]


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