Michigan State University's leaders faced a hostile audience Friday, as students and victims of former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar criticized administrators for being more concerned with protecting the university's brand and finances than supporting sexual assault survivors. Lorincz said she later asked Denhollander, who told her she had never met with Engler. They told me he offered her $250,000 and asked if that would 'be enough.' When they kept telling him this wasn't about money and they weren't talking about money, he told them he'd met with me and I'd given him a number I wanted.
Engler's spokeswoman, Emily Gerkin Guerrant, said she was in the room during the conversation and does not remember the interim president offering a dollar figure.
'President Engler you wanted to talk about money, I wanted to talk about helping and healing. Carol Viventi said "Well you're in civil litigation, aren't you?"
Engler's short tenure has not been one for the textbooks since he took the post in January after the previous president, Lou Anna Simon, resigned hours after Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for crimes involving Michigan State athletes. Engler, too, has been criticized by faculty, students and survivors of Nassar's abuse for how he has handled complaints since taking office. Michigan State and its board of trustees are listed as co-defendants in many of those lawsuits.
Speaking Friday during a public comment period at a university Board of Trustees meeting, Kaylee Lorincz drew what were described as audible gasps as she recounted in detail her meeting two weeks ago with Engler.
She said she expressed an interest in working with the university to try to improve the way it has handled sexual assault cases on campus.
Mr. Engler then looked directly at me and asked, "right now if I wrote you a check for $250,000 would you take it?"
Engler also told Lorincz that he had previously met with Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar, and that she "gave him a number" for what she would accept as a settlement for the lawsuits.
"My hope was that maybe if he actually met a survivor, he might become more empathetic to what we're experiencing", she said.
Lorincz eventually finished her statement, saying to the board that, "When you protect and promote a sexual predator and foster a culture of lies and cover-ups, you are responsible".
"I think that the general attitude towards victims of sexual assault has not changed, and until that attitude changes, survivors will not feel safe here", she said. "No one has given him a number".
"I am continually shocked by your lack of action and Interim President Engler's callous and disrespectful words", Lorincz said in her statement to the Board. Manly said represented parties in civil lawsuits are not typically supposed to interact with each other without their attorneys present. He has said some hurtful things and I wanted him to know that when he does that he causes me to feel victimized all over again. "What are you afraid of that she's going to say?" What kind of a person does that?
The meeting allegedly went downhill from there, particularly after Kaylee's mother, Lisa, broached the subject of the recent arrest of Nassar's boss at the school, Dean William Strampel, for allegedly groping and propositioning medical students and collecting nude pictures of students on his work computer. After her meeting, Lorincz reached out to Denhollander by phone and got an entirely different story: Denhollander informed her that not only had she never given Engler a dollar amount for a settlement, she has never even had a one-on-one meeting with him. "My jaw dropped, and I said 'Just a slap on the butt?"
MSU Board of Trustees members will meet at 9 a.m. Friday to consider implementing an increase in the 2018-2019 room and board rates.