A Michigan State University trustee has dissented from the board’s public support for its president, calling on Saturday for her to resign amid questions regarding her knowledge of complaints about Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, a former university doctor who was accused of molesting scores of female athletes.
The trustee, Mitch Lyons, broke ranks with the eight-person board one day after it issued a statement declaring its support for the president, Lou Anna K. Simon, who was appointed in 2005.
In his statement, Mr. Lyons said he had been “very troubled” since the board’s remarks. He said that although he agreed with the board’s request for the state’s attorney general to review the situation, he believed that the public had “lost confidence” in Dr. Simon — and that the loss was “irreparable.”
Noting that he did not think Dr. Simon “knowingly engaged in any cover-up or criminal wrongdoing,” Mr. Lyons said the university’s institutional accountability had nonetheless been compromised.
“I don’t feel that President Simon can survive the public outcry that has been generated by this tragedy,” he said, adding, “I feel that our best recourse is for President Simon to resign immediately in order to allow the healing process to begin.”
Mr. Lyons declined to comment further when reached by phone.
Brian Breslin, the board’s chairman, did not immediately respond to an email on Saturday night. When he read the board’s statement on Friday, saying, “We continue to believe that President Simon is the right leader for the university,” Mr. Lyons and other trustees stood silently behind him.