Trustee Brian Mosallam said he’s concerned that a survey full of racist and obscene language was sent out by a professor to students at random, but he feels like this is symptomatic of a bigger issue the university has to deal with. “The bigger issue is that there are students from marginalized communities who do not feel safe on campus,” Mosallam said.


Trustees Kelly Tebay, Brian Mosallam, Dan Kelly and Schlichting worked with three survivors to pitch an independent investigation after facing fervent pressure and requests from the survivor community and politicians including Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Governor Gretchen Whitmer.  Prominent survivors Rachael Denhollander, Sterling Riethman, and Sarah Klein worked with the
trustees to organize the investigation.


Other figures on campus, including Mosallam and the leaders of the faculty senate, have called for faculty and student representatives to be added to the board. But that probably won’t happen anytime soon.


MSU Trustee Brian Mosallam has called for a new independent investigation of the university’s handling of the Larry Nassar matter and the firing of any employees who “acted contrary to our values.” In an eight-page document titled “New Day MSU,” Mosallam also highlighted areas of improvement, including accountability, board oversight, trustee reform, compliance and independent oversight. “We must listen. We must learn. Now, together, we must fight to do what is right by our Spartan Community, especially our courageous survivors,” Mosallam said in an email. “Today, I propose new and revised policies that I call on MSU’s Board of Trustees to adopt, and for our administration to implement.

the state news

Trustee Brian Mosallam — elected in 2012 — has been one of the most outspoken members of the board when it comes to the university’s handling of reports against Nassar. In the summer of 2018, Mosallam called for John Engler’s termination as interim president of the university.  Engler — appointed as interim president following Lou Anna K. Simon’s resignation — was highly criticized for comments he made about survivors. Only Mosallam and Byrum supported Engler’s termination at the time. In January 2019, the board unanimously approved Engler’s resignation — effective immediately — and appointed former dean Satish Udpa as the new interim president at an emergency meeting. Mosallam said Engler’s resignation was a “new day” for MSU.

associated press

Brian Mosallam told the AP that the board had enough votes to force Engler out at a special meeting scheduled Thursday at the school in East Lansing. Mosallam, a long-time Engler critic, said on Twitter that “JOHN ENGLER’S REIGN OF TERROR IS OVER.” His tweet followed a post by Byrum announcing Thursday’s meeting.

the state news

Trustee Brian Mosallam was outspoken about Engler’s resignation. After it was publicly announced that the board would hold an emergency meeting to discuss Engler’s future, Mosallam tweeted, “JOHN ENGLER’S REIGN OF TERROR IS OVER.” Mosallam previously made a motion to terminate Engler at the June 22 Board of Trustees meeting. The motion was supported by him and Byrum, but the other six trustees at the time voted it down.  He said the new trustees “changed the whole dynamic” of the board. “It’s not fun sitting in a room and you’re the only one, and there’s 12 people looking at you like you’re an alien,”  Mosallam said. “Sometimes you’ve gotta stand up for what you believe in and you gotta keep pounding the same message home and stick true to your beliefs. That’s what we did, and we got some help.” Mosallam said Engler’s resignation is a “new day” for the university. “On this new day, our courageous survivors no longer have to go to bed in sadness, feeling like no one will listen to them. On this new day, our students, faculty, employees and alumni get their university back. On this new day, the values of this institution — empathy, compassion and respect —are no longer held hostage by one individual’s instinct to face division, callousness and hostility,” Mosallam said. “Today, the healing can truly begin. John Engler’s reign of terror is finally over.”

detroit news

After the meeting, Trustees Dan Kelly, Brian Mosallam and Brianna Scott confirmed they would also be reviewing the documents.

michigan advance

“After the recent decision to not go forward with the independent review/public report, which had been approved by the board, initiated and organized by Trustees Dan Kelly, Kelly Tebay, Brian Mosallam and me, and supported by 3 courageous survivors; I decided I could no longer serve on the Board.” At a June 2018 board meeting, a motion by Trustee Brian Mosallam to remove Engler was voted down, 6-2.

wkar - pbs/npr

MSU Trustee Mosallam Calls For Culture Change After Nassar. A member of Michigan State University’s governing body released a series of proposals Tuesday he says are aimed at changing the institution’s culture in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.  “Our culture must change and improve,” Brian Mosallam, one of eight people who is on the university’s board of trustees, said in a release. “We must admit failure when it happens. We must say sorry when we do wrong. We must hold ourselves accountable for what happens on this campus.” One of Mosallam’s proposals calls for an independent, internal review of the Nassar matter to begin immediately. Nassar, a former doctor who treated Michigan State athletes and U.S. Olympians, was sentenced this year to decades in prison for sexual abuse.  “We only need five votes,” Mosallam, a former Michigan State football player, said. Mosallam said the school “must constantly be focused on how we can improve and do better by our entire Spartan community.” “We can start this by ending our defensive posture, embracing a policy of drastic voluntary remediation, and collaboratively engaging our courageous survivors in a dialogue about how we can culturally improve MSU so we can all proudly stand tall again as Spartans and say: never again,” he said.

“Today, this board as one has decided to rip off the Band-Aid and authorize an independent investigation… regarding MSU’s handling of Larry Nassar’s sexual misconduct,” said MSU Trustee Brian Mosallam. The Board of Trustees on Friday unanimously authorized the report in a last-minute addition to its agenda after working with three survivors — Rachael Denhollander, Sarah Klein and Sterling Riethman — to pick a firm.


“After the recent decision to not go forward with the independent review/public report, which had been approved by the board, initiated and organized by Trustees Dan Kelly, Kelly Tebay, Brian Mosallam and me, and supported by three courageous survivors; I decided I could no longer serve on the board,” she wrote in the letter.

the state news

Trustee Mosallam calls for internal review, reform in proposal. Mosallam’s proposal included several points of action. The first was a suggestion for an independent, internal review to be conducted into whether or not MSU adequately handled the Nassar matter.  Additional points listed in Mosallam’s document call for the establishment of a sexual misconduct survivors’ advisory committee and the appointment of one faculty member and one student to the Board of Trustees to aid in the search for a new university president, among others. Mosallam’s proposal would require five votes from the Board of Trustees to pass. “MSU should no longer stand in a defensive posture,” Mosallam said in the email. He continued,  “MSU should mercilessly cull out all that which permeated and perpetuated the culture that allowed for the likes of Larry Nassar and all the other sexual misconduct on this campus to fester and go improperly addressed.”

“I’ve been selected to lead and run what amounts to a $2.8 billion corporation,” he said. “I’ve never been more ready. I promise to lead based on the core values instilled in me in Dearborn Public Schools … and by my parents.”

Have issues you'd like to discuss? I'd love to talk with you.

Scroll to Top