Bob Young Jr.’s contract is yet
another misstep for MSU Board
The firing of Bob Young Jr. — MSU’s top attorney and vice president of legal affairs — came as little surprise to many last week, following the forced resignation of interim Michigan State University President John Engler.
What is surprising, or perhaps infuriating is a more accurate sentiment, is that Young will receive the full payout of his contract through May 2021. That’s about $1 million. And another example of mismanagement by the MSU Board of Trustees.
Young was Engler’s choice, hired as vice president and general counsel on June 1. His contract was approved by trustees in a 5-3 vote. It was a contentious choice at the time, as evidenced by the vote.
Among the biggest questions: Why would trustees approve a three-year contract for an employee recommended by an interim president? Did the trustees really expect Young to serve his full three-year term once a new president was hired?
These are the critical decisions the trustees are elected to make.
Three of the trustees who supported Young’s contract –Brian Breslin, Mitch Lyons and George Perles — are no longer on the board. The other two — Joel Ferguson and Melanie Foster — should be held responsible for yet another poor decision.
While Young’s dismissal is being applauded as a move in the right direction for MSU, stakeholders shouldn’t stop asking how the university keeps getting itself in these situations.
Correcting mistakes is an appropriate course of action. Avoiding mistakes that put the university in vulnerable positions would be better.
Read more: MSU fires former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Young Jr.
Read more: Engler’s ouster, appointment of new acting president nets applause
Read more: Interim President John Engler to donate $510K salary back to university
It’s a new day at Michigan State University. The composition and power dynamic of the Board of Trustees is markedly different.
A new president, to be hired in the coming months, will have an opportunity to lead this once-great institution in new directions, with the transparency and inclusivity MSU’s stakeholders deserve.
Young’s dismissal with a $1 million payout feels like one more misstep from university leadership that has routinely failed its constituents.
It’s far past time for the Board of Trustees to focus on asking the pointed questions and making better strategic decisions to allow MSU and those it serves to move forward.
— The Lansing State Journal