East Lansing — Michigan State’s interim athletic director is turning down interview requests, but Bill Beekman did write an open letter to the Michigan State community.
Appointed by interim president John Engler on Monday, Beekman takes over the MSU athletics program after the retirement of Mark Hollis, who spent his last day in office last Wednesday. His departure came two days after university president Lou Anna K. Simon resigned in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal.
Beekman, who was the acting president until Engler was named on Friday, will remain the vice president and secretary of the Board of Trustees while overseeing the athletic department.
Here is his letter:
Dear Spartans and Friends of MSU Athletics:
As some of you may have seen, Michigan State University Interim President John Engler appointed me today as MSU’s Interim Athletics Director. I know your love and passion for MSU Athletics runs as deeply as mine. I was moved by our Izzone students and our women’s basketball team who showed their support for the survivors by trading in their green and white for teal this past week. As we chart a path forward, I will do everything in my power to help MSU build a culture of accountability. I am committed to making sure we are doing all we can to provide a healthy and safe environment for student athletes, coaches, and staff.
Our top priority is supporting the courageous survivors of Larry Nassar’s horrific abuse and providing them with the help they deserve. In the coming weeks, as President Engler has said, we will be moving swiftly to implement changes that will protect anyone affiliated with MSU from sexual assault, harassment, or bullying.
Interim President Engler has called for a culture change at MSU. I agree. As I take on my new role in the Athletics Department, I will be listening to the entire athletic community. Today is just day one. I look forward to having an ongoing dialogue that will help ensure our culture, and the policies and procedures that support it, protect the health, safety, and wellness of all Spartans.
Interim Athletics Director
Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees