Bill Beekman is expected to be named Michigan State’s athletic director on Monday, moving from “interim” to permanent status as head of MSU sports, two sources with knowledge of the proceedings confirmed to The Detroit News.
Beekman’s promotion is expected to be announced at a special meeting of the MSU Board of Trustees.
Beekman five months ago was named interim AD by another interim executive, MSU president John Engler, who said on Feb. 5 that a national search would begin for a new person to oversee Spartan athletics and that “no internal candidates from MSU will be considered.”
Beekman, however, has impressed coaches and most staffers, as well as the board and Engler, one of the sources said, and was viewed as bringing continuity and stability that seemingly had been lost on Jan. 26 when former AD Mark Hollis retired.
Hollis stepped down, as did MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, following hearings that accompanied the conviction of Larry Nassar, who molested hundreds of women during his years as an osteopathic physician at MSU and as team doctor for USA Gymnastics.
Beekman, the secretary of the board of trustees, was handed the transitional job as AD in one of Engler’s initial acts after Engler replaced Simon. Engler had sought to distance existing MSU athletics personnel from the AD job, which quashed early plans to have Greg Ianni, a deputy AD, steer the department after Hollis abruptly departed.
Beekman’s five months have gone more smoothly than most, including Engler, anticipated, one of the sources said.
He has stuck to a low, almost reclusive, profile since moving into Hollis’ office but has been a steady ally for coaches and staffers, the source said. His disinclination to do media interviews has been seen by Engler and others as the mark of an administrator who is not into self-promotion.
A Nassar victim on Friday denounced the expected appointment.
"It’s appalling that they continually tap into people who are part of the cultural problem at MSU," Kaylee Lorincz said. "How can you continue to do the same things and expect a different outcome? Every time they do this, they insult me as a survivor. What will it take for them to actually hear us?"
Beekman’s resume is as light on flamboyance as his personal style.
Before becoming a MSU vice president and board secretary, Beekman was executive director of the MSU Alumni Association.
He is a 1989 graduate of MSU and first joined the university in 1995 as an administrator with the MSU Health Team.
He also worked from 1998-2004 as assistant dean for finance and planning in the College of Human Medicine. He was on the same college’s faculty, and has also taught in MSU’s College of Law.
Included in his MSU job titles are senior consultant to the provost, and vice president for finance and operations.
His academic background is compelling.
Beekman's undergraduate time was spent obtaining a degree in justice, morality and constitutional democracy from MSU’s James Madison College. Beekman earned a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, as well as a law degree from Wayne State Law School.