Michigan State names board secretary Bill Beekman as interim AD

Bill Beekman, who has spent the past decade serving as Michigan State's vice president and secretary of the MSU Board of Trustees, has been named the school's interim athletic director.

Interim school president John Engler made the appointment Monday, saying, "I have confidence that he will provide very capable leadership of the athletic department during this time of transition."

Beekman will keep his role as vice president of the school and secretary of its board when the search begins soon for a permanent AD.

"I am honored to receive this appointment and look forward to this new challenge," Beekman said. "This is obviously a new day at MSU, and I am pleased to be part of the changes."

Engler said "no internal candidates will be considered'' for the job.

Beekman also has been executive director of the school's alumni association. Former Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis retired last week in the wake of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal and just before Outside the Lines published a report detailing various allegations involving Michigan State football and basketball players, questioning how the athletic department handled those cases.

Beekman served briefly as acting university president in January. He stepped into that role after former president Lou Anna Simon resigned in the face of heavy criticism for how she handled the fallout from the Nassar scandal. Engler, a former governor in the state of Michigan, took over the president job from Beekman last week.

"Just as the Board of Trustees had confidence in Bill to keep things moving as acting president, I have confidence that he will provide very capable leadership of the athletic department during this time of transition," Engler said in Monday's news release.

Michigan State has been without an athletic director since Feb. 1. Hollis' last day on the job was Jan. 31. A department spokesman said athletic employees answered to deputy athletic director Greg Ianni during the time frame without someone in Hollis' former office.

Critics from within the Michigan State community and among some of Nassar's survivors have called on the school to find its new leaders from outside sources so they can take a fresh look at addressing what the board of trustees deemed to be a cultural issue with handling sexual assault on campus. Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of assault and a leading voice among his survivors, said she was disappointed when the trustees chose Engler to serve as interim president. Others called the decision a "slap in the face" and "business as usual."

"At a time the university desperately needs, and survivors pleaded for, outside accountability and leadership the Board chooses one of the most entrenched insiders," Denhollander said in a Facebook post last week.

It's not clear if Engler will remain in his role as president long enough to appoint a new permanent athletic director.

ESPN's Dan Murphy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.