If Engler is appointed a group of MSU faculty members says they will push for a vote of "no confidence" targeting the Board of Trustees.
On Facebook, she called Engler a "deep political insider" at a time Michigan State needs outside accountability.
But despite making their livings outside of MI, both men are seen as elder statesmen in their respective state political parties. He said the decision was rushed and that students weren't listened to.
It is humbling to accept this interim president position in these hard times for my beloved alma mater MSU.
The News also reported that the MSU Steering Committee will call for a vote of no confidence in the Board of Trustees if over the Engler appointment.
"We suggested that a strong effort be made to place a woman with extensive academic leadership experience in this position, because her lived experience would provide needed wisdom at this juncture", some of the faculty said in a statement.
Engler would replace Lou Anna K. Simon who resigned as last week as the university deals with the fallout from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. The school has also said it will bring former Democrat Gov. Jim Blanchard, another MSU graduate, as a senior adviser as well. Furthermore, we suggested that a month-long or even semester-long process be undertaken to hire an Interim President, so that all members of the MSU community, from undergraduate students to graduate students to staff to faculty to deans, could provide input and guidance in a transparent fashion to the Board of Trustees.
Engler, 69, is a Republican who graduated from the university in 1971 and was MI governor from 1991 to 2002.
Later, Engler accepted the board's nomination, reinforcing that it is an interim appointment.
But she is hopeful he will lead the university in a new direction.
The pending selection is welcomed by allies who say Engler is tenacious, not afraid to ruffle feathers and can steer his beloved Spartans through the tumult.
"I don't know what you all think at the moment, but I'm guessing our pool of candidates would be somewhat limited this morning because they would be concerned listening to the questions, reading the press and thinking about where we are today", Engler said. After leaving the job, he moved to Washington where he served as president and CEO of the National Manufacturers Association and then the head of the Business Roundtable, a national organization of business leaders.