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July 30, 2019

Former president Simon retires from MSU

Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon will retire effective Aug. 31 after 45 years at the university.

Under the terms of her retirement, Simon will hold the titles of president emeritus and professor emeritus. She will receive three annual payments for a total gross amount of $2.45 million. Simon also will receive her vested retirement and other benefits, similar to other retiring university executive managers.

Originally joining MSU as a faculty member in 1974, Simon held positions on faculty and in the administration. She served as president from 2005 to 2018. Together with her husband, Roy J. Simon, the Simons have donated more than $1 million, along with a major estate gift, recognizing them in the Williams Society donor level. The couple’s contributions include supporting the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Wharton Center, Spartan Fund, WKAR and the College of Music — including the Simon Jazz Studies Endowment Fund, Simon Music Scholarship Fund and the Spartan Marching Band.

“Our campus community is continuing its healing, and the Board of Trustees feels the retirement of Dr. Simon is best for the university,” said Dianne Byrum, chairperson of the Board of Trustees.

Simon resigned as president in January 2018 following victim impact statements during the criminal sentencing of former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar in Ingham County. Under her presidential contract, she returned to a tenured faculty position from which she is now retiring. Last fall, she took a voluntary unpaid leave of absence while facing criminal charges in Eaton County.


Statement from Lou Anna K. Simon, president emeritus

“Michigan State is on the precipice of a new chapter under the leadership of President Stanley. I appreciate the efforts of the university to facilitate my transition to emeritus status that corresponds to this new chapter. I will continue my scholarly pursuits and community engagement, particularly in Traverse City in retirement.

“Roy and I will always be Spartans and will continue our support of the university including through philanthropy. President Stanley is an exceptional leader and we wish him much continued success at our alma mater.”