Lou Anna Simon
Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon is the 20th president of Michigan State University, leading the university in advancing knowledge and transforming lives in Michigan and around the world as part of MSU’s pioneer land-grant tradition and its vital role in advancing the common global good. She served as provost and vice president for academic affairs from 1993 through 2004—acting as interim president in 2003—and was appointed president by the MSU Board of Trustees in January 2005.
Dr. Simon has a long and distinguished history with Michigan State University. After earning her doctorate in administration and higher education from MSU in 1974, she became a member of the Michigan State faculty and assistant director of the Office of Institutional Research (now Office of Planning and Budgets). From there, she moved into a variety of administrative roles, including assistant provost for general academic administration during the 1980s and associate provost in the early 1990s.
Dr. Simon’s commitment to the land-grant approach of applying knowledge and resources to benefit society locally and globally is reflected in her personal involvement in key initiatives, particularly in the areas of economic development and international engagement.
Dr. Simon is a member of the Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization working to ensure U.S. prosperity, and serves on the board of directors for the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. In addition, she serves on the National Higher Education Security Advisory Board, a group of presidents and chancellors of several prominent U.S. universities that consults regularly with national agencies responsible for security, intelligence, and law enforcement.
Dr. Simon has served the state of Michigan on the Governor’s Emergency Financial Advisory Panel and on the Lt. Governor’s Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth (Cherry Commission). She is a member of the Michigan Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board, the board of directors of Detroit Renaissance, and the board of mid-Michigan’s economic development foundation, Prima Civitas. In the area of international engagement, Simon is a member of the ACE Commission on International Initiatives and the executive committee of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa.
Under Dr. Simon’s leadership, MSU was chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy as the site for the $550 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams; IBM selected the university to host a global application development center on campus; MSU opened the Energy and Automotive Research Laboratories; and MSU expanded its role in the University Research Corridor, a partnership with the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, to improve Michigan’s economy.