Lou Anna K. Simon, the 20th president of Michigan State University, leads the university’s work to advance the common good in Michigan and around the world. An MSU graduate, she began her career at Michigan State after earning her doctorate in 1974. She was appointed president by the MSU Board of Trustees in January 2005.
As president, Simon has engaged Michigan State University in a strategic and transformative journey to adapt the principles of the land-grant tradition to 21st-century challenges. She has expanded MSU’s reach in the state and around the world by focusing the university’s strengths on solutions that enhance and protect quality of life: clean and affordable energy, access to education, safe and plentiful food, and health care. She outlined these commitments and the philosophy driving them in her monograph, “Embracing the World Grant Ideal: Affirming the Morrill Act for a Twenty-first-century Global Society.”
Under her leadership, MSU has expanded its research in, among other areas, biofuels and green energy, medicine and medical technology, physics and rare isotopes, safe water, and agriculture to address world hunger. With the support of external funding now exceeding $500 million annually, Simon is helping ensure that Michigan State University makes a significant positive difference locally and globally.