Wednesday, January 24, 2018

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon has resigned

Posted By on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 at 10:07 PM

click to enlarge THE STATE NEWS
  • The State News

Hours after the weeklong hearing of former MSU doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse scandal came to a dramatic end on Wednesday, the college's President Lou Anna K. Simon tendered her resignation to the Board of Trustees, ending a position she has held since 2004.

The move, first reported on Wednesday evening via an anonymous source to MSU's student paper The State News, followed mounting calls for Simon to resign — including those from two current MSU trustees, the Michigan House of Representatives, gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, The Lansing State Journal, and the campus' popular graffiti rock, which was spray-painted with the message "Time's Up. Change Lou Anna."

Simon announced her resignation in a letter posted to MSU's website on Wednesday night. A statement from the Board of Trustees' Brian Breslin accompanied Simon's letter accepting her resignation.

It was an about-face for the Board of trustees, which last month offered Simon a $150,000 raise, which she declined. According to Simon's letter, she planned on retiring in 2016, but stayed while the sexual abuse allegations against Nassar began to come to light.
Simon's letter of resignation is below:
Members of the Board of Trustees:

The last year and a half has been very difficult for the victims of Larry Nassar, for the university community, and for me personally. To the survivors, I can never say enough that I am so sorry that a trusted, renowned physician was really such an evil, evil person who inflicted such harm under the guise of medical treatment. I know that we all share the same resolve to do whatever it takes to avert such tragedies here and elsewhere.

As you and many in the Spartan family know, I planned to retire in December 2016, and we had begun a conversation about a smooth transition. Then the Indianapolis Star article appeared about USAG and one of the victims contacted MSU police to file a complaint. The MSU Police investigation commenced. Nassar’s employment was terminated shortly thereafter. Work began within the HealthTeam and other areas of the university to improve safety. Given the challenges, my transition was postponed. I appreciate the support you provided.

The survivors’ accounts are horrific. They are tragic, heartbreaking, and personally gut-wrenching. I take solace that many victims have indicated that the opportunity to confront Nassar is a step toward healing. I am proud of the exceptional work of the Special Victims Unit led by Lieutenant Andrea Munford with the steadfast leadership of Chief Dunlap. I am proud of my support of their work even though the results have been very painful to all who watched.

As Nassar’s legal journey to prison was drawing to a close, more and more negative attention was focused on Michigan State University, and on me. I am pleased that statements have been made by Mr. Fitzgerald and Board members about my integrity and the fact that there is no cover-up. I support wholeheartedly the Board’s decision to ask the Attorney General’s Office to review the events surrounding the Nassar matter. This is an important step toward providing more assurance to the university community and to the public. In the past, I have provided assurances to the Attorney General of my full cooperation, and I will continue to do so.

As tragedies are politicized, blame is inevitable. As president, it is only natural that I am the focus of this anger. I understand, and that is why I have limited my personal statements. Throughout my career, I have worked very hard to put Team MSU first. Throughout my career, I have consistently and persistently spoken and worked on behalf of Team MSU. I have tried to make it not about me. I urge those who have supported my work to understand that I cannot make it about me now. Therefore, I am tendering my resignation as president according to the terms of my employment agreement.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a principled person. I have spent my entire professional career, more than 40 years, at MSU. I love this place. I have watched it grow and prosper, and it has been the honor and privilege of my life to serve as its president since 2005, and over the last few years, to have the opportunity to work with all of you toward our shared goals for MSU. I will continue to do whatever I can to help MSU prosper in the future as a Spartan in whatever role I may play.

Respectfully,

Lou Anna K. Simon, President
John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor 



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