Lou Anna K. Simon will continue to enjoy some eye-opening benefits

The fallout from the sexual abuse scandal involving disgraced former doctor Larry Nassar is continuing at Michigan State University, and took a new turn on Wednesday with the resignation of president Lou Anna K. Simon. Many believe that Simon had at least some knowledge of Nassar’s activities, but didn’t do anything about it.

The news was confirmed by the university, and the Board of Trustees was quick to issue a statement thanking Simon for her contributions.

“We will be working through the details of transition with President Simon through the rest of the week and will announce them as soon as we can,” board chairman Brian Breslin said Wednesday night in a statement. “Many are aware President Simon delayed returning to the faculty to lead through the challenges the university has been facing. We greatly appreciate her integrity, her many contributions, and her willingness to continue to serve through this transition.” 

Everyone who had been calling for her resignation and investigation will most likely not enjoy hearing the other half of the news included in her resignation.

It’s since been revealed that although Simon will be stepping down, she’ll still be enjoying several perks that include free football tickets for life, and 12-month paid research leave if she ever should return to the faculty.

Check out some of the other perks she and her husband will enjoy, via the Detroit Free Press:

  • Parking passes for on-campus parking
  • Two free tickets to home football games for the Spartan Club suites
  • Two free tickets to women’s basketball games
  • The option to buy up to four men’s basketball tickets in the same location she currently has seats
  • Reduced-price tickets for bowl games and post-season play for football, men’s and women’s basketball and ice hockey
  • Parking pass for all home sporting and cultural events.

The benefits don’t stop there, however. According to her contract, she can return to the faculty, where she’d get a 12-month research leave at her current hefty $750,000 salary. She’ll be paid her current salary for the next year, and three quarters of her salary for the next two years after that. Additionally, she’ll get the title of “president emeritus” as well as office space complete with secretarial support.

The Detroit Free Press reached out to James Finkelstein, a professor emeritus at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University as well as the leading researcher of presidential pay. He responded via email explaining the details: 

“In the 200+ presidential contracts we’ve reviewed, this is the only contract that provides for the president to receive 100% of their last presidential base salary for the first year that they return to the faculty,” Finkelstein explained in his email.

“This means that Dr. Simon’s will be paid at least $750,000 for her first year returning to the faculty from her research leave.  After that, she will be paid 75% of that base salary, or at least $562,500 per year.  Dr. Simon’s field is higher education.  She received her PhD in education from MSU in 1974. 

“So based on this contract, it would appear that Dr. Simon will be paid more than twice the amount of the most highly paid faculty member in the College of Education.  In addition, she will be paid more than the most highly paid faculty member in the entire university, C. Konrad Gelbke who makes $433,441.  He is one of the world’s leading physicists.”

Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for his decades of sexual abuse of female athletes, as well as possession of child pornography.


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Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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