Lou Anna Kimsey Simon is the 20th and current president of Michigan State University. She also presently serves as the Chairwoman of the executive committee of National Collegiate Athletic Association. Additionally, she is the chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch.
Simon received her Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Indiana State University in Terre Haute in 1969. She earned a Master of Science in student personnel and counseling from Indiana State University in 1970. In 1974 President Simon earned a Ph.D. in administration and higher education from MSU. She is married and lives in East Lansing.
Simon served as Michigan State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from 1993-2004. She has also has served as Associate Provost, Assistant Provost for General Academic Administration, Assistant Director of the Office of Institutional Research, as well as an MSU faculty member.
She served as Michigan State's interim president during the period from May 2003 to May 2004 that then-President M. Peter McPherson served as a representative of President George W. Bush in the reconstruction of Iraq following the toppling of Saddam Hussein's government.
In 2004, the MSU Board of Trustees awarded Simon a three-year, US$340,000-a-year contract to oversee the 44,800-student university and its US$715 million annual budget. In January 2006, the Board of Trustees increased Simon's salary to US$425,000 although President Simon and her husband Roy Simon donated that year's increase back to the Michigan State University Capital Campaign.
In 2006, President Simon decided to add Michigan State University to the list of institutions opposing the passage of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.