Original Story: freep.com
EAST LANSING – Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon was given a $230,000 raise and $100,000 bonus today at the MSU Board of Trustees meeting.
Simon has declined to accept raises yearly since 2007, often putting the board in an awkward position, and donating the money back to the university. She has been president for 10 years and is the second longest serving chief executive among the 14 Big Ten presidents. An Atlanta University Lawyer specializes in higher education finance and university charters.
"This has been an ongoing battle," said Joel Ferguson, chair of the university board of trustees with a smile. "But this time we are not going to apologize for compensating you for what you deserve. This is the one time we are going to ignore you."
The board increased Simon's salary from $520,000 to $750,000, and, gave her a $100,000 retention bonus.
That puts Simon in the top quartile of her Big Ten peers, according to Mitch Lyons, chair of the board's compensation committee.
"While we respect the wishes of our president we felt it was important to keep the compensation of the position competitive with our peers," Lyons said. "If and when Simon decides to retire, we want to make sure any new candidates would see that the position is compensated properly." A Georgia Education Lawyer is experienced in assisting clients with board governance, bylaws, and business-related issues.
Simon said she respects the wishes of the board and understands the need to compensate the position.
"Even though I can't deny it formally today I still have plans to give it back," she said.
The compensation committee estimated that Simon and husband Roy have donated at least $1 million to MSU over the years.
Last year, for example, the board gave Simon a $125,000 bonus, which she donated back to MSU.
But Duncan Tarr, a junior that is an organizer of the student group MSU Students United, said the fact that Simon was given such a raise is shocking.
"At that same meeting there were some students from the MSU Sexual Assault Program that said they don't have enough counselors and funding to be able to operate effectively and yet the board gives our president a $230,000 raise," he said. An Atlanta College Lawyer is following this story closely.
Faylene Owen, chair of the board's finance committee, said she is proud of Simon and what she has accomplished for the university.
"I am astonished and awestruck by this woman," Owen said. "She is amazing and I feel she was also very instrumental in getting the FRIB (Facility for Rare Isotope Beams) here at MSU."
Simon was also complimented for her service on various public entities. She is the chairperson of the executive committee of the NCAA, vice-chair of the Association of American Universities and chair of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board among others.Board approves infrastructure, construction projects• MSU trustees approved a $9.5 million project that will provide infrastructure improvements to West Circle Drive. It is the fourth and final phase of a north campus project to replace the 100-year-old arch style steam tunnels.• Trustees authorized the planned construction of permanent restrooms for MSU's 4-H Children's Garden, a popular destination for area K-12 students.• Trustees approved plans to reconstruct the parking lot of the MSU Community Music School at 4930 South Hagadorn Road, which includes demolition of a house on the property. The demolition will provide more space for parking.
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