President Simon on international travel, state funding, serial entrepreneurs, Danton Cole, more

Apr 20, 2017

I recently caught up with Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon. She says MSU continues to work on travel, study, and research issues for its faculty and staff.

“Some of the logistics are being worked out,” she says. “And I think that we’re getting a little bit of smoothness in the entire system so that people feel some consistency. I think we’re in a calming period.”

President Simon is optimistic about the career opportunities for this year’s crop of MSU graduates. She says “90 percent of last year’s class had firm commitments for graduate school or jobs six months after graduation. The prospects are even stronger for this class than they were last year.”

She remains concerned about a lack of state funding for higher education and says the real concern is that “we’re working on 1992 actual dollars per student from the state of Michigan. Am I happy? We can make this work. We’ve made it work every year.”

President Simon is pleased with the imbuing of the entrepreneurial spirit among what she calls “serial entrepreneurs.”

She’s excited about the arrival of the Spartans new hockey coach Danton Cole, and she feels this past season was one of Coach Izzo’s best coaching jobs.

Part art gallery, part science lab, part theater, Michigan State University is launching an initiative to ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering, art and math in Detroit’s young adults. It’s called Science Gallery Lab Detroit. She’s excited about the innovation it represents and how it brings science home to people with a wow factor.

President Simon closes our conversation talking about MSU’s many sports that don’t get the same attention as basketball and football. She talks about the academic success of so many Spartan athletes honored each spring at the academic gala. And she reflects on some of the issues currently facing Spartan Football.

MSU Today airs Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on 94.5 FM and AM 870.