University Gives President a $330K Raise She Doesn’t Want

MSU President Lou Anna Simon

Michigan State University trustees approved a salary increase from $520,000 to $750,000 for President Lou Anna Simon. The 44 percent base income raise, which also includes an annual $100,000 "retention bonus," came over her objections.

“This is not what I requested,” Simon said, according to MLive. “Trustee (Joel) Ferguson and other members of the board were very clear that they were my bosses in this regard and this is something that would be done at their request.”

ForTheRecord says: Trustees praised Simon for her “leadership and dedication” and said she “continues to excel on the board-established performance criteria (of her evaluations).” But that doesn’t explain a raise for someone who apparently has not threatened to leave or asked for a higher salary.

So why was the hike given? One potential explanation is that MSU trustees simply want to pay their president as much as the University of Michigan pays its president. From a January 2014 story from MLive:

“University of Michigan's next leader will make an annual base salary of $750,000 [with a $100,000 annual retention bonus] – putting him in the ranks of the highest paid public university leaders in the nation.”

In the past, Simon has donated a significant part of her salary back to the university.