There is substantial evidence that several senior MSU administrators were aware of what Nassar was doing to young women and did nothing about it. Lou Anna Simon herself faces felony charges for allegedly lying to police about what she knew about Nassar's shenanigans.
Before police discovered that Larry Nasser had been molesting MSU students, President Simon had a good gig. She made $750,000 a year when she resigned as MSU's president in 2018. MSU allowed her to remain on the MSU faculty at the paltry salary of only half a million.
Now, with criminal charges still hanging over her head, Simon is retiring with a nice little parting gift: $2.45 million!
Obviously, the MSU trustees were aware that Simon might be convicted of a felony when they cut the retirement deal, and the separation agreement makes provision for that possibility. If she is convicted, the trustees will take down her official presidential photo. But of course, she will still get to keep the retirement money.
As for victims of Larry Nassar's sexual assaults, MSU has set aside a half-billion dollars to pay claims to an estimated 332 victims. Hey, that's just pocket change for this mega university. Moody's Investors Service, a credit rating agency, assured investors that "t]he university has the financial strength to absorb the proposed settlement within its strong credit profile." After all, MSU generates more than a quarter of a billion dollars a year in operating revenue and has "ample ability to absorb debt service related to the settlement amount."
One might think Lou Anna Simon's compensation package is an aberration, but it is not. Simon ranks 44 among the nation's top-paid university presidents. In fact, 17 university presidents make over $1 million a year in total compensation.
You might imagine college presidents as bookish men and women who spend their days strolling through the groves of academe and thinking noble thoughts about the ancient virtues. But in fact, they are raking in a lot of cash, and many of them are pretty mediocre individuals.
And some of them are not minding the store. Michigan State, Penn State, Baylor, and the University of Southern California are a few of the once noble universities that have been wracked by sexual abuse scandals, which are costing them billions in settlement payouts and attorney fees.
So think about Lou Anna Simon, boys and girls, when you take out student loans to finance your college education. You may be saddled with student debt for the rest of your lives, but the people who run the universities that are taking your money are making out like bandits.
|Lou Anna Simon|
Photo credit: Cory Morse, Grand Rapids Press