Lou Anna K. Simon is out as Michigan State president after the school's role in the Larry Nassar scandal.
Over the last few weeks, while Larry Nassar awaited sentencing, pressure has mounted against Lou Anna K. Simon. Now, she is out as the university's president.
Simon, a 40-year employee of Michigan State, took over as the school's president in 2005. According to a report by The Detroit News, she learned about allegations against Nassar as early as 2014.
"Reports of sexual misconduct by Dr. Larry Nassar reached at least 14 Michigan State University representatives in the two decades before his arrest, with no fewer than eight women reporting his actions, a Detroit News investigation has found. Among those notified was MSU President Lou Anna Simon, who was informed in 2014 that a Title IX complaint and a police report had been filed against an unnamed physician, she told The News on Wednesday."
During her lone appearance in court, Simon said that she did not receive a copy of the report. She contended that she was only told that a sports medicine doctor was being investigated.
The student body turned on Simon in recent weeks. After the Board of Trustees initially released a letter of support for her, cracks began to form in that support as well.
That decision became official of Wednesday night. She sent a letter to the Board of Trustees which Michigan State has posted online.
As tragedies are politicized, blame is inevitable. As president, it is only natural that I am the focus of this anger. I understand, and that is why I have limited my personal statements. Throughout my career, I have worked very hard to put Team MSU first. Throughout my career, I have consistently and persistently spoken and worked on behalf of Team MSU. I have tried to make it not about me. I urge those who have supported my work to understand that I cannot make it about me now. Therefore, I am tendering my resignation as president according to the terms of my employment agreement.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a principled person. I have spent my entire professional career, more than 40 years, at MSU. I love this place. I have watched it grow and prosper, and it has been the honor and privilege of my life to serve as its president since 2005, and over the last few years, to have the opportunity to work with all of you toward our shared goals for MSU. I will continue to do whatever I can to help MSU prosper in the future as a Spartan in whatever role I may play.
MSU Board chair Brian Breslin wrote that her resignation has been accepted. His letter was posted along with Simon's resignation.
"President Simon has offered her resignation to the Board of Trustees, and we will accept it. We agree with Dr. Simon that it is now time for change."
It is unclear how long Lou Anna K. Simon will stay on as the school transitions to new leadership. However, it became very clear over the last few days that it was going to be untenable for Simon to remain in that position.