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MSU President Lou Anna Simon is out of a job — but she still has lifetime perks

by Corky Siemaszko /  / Updated 
Image: Michigan State University (MSU) President Lou Anna Simon speaks after being confronted by victims during a break at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault c
Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar on Jan. 17 in Lansing, Michigan.Brendan McDermid / Reuters

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Lou Anna Simon resigned as president of Michigan State University amid accusations that she put the reputation of the Big Ten school ahead of the suffering of the 150 gymnasts who accused Larry Nassar of violating them.

But she has free tickets for life to all MSU Spartan football games and a new title: president emeritus.

And Simon is entitled to a lot of other perks that could make her golden years a lot more golden, according to the employment agreement she negotiated back in December 2012, which was obtained by NBC News.

For example, if Simon were to go back to teaching — her first job when MSU hired her four decades ago — she would be entitled right off the bat to a 12-month paid leave “for the purpose of assisting her in her return to the faculty.”

“During this research leave, she shall be paid 100 percent of her last base salary as president, “ the document states.

The 2012 document stated that Simon — the first female president of one of the country’s biggest universities — was to be compensated at $520,000 a year, but was recently being paid $750,000, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education survey.

Additionally, Simon will “continue to be provided with all fringe benefits to which officers of the university are entitled.” That includes an office, a secretary, a computer, IT help, a telephone “and other necessary office tools.”

“Upon her return to the faculty,” the document states, Simon would be paid the full $750,000 salary for the first year and "75 percent of her last presidential base salary for the second and any subsequent years."

Here are the other goodies Simon will be getting:

  • Lifetime benefits for herself and her spouse.
  • Two “all events and all locations driving and parking passes.”
  • Tickets and parking passes to all the home football games and access to the Spartan Club on the 4th floor of the Stadium Tower, as well as tickets to any bowl games.
  • Free tickets to the women’s basketball and volleyball games. Free tickets to hockey games and any “performances on campus.”
  • And the option to buy up to four seasons tickets for men’s basketball games — and keep the primo seats that were provide to Simon and her spouse during the 2009-2010 basketball season.

Simon called it quits late Wednesday after both of Michigan's senators and the state Legislature called on her to step down — and after Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing girls in his care for more than two decades.

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