MSU board approves extension of McPherson's leave, continues Simon's appointment as interim president

Contact: Sue Carter, President's Office, (517) 353-9818,; or Tom Oswald, University Relations, (517) 355-2281,

Aug 18, 2003

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State University Board of Trustees today extended MSU President Peter McPherson's leave of absence and continued the appointment of Lou Anna K. Simon as interim president.

The board extended McPherson's leave through the end of September, as he continues to serve as financial coordinator for the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) in Iraq. In this role, McPherson is serving as the principal financial and economic policy adviser to ORHA director Paul Bremer.

McPherson was expected to return to campus Sept. 2.

"At the request of Ambassador Bremer, we are more than happy to extend the president's leave so that he may continue to serve his country," said David Porteous, chairperson of the MSU Board of Trustees. "I think McPherson is having an impact on the rebuilding process in Iraq and we're proud to let him continue in that capacity."

The board originally approved McPherson's leave, as well as Simon's appointment as interim president, on April 25.

Simon has served as MSU provost and vice president for academic affairs since 1993 and is responsible for the full range of academic and academic support programs at MSU. Recently she co-edited "Learning to Serve: Promoting Civil Society through Service Learning." She currently chairs the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), representing the academic interests of the Big Ten, plus the University of Chicago. Simon also holds the rank of professor in the MSU College of Education.

In addition to serving as president of MSU, McPherson has been a statesman, bank executive and held key positions in the federal government. He currently chairs the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa. The partnership focuses resources and knowledge on what the partnership calls the most critical need of all of Africa's challenges.