topSkip to main content

Menu, Secondary

Menu Trigger


AAU Elects Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon as New Chair


The Association of American Universities today elected Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon as chair of its board of directors. Her one-year term begins today. The election took place at the association’s semiannual meeting in Washington, D.C.

AAU is a nonprofit organization of 62 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada. Its primary missions are to maintain the productive partnership between research universities and the U.S. government and to advance university research and higher education.

“Research universities today face rising societal expectations for cutting-edge discovery and life-enhancing innovation, and for developing the next generations of talent that will tackle humanity’s big challenges,” said Simon. “I feel truly privileged to chair the association supporting this impressive group of world-renowned research universities.”

Simon succeeds University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, after serving during the past year as vice chair of AAU. The association today also elected David W. Leebron, president of Rice University, to serve as vice chair.

As AAU chair, Simon will serve as a spokesperson for the association, particularly on issues of special concern to research universities. She will represent AAU in meetings with national policymakers, help to develop national policy positions, and play a significant role in determining the association’s direction during the coming year.

“Lou Anna Simon will be a terrific chair for AAU,” said AAU President Hunter Rawlings. “She has a deep understanding of the economic and other vital roles research universities play in their communities and states, and in the country. She has played an important part in the extraordinary success that Michigan State, the University of Michigan, and other research universities have had in articulating the value of these institutions to their state and gaining public support for them. We expect her to help AAU do the same thing on the national level.”

A Michigan State graduate, Simon has led the university since 2005. Prior to serving as president, she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs, as well as a number of other administrative roles at the university. Simon received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Indiana State University and her PhD from Michigan State.

# # # # #

Follow AAU on Twitter and on Facebook.