Meijer executive suggested as next MSU president

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Following the resignation of Lou Anna Simon as Michigan State University’s president, one of the names being suggested to fill the job is that of a well-known West Michigan man.

Mark Murray is the current vice chair of Meijer and was president of Grand Valley State University from 2001 to 2006. The Associated Press is reporting he could be a top pick to be MSU’s next president, though university officials have not made any official statements on the matter.

A file photo of Mark Murray courtesy Grand Valley State University.

The Board of Trustees is expected to hold a meeting Friday afternoon to discuss who will become president.

Murray, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MSU, was Meijer’s president and CEO from 2006 to 2015. He was also state treasurer and budget director under Gov. John Engler.

Simon, who was with MSU for decades, resigned Wednesday under increasing pressure related to the case of former sports doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually abused his patients.

Simon isn’t walking away empty-handed. Her contract allows her to take a one-year paid leave for research at her current salary of $750,000, with an office and secretary, if she comes back as faculty. That would be followed by one year of pay at $750,000 and a $563,000 salary every year after that.

But even if she doesn’t choose to come back, she still gets parting gifts, including two free tickets to home football games and women’s basketball games, reduced ticket prices for bowl games, and on-campus parking, along with other perks.

Scores of girls and women say Nassar sexually assaulted them under the guise of providing medical treatment. He worked at MSU and with USA Gymnastics for some two decades and many victims say officials at those institutions didn’t do enough to stop him, discouraging reports or improperly investigating complaints.

Nassar, 54, was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexual assault. That’s on top of a 60-year prison sentence for federal child pornography charges.

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