The Spartan Podcast

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“It’s extraordinary that the President would move out of the White House for a bill signing,” Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon tells Russ White on MSU Today, referring to President Obama‘s February 7 visit to MSU to sign the farm bill. “It’s a tribute to Senator Stabenow and the work that she put in on the bill.”

The visit, says President Simon, “is also a reflection on the role that agriculture plays for the state of Michigan.” President Simon was able to spend time with President Obama showing him how MSU research is advancing international agriculture.

Morrill Plaza was dedicated on campus on February 11. And President Simon talks about how the plaza reminds Spartan Nation to always honor its roots while it looks to the future.

Referring to her February 11 State of the University address, President Simon says she believes MSU is “in a good position coming through some extraordinary budget times with momentum.

“There’s an opportunity for us to be a leader in taking what is a traditional residential educational experience and making it much more active and engaging.”

President Simon says she wants MSU to be “a model for a high-performing organization.”

Simon believes MSU has turned a corner on the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams project, and “now the hard work begins; we have a lot of work to do because we want to be the world leader.”

She describes the Rose Bowl as an “extraordinary experience” for Spartans. And she’d like all Spartans to strive for their own “Rose Bowl moment.”

“Hopefully coming out of this Rose Bowl, people will have pride in Michigan State, not just in a football team. And they’ll have a sense that we have a collective responsibility to create Rose Bowl-equivalent experiences across the university.”

Simon says she’s pleased Governor Snyder has recommended an increase in higher education funding.

“If we’re going to be competitive 20 years from now, we have to have talent that can be competitive, and that requires education” she says. “The state needs to do its part for public universities if we’re going to have the breadth of education we need.”

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