The Spartan Podcast

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“The NCAA as the symbol of amateur sports in America is undergoing a lot of change,” Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon tells Russ White on MSU Today. “Part of that is new leadership and part of it is the changes in the nature of Division 1 athletics and the revenue underpinning many programs.

“So the question is how to make the best possible decisions on behalf of student athletes. It’s a matter of each institution being sure that they agree that their role is to assure that students are getting the best quality education possible, because that’s something no one can take away from them.”

President Simon talks about T-shaped professionals and how MSU is preparing more of them for the modern workforce.

“It means that students need to have extraordinary depth in a particular area, but they also have to have a set of other skills that means they can use knowledge in a context that is workable and applicable to a variety of situations.”

Earth Day is April 22, and President Simon says “the neat thing about Michigan State’s sustainability plan is it couples research with action plans that are developed on campus. It also engages students and faculty and is continuously updated.”

Now that FRIB has been dedicated, President Simon says there’s “a lot of hard work” ahead for MSU. “It’s all part of a grand strategy to make this the best nuclear physics facility for rare isotopes in the world.”

As summer approaches, President Simon adds that “the campus will continue to be vibrant with new ideas. And the great thing about a university is that you can never predict what those ideas will be.”

She’s pleased that less than half of MSU students are actually leaving with institutional debt and at a rate much lower than state and national averages.

“We have to worry about price, but we also have to worry about value and return on investment. Putting those two things together will be a big focus for us next year.”

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