December 11, 2004: Headlines: COS - Peru: University Administration: Lansing State Journal: McPherson's last board meeting sparks memories

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Peru: Special Report: MSU President and Peru RPCV Peter McPherson: December 11, 2004: Headlines: COS - Peru: University Administration: Lansing State Journal: McPherson's last board meeting sparks memories

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McPherson's last board meeting sparks memories

McPherson's last board meeting sparks memories

McPherson's last board meeting sparks memories

MSU leader's last board meeting sparks memories
Board of Trustees praises McPherson for leadership skills

By Sharon Terlep
Lansing State Journal

EAST LANSING - With a strike of his gavel and a firm handshake, MSU President Peter McPherson marked the last time he'll preside over the board that runs the nation's seventh-largest university.

"It's most sad," McPherson said moments after he adjourned Friday's Board of Trustees meeting. "It's exciting too. At the end, it's the people and the things you've done together that you miss."

McPherson, 64, has led more than 100 formal board meetings during his 11-year tenure at Michigan State University. Provost Lou Anna Simon will take over for McPherson on Jan. 1.

The banker-turned-academic leader has presided over contentious debate and decisions on everything from firing football coaches to raising tuition to opting to offer benefits to same-sex partners of MSU employees.

He doesn't have a vote on the eight-member board but plays a key role in driving board members' decisions.

Board members paid tribute to McPherson with jokes, brief "thank-you's" and a few tears.

"History will look back on your leadership here and put it into perspective so much more than we can today," said Trustee Randall Pittman, who won't return to the board after losing his seat in the November election.

Trustee Joel Ferguson joked that his role in hiring McPherson cost Ferguson his board seat in 1994. Ferguson won the seat back in 1996.

"We picked someone who had a strong financial presence and a strong political presence, but not a strong academic background," Ferguson said. "He was just what MSU needed."

McPherson and his wife, Joanne, are moving to suburban Washington, D.C., where McPherson will continue working for MSU as a consultant. From there, McPherson, who will earn $143,650 a year, will work to snag a $1 billion federal nuclear research facility for the East Lansing campus and help set up an MSU medical school in Grand Rapids.

On Friday, a teary Trustee Dee Cook told McPherson, "There's not enough I can say for all you've done to put us on the map.

"Please stay in touch," she said. McPherson nodded. "I promise."

Contact Sharon Terlep at 377-1066 or

When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Lansing State Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Peru; University Administration



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