Donate Learn More

About Andy

Never has it been more clear that we need a new generation of leadership at Michigan State University starting in 2018. When there is little trust in the Trustees, that’s normally a good sign it is time to go in a different direction.

Andy Spencer will bring new ideas and new thinking to the Board. After training as a scientist at MSU, he lived outside Michigan for nearly 20 years working as a research scientist at innovative companies in Silicon Valley. As MSU prepares to search for a new president — and the current Board does not have the support of the key stakeholders to lead that search — novel approaches to Board oversight at MSU should be considered and new Trustees should be part of the equation.


  • The shadow of the Dr. Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal has left the public and the MSU campus community in a disheartening situation and lacking confidence in the Board of Trustees.
  • Certain members of the Board have exhibited hallmarks of entrenched leadership and tone deafness.
  • New Trustees and a more diverse experience set on the Board would benefit the entire MSU family — and the state of Michigan — in the short- and long-term.

Background & Experience

  • Raised by public school educators in Michigan
  • B.S. in Chemistry from Hope College; Ph.D. in Biochemistry from MSU, where he received the departmental Outstanding Graduate Student Award
  • Former Teaching Assistant, MSU College of Natural Science
  • Postdoctoral researcher and National Research Service Award fellow at the University of Colorado and the University of Wisconsin
  • Member of management teams at innovative companies using biomedical science to create new medicines for patients.

Family Connection To MSU

Andy’s mom, dad (MSU’68 and ’88), and brother (MSU’04) are former public school teachers who later served as public school administrators. Growing up in his parents’ home and in a social circle full of teachers’ kids, he has a strong connection to – and appreciation for – the commitment teachers make to public education from kindergarten through medical school.

From 1993 through 2003, Andy held positions as a teaching assistant, research assistant, and postdoctoral researcher at MSU, the University of Colorado, and the University of Wisconsin. He understands from experience that graduate assistants, postdoctoral researchers, and non-tenure track faculty play incredibly important roles in teaching within the Michigan State community. These teachers and researchers must be supported by the MSU family and state legislature to maintain the strength of the university.

Andy’s wife has taught at top medical schools in California and Michigan. His in-laws are both scientists at MSU (one retired). His sisters- and brothers-in-law are all trained in STEM fields and collectively have decades of experience within universities and innovative companies across the country. Healthy public schools and university ecosystems are incredibly important to societies and economies … this is a frequent topic of conversation at the family dinner tables!

Education is important at MSU and beyond

Why Run?

  • As a Trustee, Andy’s goal would be to help build the best possible MSU for our state’s future. What perspective would he bring? He was raised by public school educators, spent 14 years training and working at colleges and universities, and gets a fresh perspective daily from several family members who work as faculty at universities.
  • To provide the perspective of a trained and practicing scientist to advise the Board of Trustees in their stewardship of the multimillion dollar investments in scientific infrastructure, talent, and innovation at MSU.
  • If incomes had risen as fast as MSU tuition since 1989, the average household would earn over $350,000 per year. That hasn’t happened … let’s develop innovative approaches to keep MSU accessible to Michigan families.
  • We need Trustees who are willing to spend time on campus, listening to the students, faculty, staff, and administration. That has not been happening enough in the recent past, and Andy has enough experience at colleges and universities to understand why all the voices on MSU’s campus need to be part of the conversation about a new path forward.

Importance of STEM

Given the millions spent annually on scientific research and infrastructure at MSU, Andy’s background in scientific research will be helpful to the Board’s role in university oversight. No current MSU Trustee has an advanced degree in science or experience in research and innovation. Andy would add to the Board’s collective expertise and enable more knowledgeable and informed stewardship of MSU's investments in scientific research, education, and innovation. He has also served on management teams at public and private biotechnology companies, so has experience in long-term planning and strategy.

  • MSU makes extensive investments in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
  • A $70 million STEM learning center is being built at MSU to support the >40% increase in STEM credit hours being carried by MSU students compared to a decade ago.
  • The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) is a $730 million project funded largely by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • MSU’s STEM investments are critical to attracting talented young people, innovation, and the future economy of Michigan.
  • A Trustee with a background like Andy’s would enhance the Board’s stewardship of STEM-related aspects of MSU’s mission.

Education is important at MSU and beyond

Get In Touch