From the President - Fall 2020
My first year as president of Michigan State University concluded, and my second year began, in a set of circumstances I would never have envisioned. We at MSU have been working diligently to manage the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to move the university forward in areas such as strategic planning and diversity, equity and inclusion.
We began the semester with the expectation that most of our undergraduates would study from home and added a support and mentoring program for new students called Circles of Success. Each firstyear and transfer student will now have the support of a professional and a peer mentor during the fall 2020 semester. This program helps encourage social connections and academic success.
While instructional modalities are different, total enrollment appears at this writing to be close to last year’s mark at just under 50,000. Our student body diversity, reflected in the number of students of color enrolled from Michigan and around the country, looks to be at its highest recorded level, about a quarter of our total.
In other welcome news, some recent rankings demonstrate MSU’s continued excellence. U.S. News & World Report again put MSU’s undergraduate and graduate supply chain management programs at No. 1 nationally. Among public universities, MSU ranked No. 1 for study abroad, No. 3 for service learning and No. 4 for learning communities.
Money ranked MSU in the top 7% of schools in the nation. For educational quality, affordability and alumni success, MSU surpassed eight Big Ten universities and two Ivy League colleges. Money said MSU’s graduation rate of 81% is 8% higher than expected for students with similar test scores and economic backgrounds. Washington Monthly, meanwhile, ranked MSU No. 11 in the Midwest in “bang for the buck.”
As you enjoy reading about MSU’s proud legacy of research in these pages, know that we will continue sustaining the university’s momentum across our vital work in education, discovery and outreach.
Your support in all its forms is vital to the university, and I thank you. I am optimistic all of us will emerge from this pandemic with a renewed appreciation for the MSU experience and the Spartans who make it possible.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.