Spartan friends, I was truly humbled to have been selected in January by the Board of Trustees to be acting president of MSU. My tenure will last only until a permanent president is selected and joins us this summer. But I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you because this is a critical moment for MSU.
In a January 2018 message to MSU faculty and staff, I described my desire for all of us to learn from the past and to move forward with civility and kindness. Now, more than a year later, I think that message is every bit as current and vital.
Of the survivors of sexual assault, I wrote that we share their anguish and that our ? rst obligation is to help them recover and become whole. I said that we could not change the past but vowed to devote time and resources to fostering healing and creating a culture that provides a safe environment for all members of our community.
As acting president, my approach has not changed. The university is taking on a recommitment to our core values while increasing active listening, deep re? ection and genuine concern.
I am grateful for all who join me in working to restore trust in the university we love. The Spartans highlighted in this magazine further inspire all of us with their contributions to making MSU truly extraordinary as we advance our land-grant mission.
In that vein, I plan to use my time as acting president to nurture and promote initiatives that will strengthen our reputation as a top100 university. We need to ensure the remaining tasks related to the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams are completed on time, so it can begin to advance science and our understanding of the universe. We need to ?nd ways to play a greater role in the exciting IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole. Our Africa initiative needs to grow and blossom even further.
Our multifaceted autonomous vehicle program, which draws on the expertise of the social and natural sciences, law and engineering, needs to ?ourish and contribute to the vitality of the state’s auto industry. Our health care initiatives, including genomics and personal health, need to be nurtured to gain national and international prominence.
To our many generous donors, loyal alumni and members of the campus community modeling excellence every day, I thank you. As we work to recover from our institutional crisis, I invite all Spartans and friends of Michigan State to join us on this important journey.
ACTING PRESIDENT, MSU