Faculty voice:

Rachel Croson: A note from the dean

Jan. 4, 2017

Rachel Croson joined the MSU College of Social Science as dean in August 2016. Her research has concentrated on experimental and behavioral economics, investigating how people make a variety of economic decisions. She has held a number of professional leadership roles, including serving two years as the National Science Foundation’s division director for Social and Economic Sciences and serving on the board of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, where she was pivotal in developing and running mentoring workshops for female junior faculty.

As I write this note, I am starting my fifth month as dean of the College of Social Science at MSU. I continue to be tremendously impressed with everyone I meet and everything I learn about the college. Our faculty and staff are smart, dedicated and hard working. Our students are eager and actively want to learn. Our alumni and community partners are loyal and see the benefit of investing in us.

It has been a busy first few months! After relocating my family from Texas, I met with the department chairs, school directors, other deans and vice-presidents so I could get to know the college and the university. I have found everyone I meet to be welcoming and eager to collaborate.

I’ve been to many football games (which are awesome!), hosted a well-attended homecoming event, and attended the President’s Green and White Brunches. I have met with alumni in California, Arizona, New York and Texas, as well as locally in Detroit and Chicago. I’ve had the privilege of welcoming new faculty at our New Faculty Orientation, attending MSU’s Convocation, and speaking to our newest class of undergraduates at the College Colloquium. I even helped new Spartans move into the dorms!

Now, the hard work of deciding the future direction of our college begins, and to do that we are launching a college-wide and participatory strategic planning effort. We have included alumni on our steering committee and I have gathered important input from the College Board of Visitors as well.

We already have top-10 ranked programs in our college, like industrial/organizational psychology (#1), african history (#3), and criminology (#7), but our strategic plan will help us identify how to expand our expertise, enhance our other areas of excellence and continue to deliver the high-quality education to which we are firmly committed.

Our science transforms the human experience and inspires leaders. Our faculty’s research seeks to enhance the quality of life for citizens of our nation and our world, and to empower national and global leaders to make wise decisions. Our educational programs create the leaders of tomorrow.

It has been a busy first semester, but I have had fun every day. I look forward to meeting more of you as time goes on, hearing your input, and reporting the progress that we make as a college.

Reprinted with permission from the College of Social Science Dec. 19, 2016 newsletter