Faculty voice:

Rachel Croson: What we do

Rachel Croson is the dean of the College of Social Science. Recently, she wrote letters to the College of Social Science community regarding events at the university.

It has been a devastating month as we came to grips with the horrible abuses committed by Larry Nassar and the heart-wrenching testimony of the survivors. MSU as an institution failed both the survivors and our community. As a Spartan, I am saddened beyond words. 

I admire the bravery these survivors showed in bringing justice to this evil man. Their actions empowered a movement and other survivors to speak out in the future.  We must do everything in our power to honor their courage by insisting on a culture that does not tolerate or protect despicable behavior and that enables every voice to be heard and every person to be safe.  Most importantly, we must hold each other accountable.

I am especially concerned about our students; ensuring their safety, their education and their eventual success. Our students feel, quite rightly, that we have not listened to them, and I am committed to listening.

I have visited some of our largest classes, met with the Dean’s Student Advisory Council and held an open Town Hall for all Social Science students. I have set up a dedicated email account for students who want to be heard but don’t want to be identified or can’t be here in person (askdeancroson@msu.edu). I have created a Frequently Asked Questions document and made it available on the web. I have offered to visit with any student organizations who wanted to meet. I have heard anger and fear and sorrow and disappointment, but also hope and commitment to work toward a better future. 

I firmly believe that our students and the College of Social Science will be a part of the solution.  Our School of Social Work continues to provide important expertise and manpower. Our Couple and Family Therapy Clinic in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies has offered free counseling services to all MSU students.

We have expertise in understanding culture in Anthropology, governance in Political Science and sexual assault in Social Work, Human Development and Family Studies, and Psychology. While we can never lose sight of what happened and that MSU failed the survivors, I believe that MSU will ultimately be defined by how we respond to this tragedy and the legacy we create beginning now.  This is a critical moment for us to lead and to teach.

Just as I want to hear our students, I also want to hear you. We must all be part of the solution. Please feel free to reach out via email (askdeancroson@msu.edu), phone 517-355-6675 and arrange for a meeting. 

In ten years MSU will be a very different place than it is today. If we all work together, we can make it a better place—more transparent, more just, and more safe. I am committed to that effort, and I hope you will join me. I look forward to hearing from you.