From the editor:

President Stanley reflects on semester and looks ahead

Jan. 8, 2020

Spartans, a very happy new year to you and everyone in our global MSU family. It’s an excellent time to think about new beginnings while engaging in a little retrospection.

So much has happened since I arrived last August as Michigan State University’s 21st president, it’s hard to choose which highlights to include for this special edition of the MSUToday Weekly Update email.

One that definitely needs to be included is the You Are a Spartan video, one of our most popular videos from last year. Its messages of belonging are especially meaningful to a new Spartan like me.

Certainly, launching two key planning processes ­for MSU is important as we look forward to the future. One effort focuses on improving diversity, equity and inclusion — foundational values that are essential for all Michigan State wants to accomplish. The other is to consider MSU’s vision, values and strategic direction. I hope you’ll watch my brief video and follow the links to learn more.

The physical landscape of campus continues to transform with new facilities dedicated to collaboration and innovation, so don’t miss the Building for Tomorrow story. There are a number of exciting projects underway, and I look forward to several ribbon-cuttings in 2020 and beyond.

Research shows that higher education is increasingly essential for individual success in a more competitive world. We also see increasing competition among universities — for faculty, staff and student talent, as well as for funding and academic reputation. So, I am proud every time I talk about MSU’s improving rankings and especially our top rankings for our College of Education. I also am proud of our extraordinary scholars, including our latest Rhodes Scholar.

Every day at MSU, our dedicated faculty and staff support the success of students, and it’s making a difference as we saw in another rise in our record graduation rate. It was a moving experience to join family members, faculty and staff to congratulate 2,700 fall graduates at commencement ceremonies last month. I was able to conclude my first semester at MSU with great pride and confidence that our graduates will contribute much to society, wherever their lives take them.

Our aspirations for the future will succeed if we model the values necessary to make our campus safer, more respectful and welcoming to all. I’m grateful for the advisers and others working diligently to improve our approaches to combating and preventing sexual assault and harassment, as well as other challenges to our campus community.

Changing the world for the better is a steep challenge. And it’s one that we, as Spartans, are committed to taking on. As we look to this new year, and this next decade, I am proud to serve as MSU’s president and to be able to say, Go Green!

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President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.