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Oct. 28, 2022

Trustees approve capital outlay request for new academic building, audited financial statements

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees took several actions at its Friday meeting, including the approval of the university’s 2024 capital outlay request and its audited financial statements for the previous fiscal year.

$250 million capital outlay request

Through a $250 million 2024 capital outlay request to the state of Michigan for the construction of a new engineering and digital innovation building on campus, trustees are making the case for needed state investment. The funding would support an increase in enrollment of new undergraduate and graduate students in computational sciences and digital literacy programs and research that will power these emerging industries in the state and across the nation.

The investment — if approved by the Legislature — lays the groundwork to respond to industry needs and economic development in Michigan, including semiconductor research.
Trustees, as part of the same resolution, also approved the university’s five-year capital outlay plan — a comprehensive blueprint that sets the direction for development and growth at MSU. 

“Investing in public higher education ensures students are equipped with the academic learning tools and environment needed to succeed,” said President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “We appreciate the opportunity to continue working with the state Legislature to advance student success and research excellence at MSU.”

“Planning for and responding to the university’s facility and infrastructure needs are critical to keeping up with the changing landscape of academia now and for years to come,” added Board Chair Dianne Byrum. “With the help of the state Legislature, we’re better able to accommodate the growing and emerging needs of our students to ensure they continue receiving a quality, best-in-class education here at MSU.”

Chemistry building upgrades

Further signaling the importance of investing in MSU’s academic spaces, trustees authorized the university to plan for laboratory upgrades in the Department of Chemistry. The project is expected to include renovations to support a new wet lab and computational research lab, a teaching laboratory and additional office space. 

“The College of Natural Science is very excited by the arrival of six young and mid-career faculty to the Department of Chemistry over the coming year,” said Dean Phil Duxbury. “Many of these faculty have already received some of the most prestigious national awards available, including a Beckman Scholar award, two NSF career awards and an NIH K99/R00 award. And, they will continue to expand the diverse excellence of our chemistry faculty. We would like to thank the Board of Trustees for approval to plan the renovations and upgrades necessary to create state-of-the-art laboratories for these outstanding new faculty.”

University finances

Citing strong fiscal health, the board adopted the university’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022. MSU received a clean opinion from the university’s auditor, Plante Moran, which indicated that the university appropriately followed accounting rules and that the financial reports are an accurate representation of its financial position.

“Through continued prudent fiscal management, the institution’s financial position remains strong,” said Trustee Dan Kelly, vice chair of the Board and Audit, Risk and Compliance committee chair. “Strong stewardship is essential to help the university achieve its mission and support our strategic planning moving forward.”

Other board activity included:

  • A research presentation on how high-speed imaging is used to help diagnose vocal disorders from Maryam Naghibolhosseini, assistant professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. 

  • The appointments of Kelly Millenbah as dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Leigh Small as dean of the College of Nursing; Brian Quinn, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel as acting secretary and chief of staff to the Board of Trustees.:

  • Approval of a new contract for Suzy Merchant, head coach of women’s basketball, through June 30, 2027. 

The next board meeting will be on Dec. 16.


By: Mark Bullion

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