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Feb. 22, 2024

Podcast: MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff looks back on shared accomplishments

Woodruff moves into a new role of service to the university

Michigan State University interim president Teresa K. Woodruff elaborates on topics she covers in her February 2024 Spartan Community Letter, which you can read by clicking on the communications tab at

In her letter, President Woodruff looks back on shared accomplishments as she moves into a new role of service to the university.

(0:58) - Upon your appointment as interim president of Michigan State University 16 months ago, you asked us to join you in looking upward and reaching high. You talked about bringing “stagility” to the campus and on being a transformative leader in a time of transition. How are you reflecting as you prepare to hand the reigns of the university over to Kevin Guskiewicz?

(1:46) - You write that student success is our prime mission. What do we mean by student success at MSU and what are some of the ways we’re making progress?

(4:38) - A key theme in MSU Strategic Plan 2030 is discovery, creativity, and innovation for excellence and global impact. MSU’s research enterprise grew by $84.8 million in 2023 to a total of $844 million. That robust growth comes on top of a $49 million rise the prior year and puts us on a great trajectory to reach our strategic goal of $1 billion in annual research outlays by 2030.

(7:11) - The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff remain a top priority. This includes the leadership of people like Chief Safety Officer Marlon Lynch and the additions of Dr. Alexis Travis as vice provost and executive director of our new University Health and Wellbeing division, and Laura Rugless to lead our Office of Civil Rights and Title 9 Education and Compliance.

(9:04) - How are we doing on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives? And the new free standing multicultural center is rising in the heart of campus.

(10:49) - You often say that our talented and dedicated employees are MSU’s greatest asset. What are some ways we’re making MSU a great place to work?

(13:35) - On the stewardship and sustainability front, the new all-funds budget system lays the foundation for financial management transformation to improve functionality, transparency, and access to information. And MSU continues to rank high nationally in sustainability leadership within higher education.

(15:01) - In the land grant tradition, engagement in our communities has been a priority for you. That includes initiatives in Lansing, Flint, Grand Rapids, and Detroit.

(17:22) - In placemaking, we have many exciting plans for new and revitalized facilities supporting future research, instruction and outreach on our East Lansing campus and off. This includes the School of Packaging, the MSU Museum, and the Engineering and Digital Innovation Center.

(20:37) - We’re saying goodbye to impactful Spartans like Chief Safety Officer Marlon Lynch and MSU Safe Place Director Holly Rosen.

(22:10) – What are your thoughts on our generous donors and passionate alumni?

(23:30) - Talk about your new role of special adviser to the offices of the MSU president and provost and your return to your research pursuits as a proud faculty member.

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