Welcome Week!


With fall semester underway, I want to share a few observations about the beginning of the new academic year and the range of events last week and some of the human emotions that make it so exciting.

For those of us who have been at Michigan State for a while, the start of a new semester is part of a familiar cycle. But there are a lot of new folks arriving on campus, and it’s important for us to remember that for them, this is the beginning of something brand new.

The arrivals last week, of both our newest students and our new faculty, reinforced for me the tremendous quality of the people who choose to come to MSU. We’re pleased to have them here—they bring a new intellectual excitement to campus and will help to shape the future of the institution.

Since this is my first year as president, my role has changed somewhat in terms of my participation in New Faculty Orientation—that’s really a place where the provost takes the lead. So I missed the opportunity to spend the morning participating in that event and getting to know our new faculty, as I’ve done for so many years. But I’m excited that we have a new provost—Kim Wilcox, an MSU alum (class of 1976), who returns to us from the University of Kansas where he served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and vice provost for general education.

With Kim on board as MSU’s chief academic officer—essentially the person responsible for most of the day-to-day operations of the university—we now have our leadership team together. His sense of humor, energy and experience will be tremendous assets for MSU.

In coming weeks, Kim will play a key role, as we begin moving forward on some strategic positioning initiatives that I’ll talk about more on September 8th during our Sesquicentennial Academic Convocation.

We’re really excited about this year, about “Team MSU” and what all of us can accomplish together.


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