A new year renews energy

08-23-2013

It’s a new academic year and bold, exciting challenges await.

Utility and street reconstruction work is wrapping up on West Circle Drive, among other projects that made getting around the campus and community challenging this summer. Nearby, what will be remembered in future years as the “first” Morrill Hall has been razed and the site where it stood is being landscaped into an attractive open area including historical markers to keep the circa-1900 building alive in our memories.

A short stroll from there, later this month I’ll have the privilege of helping rechristen Agriculture Hall in honor of the same Justin Morrill, the architect of America’s great system of land-grant colleges—among which Michigan State stood as a model. It’s symbolic of how our pioneering past links to our vibrant present and to a promising future.

Part of ensuring a future of impact and value is the work we’re doing today to envision a bold path for the university as a whole. We’re answering the demands of a new era for higher education with a university-wide strategic framework called Bolder by Design. “Bolder” will help focus our energy on accelerating the pursuit of big ideas, innovation, and global impact while growing MSU’s resources and reputation.

This initiative leverages and updates the Boldness by Design framework I introduced in 2005. As a strategic framework, it is flexible and opportunistic rather than narrow and prescriptive, outlining six foundational imperatives—areas in which the university must excel in order to fulfill its vision and values—but leaving lots of space for decision-making within each of our many units.

From our pioneering beginning in 1855 to our present day place among the world’s top 100 universities and from here to a future bright with potential and possibility, we pursue a course of hardworking excellence. Spartans Will.

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