A world of Spartan stories

02-25-2013

We live in a world that appreciates metrics and measures, analysis and assessment. And we use these tools constantly at Michigan State to track our performance and maximize it. But amidst it all, there’s still the need for a well-told story.

I think it’s important, for example, to frequently tell the story of MSU’s creation and how as the pioneer land-grant university, it was at the forefront of democratizing higher education. It’s a point of pride and of real distinction. But more important, our history formed our character, and it informs our destiny in a time when economic, social, and technological changes threaten to push even higher education toward commodity status.

Those same forces of change also have made traditional media alone insufficient to reach the audiences we serve with our messages, so we leverage multiple channels today to communicate.

We’re taking that approach to a new level with a set of stories we’re sharing about our research and outreach engagement in communities around Michigan and around the world. Michigan State is active in all of Michigan’s 83 counties and has 280 partnerships with international institutions. And 1,400 faculty members are involved in international research and teaching.

Each year, my president’s report tells a handful of stories about this research and engagement. But this year, we’re not just telling them. We’ve invited everyone along on a journey that crisscrosses Michigan and traverses four continents. We call it SPARTANS WILL. 360, and it brings our audience up close and behind the scenes as our reporting and documentary crew serves up a unique view of MSU’s activity and impact in more than 10 locations through multiple means, including video, photos, and blogs, and via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

From our own backyard to Africa and Asia, Spartans are bringing their considerable dedication and knowledge to bear to help address the world’s most difficult problems.

I encourage you to visit the SPARTANS WILL. 360 website to explore and to celebrate some of the amazing people involved in our research and outreach engagement. 

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