Letter to the MSU campus community

May 11, 2018

To the MSU campus community:

Last week we came together to celebrate Spartan graduates. It was a great pleasure to greet many of our 5,618 undergraduates earning a degree and 2,207 advanced degree recipients at spring commencement ceremonies. Our Class of 2018 is truly impressive, boasting a record 80 members achieving a 4.0 grade point average, plus a George J. Mitchell Scholarship recipient, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipients, and many other honors collected by graduating seniors.

Our newest Spartan graduates depart with valuable credentials in hand and bright futures ahead of them. And they’re in high demand by employers. According to Times Higher Education’s latest Global University Employability Ranking, MSU ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten and 22nd in the nation for graduate employability.

Our next class of Spartans, meanwhile, is awaiting its turn. Enrollment projections for the incoming class look very good, potentially the largest incoming class in MSU history. With 8,488 projected students, it will also be one of our most racially diverse classes. There will be more Michigan students, and one of our biggest domestic out-of-state incoming student cohorts. Importantly, these gains come without compromising our standards. There was no change in enrollment requirements, and the academic profile of admitted students remains consistent.

Another new face on campus next year will be the dean for Lyman Briggs College, our residential college that bridges the sciences and the humanities. Michele H. Jackson will take over for Interim Dean Mark Largent. Jackson joins us from the College of William and Mary, where she led the process to establish the vision and strategies for integrating technology into education.  

Next week, we will resume mediation with attorneys for the 312 plaintiffs who were abused by Larry Nassar. We remain hopeful that a settlement can be reached. In the meantime, MSU continues to make progress in our work to prevent or respond to sexual misconduct by any member of the MSU community. Our compilation of this ongoing work, “Taking Action to Foster a Safer Campus,” is updated periodically and can be accessed from MSU’s “Our Commitment” website.

Finally, I want to acknowledge Michigan State’s faculty and staff for their steadfast service to the university and its students through a difficult academic year of disappointing revelations and headlines. As I describe to people what we’re doing to face our faults and to foster a safer campus, I also try to remind them about the good work done every day by talented people who reflect MSU’s true values and who represent the vast majority of the Spartan family.

Your dedication is appreciated not just by me, but also by every student, family member, and stakeholder with whom this university engages. Our admissions data reflects the high regard in which MSU continues to be held by those we serve. Our graduates’ accomplishments help demonstrate why that regard is merited. So, I offer my sincere thanks for your contributions to this university.


John Engler
Interim President