Sept. 18, 2023: The measure of our rise

Dear Spartans:

Great universities are known for their distinction in teaching, in research and in outreach with impact. They also hold distinction for their enablement of student success at a scope and scale that is transformative to the world around us. I measure the greatness of our university in each hand I shake at graduation, the papers and products of our faculty and in each staff accomplishment. By these measures, Michigan State University is truly great.

The world measures greatness through external rankings. Here, I provide their assessment of our rise.

Today, U.S. News & World Report released its rankings and MSU has risen to number 60 in their assessment of United States colleges and universities. This is a 17-point increase in our national position, eclipsing many other great universities. It is also the highest ranking held by MSU in our history.

MSU also jumped up 18 places from last year to number 63 among all U.S. four-year colleges and universities in the Forbes ranking. And MSU rose in Washington Monthly’s Best Colleges ranking to number 21 among public institutions. Each rating agency has different assessment criteria which, for Washington Monthly, are social mobility, research and opportunities for public service.

Our research is also in the upper echelons of U.S. universities. Last week, the National Academy of Inventors ranked MSU number 48 on its list of top U.S. universities granted patents last year. And we reported a $49 million increase in federal research dollars and $759 million in total support for our research endeavors, the highest level of research investment in our history.

These university-wide rankings are associated with the many college and program top rankings including MSU’s number 1 supply chain management program, number 1 packaging science degree and number 1 elementary and secondary education degrees, among many more top programs and accolades.

Our excellence is being recognized and contributes to our rise as an institution and is to be applauded. Our colleges and every single member of this university are responsible for this upward trajectory. It takes all of us, pulling in the same direction, and I applaud each of you! 

And I ask that you join me in reserving the loudest applause for each Spartan graduate who learns in this educationally and research-rich environment. For it is in their interest that we do this work, and their success is the true measure of our rise. 

My Spartan best,

Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
Interim President
MSU Research Foundation Professor