April 27, 2020: Welcome Provost Woodruff

Dear Spartans,

Last October, I told you about the diverse, inclusive and distinguished search committee I appointed to guide the university through a national search for a new provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

Since then, the 22-person committee has been hard at work developing a position description, evaluating candidates and arranging to have finalists visit campus. Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus pandemic prohibited us from holding those visits, but we persevered with virtual conversations.

I want to thank each member of the search committee for their effort and commitment in finding the best possible candidate for MSU. Also, thank you to everyone who participated in the virtual conversations. 

I am pleased to announce my selection of Teresa Kaye Woodruff as Michigan State University’s next provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. She is currently dean of the graduate school and associate provost for graduate education at Northwestern University.

Dr. Woodruff’s experience and credentials are impeccable. But more importantly, she has a great understanding of education and research at a university with the scale and impact of MSU. She is a pioneer in her field and a champion for equity in health care for women. Throughout her career, she has recognized the importance of STEM education and advocated for its support at the national level.

In addition, her time as dean of the Graduate School at Northwestern has given her a great appreciation of the critical importance of the arts and humanities in higher education’s efforts to provide for the needs of today’s society. I am confident Teresa shares our priorities for student success, campus safety and diversity, as well as our commitment to the pursuit of academic excellence and world-changing research.

Since Dr. Woodruff was unable to come to campus in person, she sent us a brief introduction video.

My appointment of Dr. Woodruff is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees at their next formal meeting. Her planned start date is Aug. 1. When she arrives on campus Dr. Woodruff will also be an MSU Foundation Professor of obstetrics gynecology, reproductive biology and biomedical engineering.

Please join me in congratulating Teresa and welcoming her to our Spartan community.

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.