Dear MSU Staff,
Now we find ourselves at the beginning of the fall semester. I want you to know how valued you are as a member of our MSU community and to express my deep appreciation for all that you have contributed these past months to the successful launch of the semester. I also want to recognize your contributions to the ongoing work of Michigan State University. Your dedication has been unwavering, despite the unique and substantial challenges of a global pandemic.
For those who have continued to report to campus because your work requires it, please accept my sincere appreciation. For those keeping our campus operating, serving campus residents and maintaining and improving our facilities, thank you for your effort and commitment. For those whose work quickly became remote, thank you for responding and please know that your dedication to fulfilling your job responsibilities is appreciated. For those of you who are managing multiple challenges while continuing to accomplish your work, thank you for your perseverance. For all who directly or indirectly support our students and advance our academic mission, please know these roles are essential to our ability to achieve our mission. For those of you who have found new ways to lead and communicate, thank you. And to all who have provided support to colleagues, teammates, coworkers and others, you have made a positive difference.
As a university president and a physician with a background in infectious disease, I also want to thank all of you for wearing face coverings, maintaining ample physical distance and practicing safety-first behaviors. Please continue to adhere to these practices to keep yourself and others as safe as possible.
I know that all of you have made sacrifices as we have gone through the past six months. And, while this letter is intended to thank you, I want to acknowledge that the financial challenges remain significant, and units most directly impacted, such as Athletics and Residential and Hospitality Services, are responding with additional and painful reductions. We are monitoring fall enrollment, state appropriation levels, federal aid and other areas as these will affect our plans going forward. I will be providing updates as the financial picture continues to become clearer.
In closing, these are extraordinary times, and your resourcefulness, resolve and loyalty represent important aspects of what I’ve come to know as the Spartan spirit. As I reflect on my first year as your 21st president, the many people who get the job done day after day stand out and continue to impress me. I am optimistic that Michigan State University has a great deal to offer our community, our state, the nation and the world. That is my motivation. As I think about the challenges and opportunities ahead, I am proud to be facing the future knowing that together we can succeed.
Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D.