May 15, 2020: Resuming research

Spartan Staff and Faculty:

We received some good news this evening from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Executive Order 2020-90, signed today, allows laboratory research to resume under precautionary measures.

Allowing research to resume is something that we have been advocating for with our state governmental leaders. We feel confident that lab research can restart on our campuses in a responsible manner, while protecting the health and safety our staff and faculty.  Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation Stephen Hsu and his team have been working with research leaders the past two weeks to prepare for this scenario and many precautions will be taken to ensure safe working conditions. 

We appreciate the governor’s leadership on this issue. She understands the value research institutions deliver in a global health pandemic, and she is trusting us to do this in a smart, safe and practical manner.  

Every day, Spartan researchers push the boundaries of discovery to find solutions for a healthier tomorrow. MSU ranks among the top 100 research universities in the world, and like many of our employees during the pandemic, our research teams have shown remarkable leadership directly related to the coronavirus. I’ve shared many of those stories in previous communications to you, and I encourage you to keep up on our innovative testing and creative ideas from these past two months. 

As our COVID Reopening Task Force continues to meet, they will factor in additional research precautions, beyond lab work, that need to be considered. Staff from Infrastructure, Planning and Facilities are working to prepare lab research buildings for the return of employees to campus. We anticipate a safe reactivation of lab research projects and remind impacted employees to follow the plans in development by their colleges, departments and units.

Please continue to keep yourself and your families safe.  While this is good news for our university, we still have many challenges ahead of us. It won’t be easy, but I know our Spartan community is up for the hurdles we still need to clear. 


Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.