We are living during a time of profound hurt, anger, frustration and, for many, a time of deep disappointment and despair regarding the recent high-profile violent events targeting Black Americans — the most recent being the heartbreaking images of George Floyd. This event, as well as too many others, brings much pain, anger and trauma to many members of our Spartan family. We simply cannot let them go unnoticed or unacknowledged.
As president of this university, I, too, have been deeply moved and feel personally compelled to speak out.
From my first day in office, I said I would work tirelessly to foster a safer, more respectful and more welcoming campus at MSU. While we have made progress, we still have much to do so that all members of our Spartan community feel safe, welcomed, respected and supported.
A comprehensive planning process to advance campus and community awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion is underway at MSU, as is a national search to identify a new vice president and chief diversity officer who will help develop and implement that plan. These measures will strengthen our ability to address underlying cultural issues — such as racism — which undermine our values and our mission to transform lives and society.
We are also moving ahead with a feasibility study for a new campus multicultural center and, this fall, are beginning mandatory diversity and anti-bias education and development for all students, faculty and staff. Another critical asset is the MSU Police Department’s Inclusion and Anti-Bias Unit, which is committed to proactively addressing police and community-related issues associated with bias. These are just a few of the ways MSU is addressing these difficult issues.
Such events remind us that, as Spartans, we have a responsibility to do the work necessary to understand the diversity of our world and respond to injustices wherever they may occur. I hope you will join me in the hard fight for change in our communities and the world.
Spartans can be a powerful force and I welcome your thoughts on how we can best move forward together. The work ahead is not easy and will require understanding, patience and courage but, together, we are up to the challenge.
Sincerely,Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.