Oct. 6, 2020: Selection of vice president and chief diversity officer


I am pleased to announce the selection of Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D., as Michigan State University’s vice president and chief diversity officer. Pending approval by the Board of Trustees at its October meeting, Dr. Bennett will start Dec. 1.

A national search for candidates began in January. While it was temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic and plans for in-person meetings had to be adjusted, the search committee worked to make every step open and inclusive. Through meetings and open forums, committee members heard from the MSU community about concerns and priorities for this position.

Committee members, representing a broad selection of faculty, staff and students, did an excellent job in using that feedback to inform the selection of the best candidate to meet our needs. I encourage you to read comments by search committee members about the process and selection of Dr. Bennett.

I appreciate the efforts of Chris Long, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and Melissa Woo, executive vice president for administration and chief information officer, in leading the search process. I also want to thank all of you for your participation.

The vice president and chief diversity officer role has never been more important. While our country may often seem divided, as Spartans we celebrate our differences and value the contributions of every member of our community. MSU’s chief diversity officer will help us discover ways to further transform equity and inclusion in our community.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Bennett.

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.