President's charge to Strategic Planning Steering Committee

Jan. 6, 2020 

TO: Strategic Planning Steering Committee

FROM: Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., president 

RE: Michigan State University Strategic Planning 

Thank you for agreeing to serve on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. Long-range strategic planning is among the most important activities an institution can undertake.

Michigan State is an extraordinary institution making a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities across Michigan, the nation, and the world through its academic programs, research and scholarship, and community engagement. Through effective strategic planning, we can build on our strong foundation. We also have the opportunity to strengthen our commitments to live our shared values every day around diversity, equity, and inclusion and to lead by example in being a safe, welcoming, and respectful campus.

The planning process is less about creating an exhaustive list of tactics than it is about setting the vision for Michigan State for the coming decade and establishing the cross-institutional priorities to support it. We must examine our current state and identify themes, strengths, and trends across campus, as well as understand the changing higher education landscape and overall environment for state-funded, research-intensive institutions. To that end, I expect the committee to address the following questions through an open and inclusive process:

  1. How should MSU position itself for leadership and distinguish itself as a model, next-generation, land-grant institution?
  2. How can we create an aspirational and meaningful shared institutional vision for the future?
  3. How can we leverage our collective resources and anticipate society’s evolving needs to establish cross-institutional priorities and initiatives?
  4. What do the fourth industrial revolution and the new economy mean for MSU and those it serves?
  5. How do we answer intractable institutional challenges (i.e., deferred maintenance, financial position)?
  6. How will we align our skills, incentives, and resources to create a plan to achieve our collective vision?

As a steering committee, your deliverables will be to:

  • Review our mission and values
  • Develop and recommend strategic themes based on campus engagement
  • Aggregate themes and develop a strategic plan framework for recommendation to me and the Board of Trustees
  • Coordinate and provide leadership to working groups to address strategic themes
  • Identify and recommend key strategic goals and objectives
  • Produce a strategic plan for recommendation to me and the Board of Trustees
  • Make recommendations for implementation

This work can accelerate our success and strengthen our impact as a leading global research university and the pioneer land-grant institution. On behalf of our university, I extend my sincere thanks for the time and effort you will spend on this committee charting our strategic course.