Message from the President
September 2021

A look back shows a remarkable number of accomplishments. These represent the dedication and commitment of this entire campus, its leaders, students and stakeholders. MSU has made progress across multiple fronts and I have enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate many accomplishments with all who call themselves Spartans.

Our momentum in student success includes the continued improvement of our graduation rates to a record high of 81.3%. At the same time, undergraduates continued to increase the number of credits they carry, and their average time to degree has continued to fall. Much of our support system for students is based in our residential halls, and we have learned that students do better academically when they live on campus. For that reason, we reinstated MSU’s second-year requirement for campus residence starting with this year’s entering first-year class.

This year, we had record applications and admissions for what is shaping up to be one of our biggest and most diverse entering classes. The MSU College of Law also began a new chapter in its 129-year history by completing its full integration into the university in 2020.

To further support our excellence in supporting students, we opened our impressive STEM Teaching and Learning Facility in the renovated and expanded former Shaw Lane Power Plant on Sept. 10. It was the first fully instructional building we’ve opened with the support of the state of Michigan in 50 years. The new facility will be a focus of our science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning and instructional innovation for years to come.

As we support students, we are not neglecting their physical and mental well-being, which often are linked. This year, for example, we are addressing longstanding student requests for improvements to our intramural and recreational facilities through a phased-in student recreation fee along the lines of those assessed at many other colleges and universities.

In the arts and humanities, the College of Music’s new Billman Music Pavilion increases the college’s high-quality study, practice and performance space by 40%. The 37,000-square-foot expansion heralds new opportunities for the college.

The MSU Broad Art Museum has been offering fascinating exhibits and creative events, with a wide range of new exhibitions and programs coming up. The Wharton Center lifts the curtain once again for a return to a full season of performances this fall, including Broadway hits such as Hamilton. And the MSU Museum is open with new leadership and the addition of MSU Science Gallery Detroit as a programmatic division aimed at innovation at the intersection of science and art.

MSU’s research portfolio has reached $725 million and MSU faculty researchers recently won large grants to study sustainable food safety solutions, plant disease resistance and management and to pursue discovery in other areas. Two MSU researchers were elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, and we’re making strides across our priority research areas.

The $730 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams is on budget and ahead of schedule, and poised to begin user operations in 2022. The U.S. Department of Energy’s confidence in the program was underscored with the milestone September 2020 designation as a DOE Office of Science user facility. And I was pleased to help inaugurate the MSU Mobility program, which includes over 30 College of Engineering faculty and another 30 from other colleges. It is conducting a wide range of research to position Michigan as a global advanced mobility technology hub.

Additionally, MSU has formed some significant partnerships over the past two years. These include:

  • A new partnership with Henry Ford Health System will be a transformational collaboration supporting health care, medical education and research. Our goal is to make Michigan a national leader by pursuing critical medical and educational objectives while addressing social issues that impact health outcomes for patients in Michigan and beyond. This is an exciting time for reimagining how our two world-class institutions think about, innovate, and deliver health and wellness across the state of Michigan and the nation.
  • A partnership with the Gilbert Family Foundation, Rock Family of Companies and Apple is helping MSU establish North America’s first Apple Developer Academy in Detroit this fall to develop in-demand programming skills for residents across the state. The first class of students starts this exciting program in the coming weeks.
  • In Grand Rapids, the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building will drive innovation through life science public-private partnerships. Perrigo Co.’s North American headquarters also is being built in the university park.
  • MSU’s Envision Green student transfer partnership with Lansing Community College will improve access to baccalaureate and advanced programs to mid-Michigan students and families.