New leadership

Message from the President
September 2021

Over these past many months, we also brought a number of new leaders into the university or into new key roles — people with the experience and vision to help drive the university forward. In addition to new deans and others who are stepping into combined or interim roles, new university executives include:

  • Teresa K. Woodruff, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs: Provost Woodruff shares our priorities for student success, campus safety and diversity, as well as our commitment to the pursuit of academic excellence and world-changing research. Dr. Woodruff has been vigorously supporting students, faculty, academic staff and our deans in many ways through the past challenging year, together with enhancing our academic programs.
  • Norman Beauchamp, executive vice president for health sciences: Having Dr. Beauchamp leading MSU’s human health care services aligns patient care, education and research. In addition to having an experienced leader overseeing the strategic vision for MSU’s health sciences and services, Dr. Beauchamp is committed to transformational partnerships for MSU spanning the community, state and globe.
  • Melissa Woo, executive vice president for administration and chief information officer: Executive Vice President Woo has the right blend of skills and attributes and possesses superb technical knowledge to support our research enterprises. Dr. Woo is capturing synergies across a broad spectrum of operations from fleet and facilities to IT. A hallmark of her approach is listening closely and building an organization that is deeply responsive to the strategy, goals, needs and priorities of the university.
  • Jabbar R. Bennett, vice president and chief diversity officer: As Spartans, we celebrate our differences and value the contributions of every member of our community. Dr. Bennett is a key driver in the implementation of our vital diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. His engagement will help us discover ways to further transform equity and inclusion in our community.
  • Marlon Lynch, chief of police and vice president for public safety: Chief Lynch has a highly distinguished service record, including leading some of the largest university police departments in the country. His nearly 25-year career in law enforcement allows him to look expansively across the spectrum of public safety to identify areas for improvement in the department and maximize its community engagement.
  • Lisa Frace, senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer: MSU’s financial stability is more important now than ever. Vice President Frace is leading the fundamental transformation of business practices and processes with an emphasis on modernization and aligning resources to a university’s priorities.
  • Douglas Gage, vice president for research and innovation: As interim vice president, Dr. Gage was instrumental in providing continuity to our research activities and demonstrated impressive leadership. I appreciate his concepts for support of FRIB’s transition to applications in biomedical and materials science; advancing plant science as a leading national program; increasing biomedical research on campus, at our Flint and Grand Rapids facilities and in our partnership with the Henry Ford Health System; and our transdisciplinary efforts around climate change research and mitigation.
  • Bill Beekman, vice president for strategic initiatives: Until recently MSU’s athletic director, Vice President Beekman stepped in to help our athletic department during a time of turmoil and change. With his skills and extensive institutional knowledge, he is an ideal fit for this new strategic initiatives role now that the university has a new and comprehensive strategic plan.
  • Alan Haller, vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics: A former Spartan student-athlete, Athletic Director Haller has been a leader in developing athlete administrators and broadening the depth and breadth of our diverse talent within MSU Athletics since 2010. His professional accomplishments, integrity and leadership made him the best choice to move our programs forward through a constantly evolving college athletics landscape.
  • Trustees: Since I assumed the presidency of MSU in August 2019, the Board of Trustees and I have welcomed three new trustees: Renee Knake Jefferson, Pat O’Keefe and Rema Vassar. All three bring fresh perspectives and strong skills to the Board, and I thank all our trustees for their partnership.