Skip navigation links

How We Worked

Plan Development Process

On Jan. 6, 2020, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., charged co-chairs Vennie Gore and Joseph Salem and an 18-person committee comprising administrators, faculty, staff and students to engage in a strategic planning process for the university. The Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) was asked to examine the current state of MSU to identify themes, strengths and opportunities across campus as well to understand the changing landscape for higher education in the 21st century and overall environment for publicly funded, research-intensive institutions.

The SPSC was asked to facilitate an open and inclusive process to address questions about how to position MSU as a model, next-generation land-grant institution; leverage our collective resources to anticipate evolving societal needs and establish cross-institutional priorities and initiatives; and consider the impact of the fourth industrial revolution and new economy on research, instruction and outreach.

The SPSC met weekly or biweekly for 18 months, including several joint meetings with the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee, which was charged with simultaneously developing the university’s first comprehensive DEI strategic plan. The SPSC co-chairs also met regularly with the co-chairs of the DEI and RVSM planning committees to foster collaboration and ensure coordination across the efforts. During spring 2020, the SPSC reflected on the university’s mission and focused on institutional core values, engaging in deep discussion and gathering input from the MSU community.

In March 2020, 106 faculty, staff, administrators, students and trustees attended a leadership retreat to complete an analysis of MSU’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and develop observations on 18 topical areas to inform planning (full report). Further engagement with community stakeholders during spring 2020 was paused with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, COVID-19 became an additional consideration as we envisioned the university in the aftermath of the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery.

During late spring through fall 2020, an environmental scan covered trends in higher education; MSU benchmarks; the university’s long-term financial picture; external perceptions of MSU; diversity, equity and inclusion; student success and enrollment management; research activities; MSU Extension and outreach; and international activities.

In summer 2020, the SPSC focused in-depth inquiry in four areas: values, the optimal scope and scale of MSU, online learning and institutional resources. A fifth focused inquiry group formed in spring 2021 examined how MSU should frame and articulate its land-grant history and mission in alignment with its values (focused inquiry group reports). From October through December 2020, through online feedback forms and 28 live engagement sessions, the SPSC gathered input from 220 faculty, 350 staff, 120 students and 65 alumni about a draft set of values and how they might shape the future of MSU.

In December 2020, five groups used the various inputs and materials to generate framing documents in the areas of undergraduate education, graduate education, research, external/community engagement and internal operations. In January 2021, SPSC members used these framing documents to develop an initial articulation of strategic themes. In February and March 2021, subcommittees formed around six strategic themes worked to further refine the themes and articulate preliminary goals, potential actions and illustrative metrics. The documents they produced were forwarded to the writing team for use in producing a discussion draft for circulation to university leaders and trustees. Through a series of discussion sessions, the draft also was shared with some of Michigan State’s most successful, generous and engaged alumni from across the country, most of whom are actively leading corporations that represent a variety of sectors. The final plan, reflecting input and refinements from many facets of the Spartan community, was finalized and endorsed by the Board of Trustees in September 2021.

Values Development

Michigan State’s values were identified and defined through an inclusive, participatory process. During 2019-20, each of the separately charged presidential strategic planning initiatives created opportunities for broad-based engagement with students, faculty, staff and alumni to gather input about values that should guide institutional planning. The groups also reviewed historical and current institutional documents, such as prior strategic plans and their value statements. All input was eventually integrated by a cross-initiative committee to create a single set of values for presentation to the president and Board of Trustees for review and discussion. MSU’s values have been endorsed by the Board of Trustees, President Stanley and the university’s leadership team.

A Collaborative and Community Effort

An incredible number of people contributed to the development of this plan, from students, faculty, staff, parents, donors, community members and friends who took the time to provide input online or participate in a virtual engagement session. We are particularly grateful for the engagement of senior leaders and the Board of Trustees. We extend thanks and appreciation to all contributors and participants. Your engagement makes this plan our plan. With special appreciation, we acknowledge the contributions of those listed below.

Strategic Planning Steering Committee

  • Vennie Gore, Senior Vice President, Residential and Hospitality Services and Auxiliary Enterprises and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Services
  • Joseph Salem Jr., Dean, MSU Libraries
  • Brianna Aiello, BA ’21, Undergraduate Student Representative, James Madison College
  • Merri Jo Bales, Vice President and Strategic Director, University Communications
  • Norman Beauchamp, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
  • John Beck, Associate Professor, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations
  • Debra Bittner, President, Coalition of Labor Organizations at Michigan State University
  • Rebecca Campbell, Professor, Department of Psychology; Presidential Adviser for Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct
  • Maggie Chen-Hernandez*, Associate Director, Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions
  • Sheila Contreras*, Associate Professor, Department of English
  • Pero Dagbovie, University Distinguished Professor of History; Associate Dean, The Graduate School
  • Prabu David*, Dean, College of Communication Arts and Sciences; Professor, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media
  • Megan Donahue, University Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy; At-Large Faculty Member, Academic Governance Steering Committee
  • Douglas Gage, Vice President, Office of Research and Innovation; Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancelor: Student Education, University of Leeds; former Associate Provost, Teaching, Learning and Technology; Director, The Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology; and Professor, Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, Michgan State University
  • Jennifer Gruber, Doctoral Student, Ecological-Community Psychology, College of Social Science
  • Sanjay Gupta, Dean, Eli Broad College of Business; Professor, Department of Accounting and Information Systems
  • Aaron Iturralde, Junior, Undergraduate Student Representative, James Madison College
  • Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Cal Poly; former Dean and Professor, Honors College, Michigan State University
  • Thomas Jeitschko, Senior Associate Provost; Associate Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies; Dean, The Graduate School; Professor, Department of Economics
  • Jennifer Johnson, C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health; Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology; Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, College of Human Medicine
  • Leo Kempel, Dean, College of Engineering; Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Wanda Lipscomb*, Senior Associate Dean, Diversity and Inclusion; Associate Dean, Student Affairs, College of Human Medicine
  • Rubén Martinez*, Director, Julian Samora Research Institute; Professor, Department of Sociology
  • Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Endowed Chair in Water Research; Co-Director, Center for Water Sciences and Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment; Professor, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences
  • Anna Maria Santiago, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of Social Science; Professor, School of Social Work
  • Heather Swain, Vice President for Marketing, Public Relations and Digital Strategy, University Communications
  • Francisco Villarruel*, Faculty Grievance Official; Senior Fellow, University Outreach and Engagement; Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
  • Michael Zeig, Chief of Staff, Office of the President

Note: * indicates Strategic Planning members who are also on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee

  • Teal Amthor-Schaffer, Executive Director, Strategic Relations, MSU IT
  • Katherine Ball, Director, Finance and Budget, MSU IT
  • Bethan Cantwell, Director, Institutional Research; Assistant Director, Office of Planning and Budget
  • Erin Carter, Management Analyst, Division of Residential and Hospitality Services and Auxiliary Enterprises
  • Jason Cody, Senior Consultant, Blue Moon Consulting Group; former Director of Internal Communications, University Communications, Michigan State University
  • Anthony Frewen, Senior Strategic Partnership Manager, University Communications
  • Elizabeth Lawrence, Consultant; former Senior Associate Dean, Planning, Finance and Administration, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University
  • Travis Olson, Doctoral Student and Graduate Assistant, Higher Adult and Lifelong Education, College of Education
  • John Ambrose, Director of Undergraduate Admissions
  • Jason Archer, Director, Strategic Communication M.A. program, College of Communication Arts and Sciences
  • Ann Austin, Interim Dean, College of Education; University Distinguished Professor, Department of Educational Administration
  • Tony Avelino, Assistant Vice President, Health Sciences; Chief Clinical and Medical Officer, Office of Health Sciences
  • Stefanie Baier, Curriculum Development Director, The Graduate School
  • DeAndra Beck, Associate Dean, Research, International Studies and Programs
  • Jabbar Bennett, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
  • Keith Bezant Niblett, Assistant Director, Executive Development Programs, Eli Broad College of Business
  • Daniel Bollman, Vice President for Strategic Infrastructure Planning and Facilities
  • Kristine Bowman, Associate Dean, Academic and Student Affairs, College of Education; Professor, Education Policy and Student Affairs; Professor of Law
  • Sharon Butler, former Associate Vice President, Human Resources, Michigan State University
  • David Byelich, Vice President for Planning and Budgets
  • Brendan Cantwell, Coordinator, Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education program; Director, Center for Higher and Adult Education; Associate Professor, Department of Educational Administration
  • Theodore Curry, former Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources; Professor, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations
  • Donna Donovan, ‎Director and Chief of Staff, MSU Human Resources
  • Jeff Dwyer, former Director of MSU Extension and Senior Associate Dean of Outreach and Engagement
  • Stephen Esquith, former Dean, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities; Professor, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
  • Douglas W. Estry, former Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
  • Paul Freddolino, Director of Distance Education and Technology; Professor, School of Social Work
  • Debra Furr-Holden, C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health; Associate Dean, Public Health Integration; College of Human Medicine; Director, The Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions
  • John Gaboury, Associate Provost for Academic Services, Enrollment Management and Academic Initiatives
  • Philip D. Gardner, Executive Director, Collegiate Employment Research Institute
  • Thomas Glasmacher, Laboratory Director and Project Director, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams; University Distinguished Professor of Nuclear Physics
  • Robert Glew, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, International Studies and Programs
  • Jonelle Golding, Interim Director of University Advising, Office of Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education
  • Paulette Granberry Russell, former Senior Advisor to the President for Diversity; Director, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Michigan State University
  • Brendan Guenther, Chief Academic Digital Officer, MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology
  • Mark Haas, former Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, Michigan State University
  • Claire Hankenson, Director, MSU Campus Animal Resources; University Attending Veterinarian; Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Steven Hanson, Associate Provost and Dean for International Studies and Programs
  • William Hart-Davidson, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education, College of Arts and Letters; Professor, Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Culture
  • Eric Hegg, Associate Dean, Budget, Planning, Research and Administration, College of Natural Science; Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Ronald Hendrick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Texas Tech University; former Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University
  • Ann Hoffman, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Communication Arts and Sciences
  • Stephen Hsu, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy; former Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation
  • Norman Hubbard, Chief Business Officer, Office of Health Sciences
  • Michael Hudson, Director, Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities
  • Eric J. Hunter, Associate Dean for Research, College of Communication Arts and Sciences; Professor, Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders
  • Ifeoma Iyioke, Data Specialist, The Graduate School
  • Alicia Jenner, Learning Experience Designer, MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology
  • Barbara Kranz, Director, Facilities Planning and Space Management; Assistant Director, Office of Planning and Budgets
  • Amanda Lanier, Program Director for M.A. in Foreign Language Teaching; Assistant Professor, Center for Language Teaching Advancement
  • Mark Largent, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies
  • Christopher P. Long, Dean, College of Arts and Letters; Dean, Honors College; Professor, Department of Philosophy
  • Debra Martinez, Director of Intake and RVSM/Title IX Response and Investigations; Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity
  • Denise Maybank, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, CUNY; former Vice President for Student Affairs, Michigan State University
  • Brian Mossalam, former Trustee, MSU Board of Trustees
  • Kelly Millenbah, Interim Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Dylan A. T. Miner, Interim Dean and Professor, Residential College of Arts and Humanities; Director, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Robin Miner-Swartz, Consultant, scribe and data synthesis
  • Andrea Munford, Lieutenant and Coordinator of the Center for Trauma-Informed Investigative Excellence, MSU Police
  • Mark Patishnock, Director, Counseling and Psychiatric Services
  • Birgit Puschner, Dean and Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Randolph Rasch, Dean and Professor, College of Nursing
  • Brian Quinn, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel
  • Gerald Rhead, Director of Academic Entrepreneurship, MSU HUB for Innovation in Learning and Technology
  • Genyne Royal, Assistant Dean for Student Success Initiatives, Office of Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education; Director, Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative
  • Richard Saouma, Associate Dean for MBA, EMBA and Professional Master's Programs, Eli Broad College of Business; Associate Professor, Department of Accounting and Information Systems
  • Scott Schopieray, Assistant Dean for Academic and Research Technology, College of Arts and Letters
  • Rick Shipman, Executive Director, Office of Financial Aid
  • Wenona Singel, Associate Professor, College of Law
  • Richard Spreng, Interim Chairperson, Department of Marketing, Eli Broad College of Business; Associate Professor, Department of Marketing
  • Judith Stoddart, Associate Provost for University Collections and Arts Initiatives
  • Jim Spoher, Director, Cognitive OpenTech, IBM
  • Theresa Sullivan, former Interim Provost, Michigan State University
  • Kyle Sweitzer, Data Resource Analyst, Office of Planning and Budget
  • Laurie Van Egeren, Interim Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement
  • John Verboncoeur, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of Engineering; Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering
  • Vedat Verter, John H. McConnell Endowed Chair of Business Administration; Chairperson, Department of Supply Chain Management
  • Everett Weber, Information Management Developer and Analyst, MSU Career Services Network
  • Arnold Weinfeld, Director for Workforce and Economic Development Partnerships, Office for Public Engagement and Scholarship; Associate Director, Institute for Public Policy and Social Research
  • David Weismantel, University Physician
  • Kathleen M. Wilbur, Senior Vice President, Office of Government Relations
  • Robert Wiseman, Senior Associate Dean, Eli Broad College of Business; Eli Broad Legacy Fellow; Professor, Department of Management
  • Melissa Woo, Executive Vice President for Administration; Chief Information Officer; President, MSU Foundation
  • Aman Yadav, Professor, Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education
  • Jessica Yann, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
  • Michael Zakhem, Interim Director, Academic Technology, MSU IT