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A Point of Transition and Reflection

Dear Members of the MSU Honors College Community,

With deep gratitude for the time we’ve had together, I write to share my decision to accept the role of Provost and Senior Vice President at the University of Oregon, commencing in June. This transition marks both the beginning of a new pathway in my professional journey and an opportune moment to reflect on the transformative work we have done together here at Michigan State University.

Since arriving on this beautiful campus in 2015, I have returned often to that passage from Peter Raible I shared in my first message as Dean of the College of Arts & Letters: “…We warm ourselves at fires we did not light. We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant….”

Just as our predecessors lit fires and planted seeds that have empowered our success, so too may our work enable future generations to flourish.

Together, we have advanced a vision of the Honors College as a place of belonging in which every member of the community is empowered to be wholly who they are so they can do their best, most meaningful work. This culture of care has been the fire that fueled our success over the last three years.

A student in a white t-shirt holds two fingers behind the head of a man in black PhD graduation robes.

Our approach has been values-enacted; and we’ve put the values we identified as shared—Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging; a Holistic Approach; Academic Excellence; Ethical Practice; and Innovation—into intentional practice as we advanced four core priorities:

1. To elevate academic excellence and research, we increased the number of Professorial Assistantships to expand our offerings in undergraduate research, and we enhanced our office of Distinguished Student Awards;

2. To create an inclusive community, we established Campbell Hall as a living-learning community dedicated to transdisciplinary research and appointed our inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging;

3. To increase access, diversity, and equity, we revised the campus admission and transfer process, and expanded our Academic Scholars Program;

4. To advance engagement and outreach, we established the Detroit Early Honors Partnership and expanded our Honors College Impact program.

These accomplishments have only been possible because of your dedication and passion.

A group of people making silly poses in front of a red brick building

As I prepare for the new responsibilities that await at the University of Oregon, I carry with me the spirit that has animated our work here together—a spirit characterized by resilience, wholeheartedness, and a commitment to values-enacted leadership. Though our paths will soon diverge, my love for the MSU community will endure.

Thank you for your support, for your dedication to our shared values, and for the care you extend to one another each day. May the fires we have lit and the seeds we have planted flourish for generations to come.


signature of Dean Christopher P. Long

MSU Research Foundation Professor
Dean of the College of Arts & Letters
Dean of the MSU Honors College
Professor of Philosophy
Michigan State University

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