Dear College of Arts & Letters and Honors College Students, Staff, and Faculty,
The arrival of President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., on campus in 2019 marked an important milestone in our efforts to create a culture at Michigan State University that is transparent, open, trusting, and safe. He prioritized the safety of our community and exemplified that commitment as we navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic together. I am grateful for the leadership he has provided in our ongoing work to create a culture that is truly inclusive and equitable.
President Stanley’s resignation marks a new transition at MSU.
In reflecting on the path before us, I return again to the question a group of MSU deans asked in the 2018 Inside Higher Education essay: “Can Michigan State Recover and Chart a New Path for Higher Education?” That question remains as open and urgent now as it was then.
The three priorities to which we committed ourselves — “to keep the lessons of our current crisis in front of us, to interrogate and redress all unjust structures, and to create a culture of shared, empathetic leadership” — continue to guide the work ahead. The uncertainty we feel now cannot distract us from our commitment to make enduring culture change at MSU.
This change requires us to put the University’s core values — integrity, respect, equity, collaboration, and excellence — intentionally at the center of everything we do. Without integrity, respect, and equity, there is no real collaboration, no true excellence, and no meaningful change.
As we collectively consider what our values demand of us as we navigate another leadership change, remember that the more just future we need to create depends upon our ability to nurture a culture of care rooted in courage and trust. Each of you in the College of Arts & Letters and in the Honors College have an important and unique role to play in bringing this new culture to life.
I am grateful to be doing this important work together with you here at MSU and invite all of you to join the Teach-In On Academic Governance sponsored by the Center for Higher and Adult Education and the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education Program on October 21, 2022 from 1:00-4:00pm at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility in room 2130.
The next few weeks and months will be difficult, but we will navigate them together, remaining true to the values that shape our purpose.
Please be well and take care.
Christopher P. Long
Dean, College of Arts & Letters
Dean, Honors College