May update on five questions from my LEAD session


At my Feb. 21 LEAD session, I asked participants to provide feedback on five areas where their input is needed. That feedback is helping us move forward in each of those five areas.

My first update on March 1 provided the campus community with all of the feedback that was submitted. My April post provided information on progress through the month of March. This May post provides updates on progress through the month of April.

1. Our University is fortunate to have the new Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, and we have also long benefited from the MSU Museum. Historically, museums have existed to facilitate faculty research, with public engagement a secondary consideration. Over time, this relationship has changed. How might more of us engage more tangibly and creatively with our two museums?

As noted in April, consideration of the role of the museums continues as there are two recent developments:  the appointment of a new MSU Museum director and the launch of Science Gallery Lab Detroit.

The re-launch of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum took place this past weekend, on April 29, and featured the opening of the debut exhibition by director Marc-Olivier Wahler. Featuring more than 50 renowned and emerging artists whose work relies on the notion of belief, “The Transported Man” examines the power of interpretation and the tension that exists between an ordinary object and an art object. The exhibition runs through October 22.

2. We’ve recently discussed many of the efforts going on around campus to promote diversity and inclusion. Overall, we have approached our efforts in terms of building a systemic climate for diversity – not creating a “program” that takes care of it, but rather fostering an inclusive climate across campus, seeking diversity and equity in all our activities (our work, our recruitment and retention, our student success work). Our efforts have sometimes fallen short, and there is still much work to do. But how do we CONNECT our efforts? What steps do we take to actually link together work that is being done, for example, in pre-college programs to Admissions to Neighborhoods to colleges? Or to hiring to professional development to faculty support to the tenure process? What process would you suggest that could help us weave together these threads of activities into a more holistic culture of inclusivity?

Plans are underway to begin discussions around specific areas of work so that we can begin to both map what is being done in areas (for example, “access”), identify common purposes and themes, build on shared opportunities, and identify gaps. Please check back for information on the formation of the groups and how/when they will meet.

3. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor has taken off, with students from multiple majors enrolled. While the academic program is likely to continue to expand (with its emphasis on experiential learning), what are likely future initiatives related to entrepreneurship education? 

  • International student internships?
  • Student-run venture fund?
  • Faculty development focused on teaching entrepreneurship (e.g. lean startup)?
  • All-campus social venture project?
  • Others?

This conversation is taking a summer vacation; please check back.

4. The Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology has been embraced as a source of support for innovative ideas around teaching and learning. Often, our colleagues also have big ideas that may involve research, innovation, or new initiatives. Imagine an entity on campus that could provide support for the “Big Idea.” What would it look like? How would it be staffed? What kinds of help might it provide?

Perhaps the HUB is a model for how other units on campus can work on their own big ideas. Other academic-support units on campus are looking at the principles by which the HUB operates. Check back for an update.

5. Should we consider launching a Reinvestment Challenge? The Challenge would be open to the entire campus community, asking faculty and staff to suggest/recommend ways the University could, for the purpose of reinvesting in the academic work of the University, become more efficient, reduce costs, save money, or generate revenue from non-traditional sources. If we were to launch such a Challenge…

  • How might we go about it?
  • What language could we use to explain its purpose and rationale?
  • What series of processes might be useful to establish the Challenge, help it gain traction, and encourage ongoing participation?

Discovering how to garner input from across campus on good ideas to make the place better—and ways to better use our resources—remains an open question. Dr. Udpa and I will be taking that question to various advisory groups over the next few weeks.