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Office of the Provost Organizational Alignment and Updates

October 12, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

Each fall I have the privilege of talking with our entering classes of students, faculty, and academic staff and one of the many questions I consistently field is “What is a provost?” An original function of a provost was as holder of the keys to the front door of the university. Indeed, as MSU’s chief academic officer, I think of the provost’s office as opening many MSU doors through our admissions and curricular processes, in the selection of college leaders, and the ways in which we support academic excellence through promotion and tenure processes, as well as overarching policies and procedures for working in a learning community.

The purpose of today’s note is to provide updates on the ways in which the Office of the Provost, collectively and across its many portfolios of responsibilities, will open the university doors wider to serve our academic community, including each of you. The note is discursive, and I erred on the side of providing you with the interior thinking, as well as the ways in which process informed function, and how I have engaged the community in these decisions.

The work of my exceptional leaders and colleagues in the Office of the Provost is done in the interest of academic excellence and student success – to enhance support for each member of our faculty and academic staff at each career stage, and to support each student in their academic journey at MSU.

As always, I welcome your input, questions, and comments on the content of this note or any other matter.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any member of the Office of the Provost.

My best,

Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
MSU Foundation Professor