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Thank You to the Provost's Office Community

February 15, 2022

Dear Provost’s Office Community: 
I write to thank you for your engagement around recent efforts related to the academic strategic planning implementation process, as well as for your everyday engagement in support of MSU’s academic mission. Each one of you play a central role in keeping the university up and running, and in supporting academic excellence and student success. Every person and every task add to our cumulative efforts, and to our collective achievements. 
I am grateful for the outstanding work of Associate Provost Weatherspoon, which has already provided us with strong direction and momentum for implementing our academic strategic plan. His leadership, and your input and ideas, have added focus and specificity to this work and will enable us to move forward thoughtfully, and with greater inclusiveness.  
It was important to me that we cast a wide net from the outset of our strategic planning efforts, which is why Dr. Weatherspoon’s messages – and this message today – were sent to everyone who works in support of any unit or office that has a reporting line to the Office of the Provost. You are the ones doing the work that helps move our great university forward. You are the most closely connected to local efforts and initiatives, to the daily actions that enable and advance MSU’s academic mission.  
As we continue with academic strategic planning implementation efforts, Dave and I plan to communicate routinely to keep you in the loop. So please keep an eye out for regular strategic planning updates, individual messages, and a new newsletter from the Office of the Provost. Our aims with these communications are to:   

  • Be collaborative and connective. We are looking to empower each individual in every role. We want people to realize individual goals within the larger academic community, and in alignment with broader institutional goals.  
  • Be transparent and genuine about progress and obstacles. We are in this together; candor about success and setbacks should be the norm.  
  • Be inclusive. We encourage input and collaboration with people of all backgrounds and identities, and from all levels of academic experience, across all disciplines. 
  • Be dedicated to valuing and elevating the good work of our colleagues. Many of you have been working on initiatives that are already catalyzing positive change in support of MSU’s academic mission, work we want to amplify and scale up across the university. 
  • Be deliberate in fostering a culture of reciprocal trust in all endeavors and interactions. We value the work within the units as well as the individuals who contribute their time and talents to their work.  

I am excited about the many opportunities we will have for collaboration in the coming months, both within the Office of the Provost and with others at MSU working on their respective parts of the university’s strategic plan. Your perspectives and ideas are valued and needed at each step of this process, so don’t hesitate to email and let us know your thinking on the process or progress.
Finally, I do not think this can be said too many times: thank you. Whether you are support staff, academic staff, or faculty and whether you work in East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Flint, Detroit, or the Upper Peninsula, this provost sees you and appreciates your many and varied contributions to our academic enterprise here at Michigan State University. 
My best,  

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