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Frequently Asked Questions


Simply put, it is the work of aligning academic planning efforts at MSU with the university’s goals and values as articulated in MSU’s Strategic Plan. It is a four-phase process, and involves people from across MSU working together both by position and by theme.  

MSU’s Strategic Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees, debuted in late 2021, and articulates specific goals to be achieved by 2030. It focuses on six major thematic areas:  

  • Student Success 
  • Staff and Faculty Success 
  • Innovation for Global Impact 
  • Sustainable Health 
  • Stewardship and Sustainability 
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

Academic Strategic Planning Implementation focuses on transforming the themes from the university’s Strategic Plan into actionable plans across colleges and academic units. 

Dr. Dave Weatherspoon, vice provost of enrollment and academic strategic planning, is leading academic strategic implementation initiatives. Supporting his team are a number of Key Advisors. As part of this process, groups have been charged by the Office of the Provost to focus on implementation and engagement efforts. Each group, the Deans Group, and the Vice Provosts, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, and unit leaders (APAAD) group, has been working through academic strategic plan implementation and engaging the broader audiences within the Office of the Provost and academic units.   

The Office of the Provost is an executive co-sponsor of three strategic themes at the university level: Student Success, Staff and Faculty Success, and Creativity and Innovation for Excellence and Global Impact. 

Collectively we plan to initiate an open, inclusive process and seek collaborators across campus that are within co-executive sponsor sectors. Although we are currently in different phases, we will be engaging with one another, and among the key audiences we serve, as we progress though this initiative. We will work together to identify strategies and prioritize initiatives, refine metrics and facilitate data collection and reporting. As things evolve, we'll develop ways to consistently communicate our progress and interact with the Strategic Plan Implementation Steering Committee. 


You can attend summits, review the website to review areas of focus, connect with working groups, and reach out to key advisors to get involved. You can also email the team with questions or feedback.  

Check out the Get Involved page for more details if you’re interested in sustained engagement.


Absolutely! The Academic Strategic Planning Implementation team aspires to empower people, from the individual to the college level, to realize their own goals within the larger academic strategic plan framework. Check out the Get Involved page for more details. 

You can also review the prioritized list of ideas that came out of our Idea Summit here. Only the ideas that were selected by the working groups to move toward a proposal are listed on our website. This does not preclude anyone from submitting a proposal as an individual or working group. Please email to request any updates to existing information or new ideas to be placed on the list. 
That is the work we have started together at our Idea Summit and will work through until April. If it's not completed in April, or if it's something that will need to be implemented in the next cycle, then we'll reprioritize ideas (our proposal cycle will be repeated every two years and will be open to all to engage with again). Presentations of proposals that go forth in April will be viewed by the Review Committee, who will give recommendations on all the activities, concerns, and ideas that we can move forward on. 

The purpose of our Idea Summit was for us to share across the Provost Office the many things that are already ongoing so that people can share and discuss them. It's okay to have overlap, but our goal is to coordinate. There are many things happening on our campus that we may not see. The Idea Summit and our communication with the Provost Office community is providing an opportunity for all of us to see the connections and provide opportunities for collaboration or cooperation. 
That's where the Review Committee comes into play. We want to have a committee that represents all aspects of the Provost Office. We know that we can't do everything in this first cycle (this year), so prioritizing and understanding that multiple projects will be moving forward, at multiple phases, is important to keep in mind. Bigger ideas that already have momentum and groups working behind them will be able to go further. But those ideas that are fresh may take a little bit more time. 
We did an analysis of the Big 10 and some of the AAU institutions, and that has led us to use a slightly different process. We haven't done this type of strategic planning on our campus. Benchmarking is absolutely a part of this. We want to learn from others and move forward quickly. We are taking what we already have learned, understanding the uniqueness of our current situation, and then propelling forward. 
We have executive sponsors, and they will be given the information that came out of our Idea Summit as well as our Proposal Summit in April. With this information, we’ll ask them to observe all the proposal pitches that will be presented at our Proposal Summit in April. We have been in communication with them about this process, and we all meet once a month as a group to discuss our various approaches.  

The unique part about what we're doing as a university is that there are different processes. There is no right or wrong way. Each unit may need to address how they do their strategic planning differently. 
Yes. You can be involved in as much or as little as you want, based on your current commitments and time availability.  
Yes. We have not determined a process for this yet. We will share information on how our ongoing efforts will continue when we can. 
The specifics differ. Our implementation is designed to support and amplify units' relevance, strategic planning efforts, and elevate the ideas of individuals. This framework will support and catalyze efforts across the university, particularly those under the Provost Office umbrella.