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Implementation Interest Areas

In fall 2021, we focused on Phase One of our roadmap. We conducted a summit with deans and another with assistant and associate provosts and assistant and associate deans. We also finished an environmental and landscape analysis. Subcommittees of the Academic Strategic Plan Implementation Team synthesized patterns from both summits into Interest Areas that align with the six core themes from the University’s Strategic PlanInterest Areas were our first step in getting specific about the actions and initiatives we will take to implement the strategic plan.

We had a very successful Idea Summit in February 2022. During our time together, those in attendance prioritized the ideas and interest areas submitted to our Idea Submission Survey by narrowing down, or combining, similar ideas (what you see below). Commitments were made among working groups to transition these prioritized ideas into formal proposals (using the mandatory framework) to be submitted to the Office of the Provost by April 4. 

Only the ideas that were selected by the working groups to move toward a proposal are listed here. If you made plans to meet with a working group outside of our Idea Summit to finish our Activity Two document due to time constraints, please let us know. If you were unable to attend our Idea Summit, and would still like to submit an interest area that will be submitted as a formal proposal, please email and we will add your information to what we have below as well. 

Interest Areas within the six themes

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Michigan State is dedicated to providing opportunity through education and building the future of Michigan and the nation with the talent and contributions of individuals from all backgrounds and communities. We will advance equity by eliminating race and ethnicity opportunity gaps across all subgroups of students by 2030. (Read more from the University Strategic Plan.)

Global DEI Certificate Program

  • Author of the Proposal: Ashley Green
  • Co-authors: Opal Bartzis, Judy Walgren
  • Editors and Reviewers: Earlene Ling, Elizabeth Wandschneider, Jiahang Li, Sarah Scott


Building Inclusive Community 

  • Co-authors of Proposal: Julie Libarkin, Aaron Reifler, Lauren Bourland, Nwando Achebe, Steven Thomas, Bess German, John Ambrose

Esports as a Cross-cutting Collaboration

  • Author of the Proposal: Eric Hunter
  • Co-authors: Andrew Dennis, Ryan Thompson

Indigenous Family Health Research Initiative

  • Author of the Proposal: Jessica Barnes Najor
  • Co-authors: Heather Howard (, Danielle Gartner (, Chelsea Wentworth Fournier (

Making Open-access Media Accessible: Creating Critical Media and Making Open-access Spaces

  • Co-authors of the Proposal: Teresa Mastin, Lauren McKenzie

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Advancing Social Justice

  • Chairs: Ann Austin, David Prabu, Kendra Cheruvelil, Linda Greene

Promoting Inclusion: A Through-line Connecting Strategic Plan Pillars

  • Chairs: Eric Boatman, Cara Cilano, Ashley Green

Intentionally Shifting the Spartan Culture

  • Chairs: Hilda Meija Abreu, Devon Akmon, John Ambrose

Sustainable Health

Michigan State’s approach to advancing health and excellence in health education has consistently focused on people, communities, partnerships and innovative thinking. These themes will continue as we aim to triple National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control funding within five years. (Read more from the University's Strategic Plan)

Adopt Inter-association Definition of Wellbeing to Guide Campus-wide Wellbeing Efforts Based on the US Health Promoting Campus Network

  • Author of the Proposal: Kristin Traskie
  • Co-authors: Anne Buffington , Erica Phillipich, Elizabeth Carr, Renee Shepherd and Christine Beamer

Creation of Health and Wellbeing Division to Provide Leadership for Cross-campus Health and Wellness Services and Initiatives for Faculty, Staff, and Students

  • Author of the Proposal: Erica Phillipich
  • Co-authors: Anne Buffington, Erica Phillipich, Elizabeth Carr, Renee Shepherd and Christine Beamer

Wellness & Wellbeing

  • Chairs: Mary Finn, James Forger, Andrea Amalfitano

Stewardship & Sustainability

Michigan State is working toward climate neutrality by mid-century, doing our part to address the global climate crisis within our own community and on our own campus. On this journey, we aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from our 2010 baseline, eliminating 292,934 metric tons of CO2. (Read more from the University's Strategic Plan)

Circular Economy Institute at MSU

  • Authors of the Proposal: Rex LaMore, Gemma Reguera, Rafael Auras, Verdat Verter, and Lawrence Drzal

Untitled Project

  • Authors of the Proposal: Jen Owen, Laura Young 
  • Co-authors: Mark Sullivan, Wolfgang Bauer, Jeno Rivera, Roxanne Caine, Anna Graham, Laura Young, Scott Gascon, Richard Kobe, Carla Iansiti 

Funding Art Strategy

  • Co-Chairs: Leo Kempel, Dylan Miner

Innovation & Global Impact

At Michigan State, we pursue excellence in service to the common good, generating new knowledge and applying it in practical ways to address complex societal problems. We will expand our capacity for local and global impact, and by 2030 will reach $1 billion in annual research expenditures, an increase of about $275 million in annual expenditures. (Read more from the University's Strategic Plan)

Convene Technology and Social Science at Different Levels

  • Chair: Anna Moore
  • Co-author of the Proposal: Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan

Evolution and Future of Work

  • Chair: Peter Berg
  • Co-author of the Proposal: Arnold Weinfeld 

Funding Research Ethics

  • Co-chairs: Christopher Long, Sanjay Gupta

Investing in Research

  • Co-chairs: Aron Sousa, Phillip Duxbury

Science Communication

  • Chair of the Proposal: Kjerstin Thorson 

Global Education and Innovation

  • Chairs: Steve Hanson, Kelly Millenbah

Student Success

At Michigan State, we believe every student we admit has the ability to succeed and graduate. We feel a sense of urgency to improve graduation rates, because a college degree is the best route to individual opportunity and an educated workforce strengthens Michigan and the nation. By 2030, we will increase the 6-year graduation rate by 5% to 86%. (Read more from the University's Strategic Plan)

Enhancing Curriculum Flexibility to Allow Diverse Experiences and Pathways

  • Chair and Author of the Proposal: Philip Strong 
  • Co-author: Venkat Matoory
  • Editors and Reviewers: Jenn Dunn, Erica Fiasky, Dylan Miner, Qiana Green Sifeku, Jon Stoltzfus

Spartan Studios: High-impact Interdisciplinary, Experiential Courses

  • Chair and Author of the Proposal: Ellie Louson
  • Editor: Vivian Leung


  • Chair and Author of the Proposal: Chris Glassman
  • Co-authors: Meredith Jagutis, Jeana-Dee Allen


  • Chair and Author of the Proposal: Donna Harris

Gen Ed for the 21st Century

  • Chair and Author of the Proposal: Cara Cilano
  • Co-authors: Michael Lockett, Stephen Thomas, Stacia Moroski-Rigney, Lynmarie Posey, Walter Hawthorne, Brandy Ellison, Mark Largent, Jim Lucas, Justin Micomonaco, Matt Zierler, Hannah Brodhead

Creating an Office of Graduate Student Success

  • Chair and Author of the Proposal: Meg Moore
  • Co-authors: Julie Rojewski, Stefanie Baier, Eric Torng
  • Editors: Katy Colbry, Anna Maria Santiago, Amanda Lanier 

Expanding Graduate Recruitment Networks across Campus: Sharing Best Practices, Opportunities, and Data

  • Co-authors of the Proposal: Lauren Brown, Emily Holley

Policy Recommendations to Broaden Graduate Education Audiences

  • Co-authors of the Proposal: Jason Archer, Peter Berg, Laura Bix, Kristine Bowman, Cheri Declercq, Brendan Guenther, Gerald Rhead, Srinand Sreevatsan, Patty Weber, Tina Riley, Richard Saouma

Establish a physical building/space that could encompass the Global Engagement Lounge, the Center for Language, Culture and Society and MSU’s Entertainment & Culture News Network

  • Chair: Caitlin Cornell 
  • Co-authors of the Proposal: Jonelle Golding, Veronica Gracia-Wing

Improving MSU's visual identity through a digital asset management system

  • Chair and Author of the Proposal: Judith Walgren

MSU Institute for Lifelong Learning 

  • Primary author: Ann Austin and R. Sam Larson 
  • Co-authors: Roger Baldwin, Burt Bargerstock, Dave Chupak, Clare Luz, Lucy Maillette, Juli Okal, Laurie Van Egeren 
  • Editors: Roger Baldwin, John Beck, Laura Bix, Jeff Beavers, Kristine Bowman, David Frayer, Bill Hart-Davidson, Clare Luz, Jerry Rhead 
  • Reviewers: Marilyn Amey, Johannes Bauer, Cheri Declercq, Mollie Mfodwo, Richard Saouma, Susan Sheth, Lori Strom, Aman Yadav 

MSU Online 

  • Chairs: Jeremy Van Hof, Jerry Rhead, Alicia Jenner
  • Author of the Proposal: Alicia Jenner, Casey Henley
  • Co-authors: Jason Archer, Arthur Versluis, Felix Kronenberg, Emily Heidrich Uebel, Jennifer Wargo
  • Editors and Reviewers: Caitlin Kirby, Cholani Weebadde, Xinyu Wu, Sarah Swierenga, Mary Keyes, Patty Weber, Jay Loftus 

Expansion of Library Programs

  • Co-Chairs and Authors of the Proposal: Heidi Purdy, Rachel Minkin 

Supporting Successful Student Transitions

  • Chair and Author of the Proposal: Scotty Secrist
  • Co-author: Bethan Cantwell 

Strategic Retention

  • Chair: Renata Opoczynski

Avenues to Completion for Some College No Degree Population: A Toolbox Approach

  • Chair: Nathan James 
  • Co-authors of the Proposal: Ann Hoffman, Sandra Hewitt Dean, Melissa Tallant, Shannon Brecheisen, Renata Opoczynski, Joe Salem, Susan Richter 

The Spartan Experience

  • Chairs and Authors of the Proposal: Renata Opoczynski, Erin Carter, Perry Fittrer 

Transfer Student Experience 

  • Chair and Author of the Proposal: Charles Jackson
  • Co-author: Renata Opoczynski

Global Citizenship

  • Chair and Author of the Proposal: Krista McCallum Beatty
  • Co-authors: Senta Goertler, Sheila Marquardt, Rachel Warner

First-Second Year Wellness

  • Co-authors of the Proposal: Laurie Thorpe, Jorhie Beadle, Sarah Geurkink, Nate Clason, Patty Oehmke 

Student Success

  • Chairs: Joseph Salem, Kelly Millenbah

Generating Knowledge from Student Engagement

  • Chairs: Eric Torng, Quentin Tyler, Francisco A. Villarruel

Communicating the 2030 Vision for Student Success

  • Chairs: Emilio Xavier Esposito, Geri Alumit Zeldes, Hilda Mejia Abreu

DEI&B Learning Institute

  • Authors of the Proposal: Georgina Montgomery, Kendra Cheruvelil 

Caring Classrooms Initiative: Fostering Safe and Inclusive Learning Environments

  • Authors of the Proposal: Marilyn Amey, Jim Lucas
  • Contributors:
  • Stefanie Baier, Graduate School
    Mackenzie Fritz, OSSA/SLE
    Dave Goodrich, CTLI
    Sheila Marquardt, APUE
    Megumi Moore, Graduate School
    Rick Shafer, OSSA/SLE
    Patricia Stewart, IDI
    Dave Weismantel, University Physician
    Cheryle Williams-Hecksel, SW/Trauma Services and Training Network

Staff & Faculty Success

Creating an environment in which excellence and opportunity thrive will attract and keep talent and create conditions where staff and faculty can do their best work, individually and collaboratively. We will seek recognition for the excellence and innovation this culture fosters, pursuing an increase in faculty and staff external awards of 10% per year and a 15% increase by 2030 in the number of recipients of highly prestigious academic awards and national academies members. (Read more from the University's Strategic Plan)

Recognizing and Evaluating DEI and Other Non-traditional Academic Work, and Addressing Systematic Inequities in the RPT Process

  • Co-authors of the Proposal: Laurie Van Egeren, Claire Margerison

MSU Mentoring Center

  • Author of the Proposal: Kirsten Tollefson

Expansion of the Office of the University Ombudsperson

  • Author of the Proposal: Shannon Lynn Burton

Leading MSU: Implementing a Framework for Developing Leaders at all Levels

  • Chair: Cindi Leverich
  • Author of the Proposal: Jennie Yelvington
  • Editors and Reviewers: Gregory Teachout Joy Speas, Margie Aimery, Andy Hazel 

Community-Engaged Research Fellows Program

  • Author of the Proposal: Miles McNall
  • Co-author: Diane Doberneck

Wellness Window: Connecting Available Physical and Mental Wellness Services and Resources

  • Co-authors of the Proposal: Leigh Small, Erica Venton, Teresia Hagelberger

Reimagining Faculty & Academic Staff Evaluation

  • Chairs: Marilyn Amey, Burton Bargerstock, Kimberly Blair-Chambers

Employee Development and Support

  • Chairs: Eric Hegg, Leslie Johnson, Susan Richter