We are sensitive to how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting work and personal lives, and will offer the utmost flexibility throughout the interview process. The search committee expects to conduct initial interviews virtually for the safety and well-being of all involved.

The Opportunity

Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the largest universities in the United States, serving more than 50,000 students across more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and graduate-professional programs. MSU is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), one of the nation’s leading research-intensive, land-grant institutions, and is also a part of the Big Ten Athletic Conference and the Big Ten Academic Alliance. MSU’s strong emphasis on teaching and research is matched by its commitment to public service. At MSU you will find an inclusive academic community known for traditionally strong disciplines with a commensurate commitment to cross- and interdisciplinary programs that connect the sciences, humanities, and professions in practical, sustainable, and innovative ways to address society’s rapidly changing needs. Located in East Lansing, MI, the University’s campus neighbors the state capitol, with close proximity to a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities.

The Position

Role of the Chief of Police and Director of the MSU Police Department for Michigan State University

Reporting to the president and serving as an active member of the president’s leadership team, the chief of police and director of the MSU Police Department is responsible for the overall planning, development, and implementation of a comprehensive and dynamic public safety and law enforcement program at Michigan State University. Through this individual’s leadership, the department strives to enhance the quality of life on campus by building relationships, strengthening stewardship, and working collaboratively to reduce crime, enforce laws, preserve peace, and provide a safe environment for the diverse MSU community. The chief leads and manages the daily operations of the department; provides effective strategic direction by setting short- and long-term goals; engages collaboratively and consistently with senior administration, faculty, staff, students, service departments, and other law enforcement agencies; identifies, devises, and promotes national best practices, sound policies and procedures, and innovative problem-solving initiatives; and supports the goals and mission of MSU.

The chief ensures appropriate programs are in place to meet the compliance needs of the university; administers federal, state, local, and MSU laws and ordinances to ensure university security; and serves as a spokesperson for the institution on law enforcement, public safety, and security matters. This individual creates, supports, and implements plans to promote diversity and inclusion within the department and continuously broadens the department’s awareness and understanding of the various geographic, cultural, gender, ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds, including multi-language communities. In addition, the chief ensures that the department works collaboratively with the Title IX Office and campus units that provide support services to victims of relationship violence and sexual misconduct, and that department personnel are well-trained in trauma responses, interviewing, and the identification of the predominant aggressor. The department is integrally focused on community and 21st-century policing, and the chief manages a full array of campus and community-based initiatives designed to deter criminal activity, proactively engage the campus community, build positive relationships, and prevent crimes. The chief efficiently manages the department’s fiscal operations and ensures good stewardship of resources; oversees, assesses and responds to critical campus concerns, catastrophic events, major security issues, and emergency situations; ensures appropriate threat assessment and risk mitigation measures are in place; and coordinates with internal and external organizations regarding major activities held on campus, including, but not limited to, athletic events, concerts, speakers’ series, commencements, and student/public assemblies. The chief of police and director of the MSU Police Department is responsible for a comprehensive staff of 109, including two direct reports, and oversees a budget of approximately $20.3 million.

History of the Position

After nearly 50 years of service to Michigan State University, 16 of those years as chief of police, Jim Dunlap retired in 2018. Former Interim President John Engler conducted an internal search for Dunlap’s replacement, and deputy chief Kelly Roudebush was hired in January 2019 as the fifth chief and the first woman to lead the department. Unfortunately, in July 2019, due to health concerns, Roudebush took a medical leave and stepped down from the leadership role. Prior to her leaving the department, Doug Monette was promoted to assistant chief, and he is now serving in the interim chief role as the institution searches for its next chief and departmental director.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The next chief of police and director of the MSU Police Department must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices with regard to comprehensive police operations, emergency management, modern technology, and organizational and staff development in an expansive campus environment. The chief should be an experienced leader capable of managing complex situations and staffing, committed to customer service at the highest level, possessing a deep understanding of current issues in community and 21st-century policing, and equipped to contribute at both a strategic and operational level at a large research institution. With the ongoing national conversation around police violence and racial injustice, the new chief must be prepared to proactively and collaboratively address these issues in an honest and transparent manner, fostering a culture of civil discourse and mutual understanding.

It is essential to identify a competent and dedicated individual who can promote and develop the MSUPD staff/team, set departmental priorities, systematically build the trust of the university and local communities, and work proactively in tandem with the president, the executive leadership team, the university and surrounding community, and the other staff in the department to progressively, innovatively, and comprehensively move the program forward. The following were identified as possible opportunities, priorities, and challenges that will face the new chief of police and director of the MSU Police Department:

  • The expectations for the new chief are high, and the successful candidate will need to quickly become familiar with all areas of their portfolio to develop a comprehensive list of priorities. With a large and expansive campus footprint that goes beyond the boundaries of the university, the MSUPD has an extremely wide scope of responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of students, staff, faculty, administrators, visitors, and the community. The new chief will need to prioritize a great deal of time upon arrival on learning the nuances and priorities of the campus, discovering the internal needs of the staff and the department, attending campus events, and beginning the process of reaching out and establishing themselves as the visible “face” and leader of MSUPD. Emphasis on relationship building, community engagement, student needs, and overall campus safety should be expected.
  • It will be essential that the new chief of police commit to a comprehensive culture of collaboration and partnering, as well as clear and transparent communication, within MSUPD and across campus and surrounding community for maximum effectiveness. MSU is committed to building strong, healthy, and mutually supportive relationships as a foundation of the campus culture, and strong collaboration is an absolute necessity in all endeavors to ensure success. The chief and MSUPD interface with a vast number of entities, including students, faculty, administration, departments, and community members at all times, so it will be crucial that the new chief quickly reach out across each of these areas to continuously build solid and mutually beneficial relationships that foster ongoing positive interactions. It will be of great benefit to the chief to conduct a listening tour early in their tenure to gather as much input as possible, both internally and across campus, as well as with surrounding community police departments and other entities. These connections are absolutely essential in order to assess the real needs of constituents, provide exceptional programs and services for the campus, and ensure that MSUPD is known for its customer- and student-centered approach at all times.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are crucial components of the MSU community, and the chief of police should be a leader in supporting, understanding, embracing, and nurturing these concepts, both internally to MSUPD and externally from the department into the campus and local area. There are a large number of underrepresented populations and language communities throughout the institution, and the MSUPD must be a model for maintaining a strong sense of equity and an unbiased, supportive environment at all times. A demonstrated insight into the needs and concerns of the various individual communities represented at MSU is vital, especially given the national conversation around policing and racial inequalities; the chief, then, will be expected to engage in dialogue, empathize, and work to devise collaborative solutions for the underrepresented groups on campus and beyond that includes input from these affected communities.
  • Given the above-mentioned current national climate regarding racism, police brutality, and the call for serious police reform, it is a difficult time for those who serve in law enforcement at all levels. The chief and all of MSUPD must be prepared to take the appropriate steps to proactively address these ongoing conversations and build the trust and confidence of the entire community. The chief of police must be willing to have difficult conversations, actively listen and engage all members of the MSU community, and be transparent and collaborative in their solutions in order to effectively build relationships based on mutual understanding and create an innovative 21st-century approach to safety and security. There is a great deal of pressure for change in the law enforcement environment, particularly in a role of this magnitude, but the successful candidate will be energized by these challenges and be prepared to address them from day one.
  • Community policing is an area of key importance at MSU, and the new chief of police must prioritize this concept at all times. While already present within MSUPD, an even stronger community policing philosophy will allow the chief and the other officers an opportunity to be seen more as proactive, responsive, and functional members of the campus community. Officers should be visible, accessible, and interactive with the student body and other parts of the institution, consistently networking with the faculty and administration, regularly involving the campus in safety and security endeavors, and generally providing a positive representation of the department. The chief should also be prepared to holistically engage the communities of color and the Title IX and RVSM survivor campus programs on the MSU campus, forging strong bonds and being present at all times, not only when an emergency arises.
  • The new chief should make it a priority to quickly get to know the officers and other departmental staff as individuals, learn their particular needs, develop trust and confidence across the board, ascertain and understand the various responsibilities they perform and roles they play, be available at all times, provide comprehensive professional development opportunities and support for all staff, and oversee the ongoing promotion of a strong, cohesive team. These efforts should provide continuing emphasis on increasing officers’ knowledge and skills of best practices in higher education policing, as well as serve to improve morale, promote confidence, and develop trust across the department. MSU Police Department staff are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree, so the educational background is already in place across the board as a foundation for this effort, and it will be the new chief’s responsibility to build on that foundation. The new chief should also be willing to strategically organize the department in a way that maximizes strengths, promotes unity and participatory management, and forges a shared vision among all sworn and civilian members of MSUPD.
  • In the post-pandemic environment, there will be a great deal of support for working collaboratively to implement new ideas, cutting-edge technology, and national best practices. With great attention focused on the success of the MSUPD’s efforts and overall safety improvements across campus, these new ideas and advancements will be essential, particularly in maintaining vigilance against COVID-19. While funding has been affected by decreased revenues, and not all new proposals can be undertaken, the new chief will find that well-researched ideas with comprehensive data backing them up will be considered and given thorough vetting. Seeking out best practices at other institutions, remaining current on any professional benchmarking opportunities, and being involved in IACLEA, IACP, or other professional law enforcement associations will be greatly encouraged.
  • The new chief will be entering a highly sophisticated operation, with a strong emergency operations center, robust cybercrime, special victims, inclusion and anti-bias, K-9, and other specialty units, and a number of academic connections, including a strong criminal justice department and a myriad of academic laboratories. Continuing these and the other strong departmental services and programs, as well as connecting the MSUPD to the academic mission of the University, will go a long way in promoting the department as an integral and collaborative partner.
  • MSU’s geographic location just east of the state capital of Lansing, in the south central part of the state, makes it ideal for all walks of life. On campus, stakeholders reiterate that they like working at MSU, are very supportive of each other, enjoy the vibrancy of the university, feel considerable camaraderie and collegiality, and believe that there are many opportunities for the next chief of police to make a tremendous difference. Additionally, the surrounding communities are very safe, close-knit, affordable, diverse, and welcoming to new members. Stakeholders reiterate repeatedly that the community is a “great place to live and work,” and that there are amazing opportunities for town/gown involvement, a robust assortment of restaurants and food options, a plethora of cultural and arts-related events, opportunities for recreation and sports, and an abundant number of outdoor activities that appeal to both the individual and to families.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining Michigan State University, the items listed below will initially define success for the new chief of police:

  • The MSU Police Department staff is working together cohesively as a team, morale is high and rising, staff vacancies are being filled as quickly as possible, the chief is consistently available and willing to listen to staff, and professional development opportunities are abundant.
  • Communication from the department is timely, frequent, and transparent, both internally and to campus constituents.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are foundational concepts throughout the MSU Police Department, in hiring and other internal practices as well as outreach to the MSU campus to ensure that underrepresented communities present at MSU feel valued, heard and supported, including representatives from multi-language communities,  racial and ethnic groups, LGBTQ+, those with disabilities, and RVSM survivors
  • Strong collaborative relationships have been established across campus and into the community, especially with the academic and administrative departments, faculty, students, the upper administration, Title IX and RVSM campus survivor programs, local partners in the community, and other law enforcement departments.
  • Responsiveness to emergencies, special requests, and other issues is judicious, proactive, and consistent, as evidenced by satisfaction surveys.
  • The chief is recognized as the “face” of MSUPD by the campus community, particularly the students, and is present, involved, visible on campus, and recognized as fair, trustworthy, and open-minded when issues arise.
  • A strong and robust community policing initiative is underway, the department is considered a partner in campus safety initiatives, and, based on satisfaction surveys, the entire MSU community feels a sense of safety and security and a positive view of MSUPD in the process.
  • A forward-thinking strategic plan is being devised, with multiple stakeholder input, and current best practices around campus law enforcement are being implemented.

Qualifications and Characteristics

The position requires a bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) in Criminal Justice, Public Administration, or a related discipline, with progressive administrative, supervisory, and management experience in a recognized public safety or law enforcement environment. Prior law enforcement experience at a higher education institution, working with a diverse student body on an urban campus, is highly preferred.

The successful candidate will display honesty, integrity, ethical standards, a strong work ethic, and a high level of motivation at all times; exhibit proven knowledge of the Jeanne Clery Act; possess strong interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills; maintain a willingness to work in high-risk situations; provide evidence of experience and training related to police response to relationship violence and sexual misconduct cases; and possess a working history of successful efforts with ethnic and multi-language communities. The successful candidate will foster a positive and team-oriented work environment, maintain professional discipline, and ensure professional development opportunities are available for all staff. The successful candidate will be certified, or able to become certified, by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement (MCOLES) within six months of hire.

In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated above, other desired characteristics, skills, actions, strengths, and/or abilities noted from discussions with campus stakeholders include the following:

  • Breadth and depth of knowledge around safety, security, and law enforcement, with special emphasis given to the higher education environment
  • Experience in large law enforcement environments managing complex systems, with deep understanding of Clery and other compliance initiatives
  • Strong leadership and organizational development abilities that inspire and develop others, providing professional development opportunities and promoting unity and teamwork throughout the department
  • Demonstrated experience successfully working with diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives with multiple stakeholder groups, including multi-language communities, racial and ethnic groups, LGBTQ+, those with disabilities, and RVSM survivors as well as effectively integrating diversity, inclusion and belonging into departmental recruitment, training initiatives, programs, and services
  • A student-centered approach, prioritizing the safety, security, health, and well-being of the MSU student population, as well as a willingness to engage student organizations effectively and attend student events as requested
  • The ability to make complex decisions when necessary, to conduct difficult conversations when pertinent, to listen to all sides of an issue, to adapt to significant changes on the spur of the moment without being reactive, and to remain “cool under pressure” no matter the situation
  • Demonstrated understanding of and experience with Title IX, sexual misconduct, and relationship violence issues, and a commitment to in-depth, trauma-informed training and development of staff in these matters
  • A strong commitment to cultivating collaborative relationships and building partnerships across all levels of the institution and the surrounding community
  • The ability to take a holistic approach to safety, focusing on mental and emotional wellness, and to synergize around issues where students feel most unsafe
  • The ability to listen actively and carefully ask knowledgeable questions, to learn about the University and its priorities, to accept input from all levels of the institutional community, and to then make well-informed decisions, pulling others in the same direction
  • Strategic vision that produces a consistently engaged, highly responsive police department that is recognized broadly as committed to the safety and care of the entire community, and the ability to proactively motivate all levels of staff to support that vision
  • An excellent and transparent communicator who intricately understands the language of campus safety, with the ability to reach all levels of the university and to effectively speak to students, faculty, parents, alumni, and the surrounding community
  • The ability to work collaboratively with University Communications professionals to ensure appropriate messaging at all times, as well as interact effectively and appropriately with the media
  • Familiarity working within a unionized environment, as there are four bargaining units within MSUPD
  • Experience working with civilians in law enforcement, and the ability to forge both sworn and civilian staff into a strong team
  • Strong technology skills, with an exceptional understanding of the value and importance of technology and social media around safety and security in a 21st-century world
  • Problem-solving skills with a futuristic focus—the ability to determine needs, address issues, and manage change effectively
  • Strong assessment skills, with the ability to make data-driven decisions, set expectations, devise and fully implement plans, analyze the results, and propose further changes and updates based on these outcomes
  • Mental health training, an understanding of student development, and a willingness to collaborate with mental health and student affairs professionals in cases involving wellness
  • A deep understanding of best practices and current trends in campus safety with the ability to keep the university on the cutting edge in all aspects of safety and security
  • Experience managing and directing security for large-scale events, including athletic contests, concerts, and events involving high-profile individuals
  • Charisma, energy, emotional intelligence, and a positive attitude, with the ability to encourage and develop trust, celebrate successes, and persuade others to follow their lead
  • Political savvy and the ability to interact effectively with all aspects of the university and community environments
  • Approachability, availability, and an open-door policy
  • Integrity, character, fairness, humility, compassion, and a strong sense of empathy for the MSU community
  • Ability to prioritize education, social justice, and restorative justice in law enforcement situations involving students as appropriate

Overview of the University Police Department

The Michigan State University Police Department is an integral part of the MSU community and serves the campus and surrounding areas by providing a safe and secure environment for all to live and work.

Within the MSU Police Department, the Police Services Bureau and the Management Services Bureau administer the operations of the divisions and units within them. As an innovative law enforcement agency, the bureaus continue to evolve and expand to provide law enforcement and parking services to students, faculty, staff, and visitors on the campus of MSU.


The mission of the Michigan State University Police Department is to enhance the quality of life on campus by building relationships, strengthening stewardship, and working collaboratively within our diverse community to reduce crime, enforce laws, preserve peace, and provide for a safe environment.


“Committed to Courtesy and Excellence”


Committed to being a world-class department and an innovative leader among university police departments by hiring and promoting talented officers and professional staff, employing the highest standards of performance, implementing best practices in policing, encouraging accountability, and reflecting the values of a global university. The Michigan State University Police Department has an international reputation for its proactive-based philosophy of policing that strives to strengthen relationships and engage community partners in developing strategies to reduce crime. The Michigan State University Police Department strives to adhere to the highest ethical standards and reflect the diversity of its community members.



We will conduct ourselves in an ethical manner with all relationships and hold in the highest esteem our duty and privilege of serving this university community.


We promise to act with honesty and to hold ourselves and our peers accountable to the greatest standards of excellence in all of our daily interactions.


We embrace continuous quality improvement and enhance the worth of others by empowering and inspiring them to make decisions, foster innovation, and improve performance.

Since 1928, the Michigan State University Police Department has served the MSU community by providing a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors to live, learn, and work. Eighty officers, certified by the state of Michigan, have been granted the full range of legal powers on property owned by the University or governed by the MSU Board of Trustees. Those officers provide a variety of services, including calls for service, investigations, special event security, and emergency management. In addition, more than 25 civilian employees manage critical operations within the MSU Police Department, including traffic engineering, information technology, access control, and parking services. All MSU employees reflect the community they serve, as they are a diverse group of outstanding women and men. All sworn officers and many of the civilian employees have completed higher education requirements to receive bachelor’s degrees. Some employees have furthered their education with advanced degrees while employed at the department. The MSU Police Department maintains a cooperative relationship with local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. On a county level, this cooperation is documented in a mutual aid assistance agreement. This cooperation includes multi-jurisdictional task forces, special event coordination, shared disaster exercises, requests for emergency assistance, and joint training programs.

Bureaus & Divisions

Police Services Bureau

The Police Services Bureau oversees the Administrative Services Division, Uniform Division, Investigative Division, Special Events Division, Emergency Management Division, and personnel assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), providing police services for the Michigan State University Police Department.

Administrative Services Division

The Administrative Services Division is responsible for recruitment, hiring, public information, and policy development. The division also oversees internal affairs and acts as the Department’s Public Information Officer. The division commander manages policy and procedures, the Inclusion and Anti-Bias Unit, and serves as ex-officio to the MSU Police Oversight Committee.

Uniform Division

The Uniform Division consists of the department’s training officer, officers on patrol, field training officers, specialty teams, and cadres. Uniform Division officers are assigned geographic areas of the campus in a community team policing model and are responsible for crime detection and prevention within those areas. The Training Officer annually manages several department in-service training sessions, in which officers receive instruction on legal updates, first aid, firearms, defensive tactics, behavioral threats, inclusion and anti-bias, emergency management, and other specialized issues.

Investigative Division

The Investigative Division is composed of detectives, a court officer, a case manager, and an evidence officer. Other specialized areas include relationship violence and sexual misconduct, behavioral threat assessment, crime scene investigation, records management, fugitive team, violent crimes task force, digital forensic specialists, cybercrime investigators, and dignitary protection.

Special Events Division

The Special Events Division coordinates and assists with planning for any special event on campus that involves resources from the Michigan State University Police Department. In 2017, the MSU Police Department purchased magnetometers to assist with enhanced security efforts at special events.

Emergency Management Division

The Emergency Management Division provides the MSU community with emergency management and fire safety services. In 2017, MSU became the fifth institution of higher education in the nation to become accredited in emergency management programming.

Management Services Bureau

The Management Services Bureau houses the Access Control Division, Parking Division, Business Unit, Technology Unit, and Traffic Engineering Unit. This bureau handles all parking and business-related functions.

Access Control Division

The Access Control Division is responsible for physical security, access control, and alarm monitoring for various buildings on campus.

Parking Division

The vehicle office maintains the faculty, staff, and student vehicle registrations, as well as parking services, including parking enforcement, impounds, and visitor parking.

Business Unit

The Business Unit oversees the department budgets, accounting, and payroll.

Technology Unit

The Technology Unit maintains the department’s information technology infrastructure to support all operations in the department.

Traffic Engineering Unit

It is the general duty of the University Traffic Engineer to determine the installation, proper timing, and maintenance of traffic control devices; to plan and direct the operation of traffic on streets within the boundaries of Michigan State University; to establish parking areas, designating limitation and use; and to certify the installation, removal, and/or authorization of traffic control devices and signs.

Organizational Chart

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.

Michigan State University is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU was founded in 1855 and became the nation’s first land-grant institution under the Morrill Act of 1862, serving as a model for future land-grant universities. The university was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, one of the country’s first institutions of higher education to teach scientific agriculture. After the introduction of the Morrill Act, the college became co-educational and expanded its curriculum beyond agriculture. Today, MSU is the eighth-largest university in the United States (in terms of enrollment) and has more than 500,000 living alumni worldwide.

MSU pioneered the studies of packaging, hospitality business, botany, supply chain management, music therapy, and communication sciences. Michigan State frequently ranks among the top 40 public universities in the United States and the top 100 research universities in the world. U.S. News & World Report ranks many of its graduate programs among the best in the nation, including African history, criminology, industrial and organizational psychology, educational psychology, elementary and secondary education, nuclear physics, rehabilitation counseling, supply chain/logistics, and biosystems/agricultural engineering. MSU is a member of the Association of American Universities, an organization of 65 leading research universities in North America. The university’s campus houses the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, W. J. Beal Botanical Garden, Abrams Planetarium, Wharton Center for Performing Arts, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, and one of the country’s largest university residence hall systems.

The Michigan State Spartans sports teams compete in the Big Ten Conference of NCAA Division I. Spartan football won the Rose Bowl tournament in 1954, 1956, 1988 and 2014, and the team has won six national championships. Spartan men’s basketball won the NCAA National Championship in 1979 and 2000 and has enjoyed a streak of 22 straight NCAA appearances, including 10 Final Fours. Spartan ice hockey won NCAA national titles in 1966, 1986, and 2007. The women’s cross country team was named Big Ten champions in 2019.

Mission Statement

Michigan State University, a member of the Association of American Universities and one of the top 100 research universities in the world, was founded in 1855. MSU is an inclusive, academic community known for its traditionally strong academic disciplines and professional programs, and its liberal arts foundation. The university’s cross- and interdisciplinary enterprises connect the sciences, humanities, and professions in practical, sustainable, and innovative ways to address society’s rapidly changing needs.

As a public, research-intensive, land-grant university funded in part by the state of Michigan, the mission of MSU is to advance knowledge and transform lives by:

  • providing outstanding undergraduate, graduate, and professional education to promising, qualified students in order to prepare them to contribute fully to society as globally engaged citizen leaders;
  • conducting research of the highest caliber that seeks to answer questions and create solutions in order to expand human understanding and make a positive difference, both locally and globally;
  • and advancing outreach, engagement, and economic development activities that are innovative, research-driven, and lead to a better quality of life for individuals and communities, at home and around the world.

Strategic Plan

Building on the momentum of Michigan State University’s successes to chart a course toward a brighter future requires collective thought and action. For that reason, MSU is undertaking an inclusive and comprehensive strategic planning process. While many of the plans have been adjusted or placed on hold due to the pandemic, the work being done around strategic planning is too important not to move forward.

The planning committee has adopted the following guiding principles and goals for the strategic planning process:

  • Create a shared vision for the future of Michigan State University; a high-level directional guide with a common set of principles and values.
  • Foster an open and inclusive process—many voices and perspectives will inform the strategic plan.
  • Engage the campus community and external stakeholders (e.g. alumni, community leaders) on the university’s vision, values and strategic direction.
  • Connect the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategic planning process to the institutional strategic planning process.
  • Seek opportunities to work together, leverage our collective resources, and establish cross-institutional priorities and initiatives.
  • Look both inward and outward. Inward to examine our current state, identify themes, strengths and trends across campus. Outward to understand the changing dynamics of higher education.

For more information on the strategic planning process, please visit



Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., MSU President

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., was selected by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees as MSU’s 21st president, effective August 1, 2019.

Since his arrival at MSU, Dr. Stanley has moved decisively to ensure the university is a safe, respectful, and welcoming place for all. Student success and well-being, and continuing to grow MSU’s extraordinary regional and global impact, are his continuing top priorities.

Committed to first listening to and learning from members of the campus community, he has visited each of the university’s 17 degree-granting colleges and met with thousands of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as other groups and external stakeholders.

In his first few months, Dr. Stanley oversaw several changes in the institution’s administration, organization, and programs to improve accountability, operations, and services. These include reorganizing oversight of the university’s three medical colleges and its clinical services. He seeks to continue to expand the university’s research portfolio, exceeding $715 million in 2018 expenditures, recognizing MSU’s role in creating new knowledge and addressing the world’s most significant challenges.

Dr. Stanley has launched a comprehensive strategic planning process for the university. He also named a diversity, equity and inclusion planning committee and has commissioned a feasibility study for a multicultural center. He appointed two expert presidential advisers who are directing the development and implementation of an action plan for the university to become a leader in preventing relationship violence and sexual misconduct.

Prior to becoming MSU’s 21st president, Dr. Stanley served as president of Stony Brook University on Long Island in New York. As its fifth president, he recorded the most successful fundraising year in the university’s history and championed legislation that helped Stony Brook hire more than 240 new faculty over five years. At Stony Brook, he also focused on improving campus diversity and student success and elevated the university’s research profile through means such as a new institute for artificial intelligence. He chaired the board of Brookhaven Science Associates, which manages Brookhaven National Laboratory on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Born in Seattle, Dr. Stanley earned a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Chicago. After earning his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1980, he completed resident-physician training at Massachusetts General Hospital and then went to Washington University in St. Louis in 1983 for a School of Medicine fellowship in infectious diseases. There, he became a professor in the departments of both medicine and molecular microbiology in recognition of the collaborative nature of his research.

A distinguished biomedical researcher, Dr. Stanley was one of the nation’s top recipients of support from the National Institutes of Health for his research focusing on enhanced defense against emerging infectious diseases. He is an expert in the biological mechanisms that cells employ when responding to infectious agents, such as parasites, bacteria and viruses—a process known as the inflammatory response.

In 2006, Dr. Stanley was appointed vice chancellor for research at Washington University, serving in that position until he was appointed president of Stony Brook in 2009.

Dr. Stanley has served as chair of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, which advises the U.S. government on issues related to the communication, dissemination, and performance of sensitive biological research. He was a member of the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council at the NIH and a member of the NIH director’s Blue Ribbon Panel on the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories. He also served as an ambassador for the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research and has received an Honorary Doctorate in Science from Konkuk University in South Korea. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of American Universities and has served on the NCAA Board of Directors and NCAA Board of Governors.

A researcher, patent holder, and former technology transfer executive, Dr. Stanley supports academic and industry collaborations to leverage both their economic impact and the potentially enormous contributions they can make to society. His extensive experience gives him invaluable perspective on the emerging field of translational research. Dr. Stanley also continues to work as a strong advocate for federal funding of basic research, working through organizations such as the AAU to promote the critical role of university research in innovation and discovery.

President Stanley’s wife, Ellen Li, M.D., Ph.D., is a distinguished biomedical researcher and gastroenterologist. In addition to her roles as a clinician and scientist, Dr. Li has tutored students in chemistry and mentored many students interested in biomedical research. Dr. Stanley and Dr. Li have four children.

Organizational Chart

The Academic Program

The student-faculty ratio at Michigan State University is 16:1, and the school has 24 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Michigan State University include Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Engineering; and Social Sciences.

  • More than 200 programs of undergraduate, graduate, and professional study across 17 degree-granting colleges.
  • Thirty-four undergraduate and graduate programs ranked in the top 25 nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Outstanding record of students earning prestigious national and international scholarships.
  • Freshman class profile (middle 50 percent of fall 2019 entering class): high school GPA, 3.5-4.0; SAT combined score (math and critical reading), 1130-1310; ACT composite score, 23-29.
  • More than 275 education abroad programs in more than 60 countries on all continents.
  • Ranked in the top 10 nationally by U.S. News & World Report for learning communities, study abroad, and service-learning offerings.

Degree-granting colleges

  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Residential College in Arts and Humanities
  • College of Arts and Letters
  • Eli Broad College of Business/Eli Broad Graduate School of Management
  • College of Communication Arts and Sciences
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Human Medicine
  • James Madison College
  • College of Law
  • Lyman Briggs College
  • College of Music
  • College of Natural Science
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • College of Social Science
  • College of Veterinary Medicine

The Student Body

  • 49,809 students from all 83 counties in Michigan, all 50 states in the United States and Washington, D.C., and 133 other countries.
  • 39,176 undergraduate students, 10,633 graduate and professional students.
  • 51 percent women, 49 percent men.
  • 21.5 percent students of color, 11.4 percent international students.
  • More than 900 registered student groups.
  • 39 percent of students live on campus.
  • Greek-letter community is comprised of more than 50 nationally affiliated organizations.
  • Athletics: 25 varsity squads, with 12 intercollegiate sports for men and 13 intercollegiate sports for women.
  • In spring 2020, 132 student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten Honors. Twelve Spartan athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA, the most of any Big Ten university.
  • 20 straight NCAA appearances by men’s basketball team, including nine Final Four appearances.
  • One of the largest intramural sports programs in the nation.

About East Lansing, MI

East Lansing is a city in Michigan directly east of Lansing, the state capital. The population was 48,579 at the 2010 census, an increase from 46,420 in 2000. It is best known as the home of Michigan State University.

East Lansing was an important junction of two major Native American groups: the Potawatomi and Fox. By 1850, the Lansing and Howell Plank Road Co. was established to connect a toll road to the Detroit and Howell Plank Road, improving travel between Detroit and Lansing, which cut right through what is now East Lansing. The toll road was finished in 1853, and included seven tollhouses between Lansing and Howell.

In 1898, the College Delta subdivision (including what is now Delta Street) had the support of the college itself, which provided utilities. Several professors built homes there (one of which survives today at 243 W. Grand River Ave.). Other subdivisions followed.

At that time, the post office address was “Agricultural College, Michigan.” A school district encompassing the nascent community was created in 1900. In 1907, incorporation as a city was proposed under the name “College Park”; the legislature approved the charter but changed the name to “East Lansing.” The first seven mayors, starting with Clinton D. Smith in 1907 and Warren Babcock in 1908, were professors or employees of the college.

The city’s downtown area is centered on Grand River Avenue, a wide, tree-lined boulevard that evolved out of the 19th-century plank road that connected Lansing to Detroit. Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue serve as a dividing line between the Michigan State University campus and the rest of the city. The street is lined with many college-oriented businesses, such as bars, tanning salons, coffee shops, head shops, restaurants, and bookstores. Immediately north of downtown are predominantly student neighborhoods. Farther north is the residential part of the city. In the northernmost tier of the city are several new housing subdivisions and student-oriented apartment complexes. These new developments are far from the university, but their lower property tax rates allow them to offer students more amenities.

East Lansing has more than 25 neighborhoods, many of which have neighborhood associations that sponsor social events, attend to neighborhood issues, and often advocate for neighborhood interests in meetings of the City Council and city commissions.

A section of the city has been designated a Historic District, and a Historic District Commission has been established by the City Council. In addition, many landmark structures in the older neighborhoods have been identified within a Landmark Structures Historic District of the Historic Preservation Code.

Benefits Overview

Michigan State University is pleased to offer an extensive benefits package to its employees. Benefits include the following:

  • Health insurance
  • Dental coverage
  • Retirement plan
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Life/accident insurance
  • Long-term disability
  • Prescription drug plan
  • Several voluntary, employee-paid benefits programs

For a detailed look at MSU benefits for Executive Managers, visit: https://hr.msu.edu/benefits/index.html

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick at jsd@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Michigan State University website at https://msu.edu/.

Michigan State University informs all members of its faculty, staff, student body, contractors and guests, that MSU prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, gender, gender identity, disability, height, marital status, political persuasion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight in its programs and activities.