Michigan State University's Board of Trustees met in person for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sept. 10 at the Hannah Administration Building.
Following public comments, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. began his report by mentioning the new class of students this semester. Stanley said the University knew, coming into the new semester, students would want to be back on campus and they have exceeded expectations.
There are more than 9,000 students in the incoming class, more than 2,300 of whom are students of color. The university has 49,860 total students this fall and the largest incoming class in MSU's history.
The grand opening of MSU's new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility is scheduled for Friday afternoon, according to Stanley.
The facility has been under construction since 2018, receiving nearly $30 million in support from the state legislature towards its $110 million total cost.
"We are very grateful for the state for their investment in this building where we will provide state-of-the-art learning experiences to tomorrow's leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics," Stanley said.
According to Stanley, the MSU Police Department plans to start focusing more attention on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program, relationship violence and sexual misconduct through a new structure.
"Under the leadership of Vice President for Public Safety, Chief of Police Marlon Lynch, the department is realigning toward more community engagement, professional standards and public integrity and behavioral support services."
Committee on Budget and Finance Chair Melanie Foster presented the approval of the Judith A. Herrod, Ph.D. Scholarship Fund and the Nicholas J. Labedz Scholarship Fund. Foster also presented the authorization to plan the Multicultural Center and the Football Complex renovation and addition.
Both scholarship funds and authorizations to plan were unanimously passed by the board.
Newly appointed MSU Athletic Director Alan Haller spoke on the plans for the Football Complex.
The Board also approved former Athletic Director Bill Beekman's new position as the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives.
Committee on Academic Affairs Chair Trustee Dianne Byrum presented Revisions to Ordinance 29.00 (Smoking) and Policy 02-09-04 (Smoke and Tobacco-Free). These revisions were passed by the board.
"This [revision] largely deals with the use of tobacco for Native American ceremonial use," Byrum said.
MSU's Strategic Plan was passed unanimously by the Board.
"This has the endorsement and the support of the entire Board of Trustees," Byrum said. "This was really a work across the university and a lot of people had. It is the first time in at least 30 years that Michigan State University has had a Strategic Plan, so this is a significant step for us. It means that we're all kind of going in the same direction and we have these big goals."
Byrum also presented the COVID-19 Directives which says President Stanley had, has and will continue to have the authority to issue COVID-19 directives and policies.
Committee on Audit, Risk and Compliance Chair Trustee Dan Kelly discussed the conflict of interest with the approval of contract terms and the intent to negotiate contract terms regarding Mid-Michigan Research LCC and MAI Therapeutics, Inc.
MSU Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Teresa K. Woodruff presented the launch of the academic year.
"I'm delighted to declare that Michigan State University academic season has begun, and with renewed excitement and gratitude for faculty, staff and students," Woodruff said.
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