Strategic Plan


Dean Rachel Croson

Our science transforms the human experience and inspires leaders. Whether at the cellular scale via brain scans or at the global scale like climate change, our science is aimed at people.

Our scholars and students seek to understand and predict behavior and to develop effective policy and real-world solutions given those understandings.

This strategic plan advances our land-grant and world-grant legacy, and guides our investments to ensure that we lead in discovering and disseminating essential patterns of social interactions and decisions.

This plan was developed via an extremely participatory process. Our Strategic Planning Steering Committee was chaired by Department Chair Walter Hawthorne (History) and School Director Mary Finn (Criminal Justice). This group included one tenure-system faculty from each Department and School, many of whom are also affiliated with Centers/Programs/Institutes, as well as two fixed-term faculty, one staff member, three alumni, one undergraduate student, one graduate student, and two representatives from MSU as a whole.

The committee met monthly to debate, disagree, and eventually fight for consensus. The discussions were directly informed by a College-wide survey, ably synthesized by the Faculty Advisory Committee, regular consultation with Chairs and Directors, and a series of strategic questions explored by the Associate Chairs. In addition, we held two College-wide retreats, together drawing over 450 participants, to solicit feedback and guidance.

I especially want to thank our facilitator, Dr. Alan Glassman. Dr. Glassman planned the meetings, kept the group on track, and continually challenged us to work together for the improvement of the College.

Developing this plan involved making choices. Implementing it will involve even more choices. Our Vision, Values and Mission will guide us in these choices. Equally importantly, we commit to preserving the spirit of the Steering Committee in working together to realize our College-wide identity and to advance the common good.

RACHEL T.A. CROSON
Former Dean, College of Social Science


Research Excellence

RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

Our scholars engage in sustained research excellence that demonstrates thought leadership. We will increase national and international recognition for top-tier and impactful research that addresses societal challenges.

  • GOAL AREAS

    THEMATIC AREAS

    The College will support 3-5 thematic areas of research that advance our ability to address societal issues and will achieve national and international recognition.

    COLLABORATIONS

    The College will facilitate and recognize collaborations within and across fields.

    FACULTY EXPECTATIONS

    The College will ensure that each unit defines, communicates, implements and supports high scholarship standards to increase our national and international reputation.

    PHD SUPPORT

    The College will prioritize and support successful and effective doctoral fields.

  • MEASURING OUTCOMES
    50 percent increase

    FACULTY RESEARCH PRODUCTIVITY

    to the top half of the AAU*

    25 percent increase

    FACULTY WITH NATIONAL AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

    20 percent increase

    PERCENTAGE OF FACULTY

    as principal investigator on external grants

    50 percent increase

    PERCENTAGE OF PHD STUDENTS

    with excellent placements

    * Association of American Universities

Learning

LEARNING

Our students acquire the communication and analytical skills needed to excel in complex and changing environments. We will enhance opportunities to develop these skills through engaged and experiential learning.

  • GOAL AREAS

    SKILL DEVELOPMENT

    Our faculty will enhance our students’ educational and career success by developing their practical and adaptive skills.

    EXPERIENTIAL AND ENGAGED LEARNING

    The College will facilitate and recognize collaborations within and across fields.

    OPPORTUNITY GAPS

    In order to reduce differential persistence, graduation and rates of academic good standing the College will develop and improve mechanisms to support at-risk students in our ISS and largeenrollment courses.

  • MEASURING OUTCOMES
    50 percent reduction

    DECREASE OPPORTUNITY GAPS

    for underrepresented minority undergrads

    5 percent increase

    IMPROVE SIX-YEAR GRADUATION RATE

    meeting or exceeding the MSU target

    10 percent increase

    PLACEMENT RATES OF STUDENTS

    in full-time employment or graduate or professional programs


Diversity and Inclusion

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Our college is open and welcoming, deriving strength from a plurality of identities and lived experiences. We will build a more diverse and inclusive environment to fulfill our mission, consistent with University policies and state and federal law.

  • GOAL AREAS

    INCLUSIVE CLIMATE

    The College will ensure an inclusive and welcoming environment for its students, faculty, and staff.

    FACULTY HIRING AND RETENTION

    The College will increase the proportion of tenure-system under-represented faculty utilizing aggressive recruitment, outreach and retention strategies.

    DEVELOP FUTURE FACULTY

    The College and its units will develop programs to increase the proportion of under-represented individuals in the academic pipeline utilizing aggressive recruitment, outreach and retention strategies.

  • MEASURING OUTCOMES
    increase

    PROPORTION OF UNDER-REPRESENTED TENURE-SYSTEM FACULTY

    increase

    PROPORTION OF UNDER-REPRESENTED PHD STUDENTS


External Engagement

EXTERNAL ENGAGEMENT

Our identity establishes us as a destination and a source of expertise. We will further connect with alumni and communities.

  • GOAL AREAS

    IDENTITY

    In coordination with MSU’s central communications team, the College will leverage MSU’s brand to create a unified College identity.

    ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT

    The College will engage alumni and friends to increase support for our mission.

    OUTREACH

    Our faculty will engage and include academic and external communities to co-create a more visible societal impact.

  • MEASURING OUTCOMES
    40 percent increase

    GIFTS TO THE COLLEGE

    10 percent increase

    EXTERNAL PRESS MENTIONS

    of faculty research or quotes by faculty as experts

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Our science transforms the human experience and inspires leaders.

We will be global leaders in top-tier research while advancing engaged learning and societal well-being.

QUALITY

We hold ourselves to the highest standards to achieve lasting influence.

INCLUSIVENESS

We foster a culture in which all individuals are valued, respected and engaged so that diverse voices can enrich our work.

CONNECTIVITY

We link with campus and external communities to leverage our strengths and collectively realize our shared goals.

INTEGRITY

We are honest, transparent and courageous in our discovery and dissemination of knowledge.

CREATIVITY

We imagine innovative approaches to understand and improve the world.

EMPOWERMENT

We equip individuals and communities to make informed and just decisions.