College of

Comments by Wanda Lipscomb, PhD, MSU presidential search committee

Dr. Wanda Lipscomb represented MSU faculty in her address to the Michigan State University Board of Trustees

"Thank you for the opportunity to speak as a faculty member of the Presidential Search Committee. We sought input from the broader community through the listening sessions and used this input to collectively shape the job description, qualities and characteristics that we summarized in the Presidential Prospectus. I have been asked to share some perspectives based on the listening sessions.

"Dr. Samuel Stanley is an experienced and highly respected leader in higher education. He has served as the President of the Stony Brook University for a decade. Prior to that he served as the Vice Chancellor for Research at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Stanley has demonstrated skills in many crucial areas: leadership development, fiscal management, faculty and student relations, and collegiate athletics.

"He is a very successful fundraiser, community collaborator, and business innovator. He understands the importance of working with government and economic leaders and in expanding the reach of university globally.

"As a nationally recognized leader in emerging infectious diseases, Dr. Stanley has worked with multi-disciplinary teams throughout his career, building a tremendous NIH-funded research program. He has also led an institution with a multidisciplinary academic medical system and understands the importance of building public private partnerships to improve care and grow research. Dr. Stanley has demonstrated support for the broad range of educational areas in addition to emerging cutting-edge science and technology.

"We heard through the many listening sessions that the President should be someone who understands the academy. Dr. Stanley is a stellar academic scholar who was a participant in the faculty senate and respects the role of academic governance.

"The importance of diversity was also echoed in the listening sessions. Dr. Stanley has demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion during his tenure at Stony Brook. There has been much evidence of change: development & implementation of an institutional diversity strategic plan; establishment of a Chief Diversity Officer position; establishment of an institutional diversity advisory committee; expansion of support for the Equal Opportunity Program; increase in the academic success of students from disadvantaged backgrounds; strengthened efforts for women in STEM; partnership with the HeForShe Impact to promote gender equity; expansion of support for faculty and graduate student diversity; and recognition of the importance of broadly defined inclusion (Veterans, persons with disabilities, international students, disenfranchised and marginalized populations).

"Dr. Stanley and his family have established scholarships for disadvantaged students at Stony Brook, supporting his commitment to this very important area.

"The listening sessions underscored the need for a leader who will address campus climate and safety and hear the voices of survivors. Dr. Stanley has demonstrated recognition of the importance for healing, building trust and creating a responsive climate.  

"Dr. Stanley has been described as one who has the courage to lead, the commitment to listen in order to better understand, the compassion to address the needs of the vulnerable and the integrity to honor the values of the institution."

The MSU presidential search committee was comprised of a diverse group of 10 women and eight men, including Dr. Wanda Lipscomb, senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion, and associate dean for student affairs in the College of Human Medicine. The presidential search committee represented a cross-section from within the university, as well as members with unique backgrounds and experiences. These individuals assisted in the presidential search, which was guided by transparency and feedback from faculty, staff, students and alumni. Input from stakeholders gathered from meetings and through the online comments helped the committee members shape the criteria for the experience and characteristics sought in MSU’s next leader. On May 28, 2019, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., Michigan State’s 21st president.

More quotes and comments from the presidential search committee.