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Faculty Senate Resolutions

2022-2023

Whereas, There is a lack of transparency and shared communication around the current situation related to the Board of Trustees supposedly demanding President Samuel Stanley’s resignation; therefore be it,

Resolved, That Faculty Senate strongly discourages and is opposed to the Board of Trustees firing, demanding the resignation of, or retirement of President Samuel Stanley until more information is provided to the university community; further, be it

Resolved, That an investigation into the actions of the Board of Trustees be conducted by the Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance and a report with recommendations for action be provided to the Trustee Committee on Audit, Risk and Compliance and presented to the Faculty Senate and University Council to discuss prior to the October 28 Board of Trustees meeting.

Approved 49-3 on September 13, 2022 

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Whereas, The Code of Ethics for the Trustees of Michigan State University state that they will “properly elect, support, and evaluate the President; and avoid involvement in administrative matters not subject to the direct authority of the Board” and that they will “support open communication, transparency, and the free expression of ideas and will not condone any form of deceit, incivility, intimidation, silencing, or retaliation”; and,

Whereas, Recent actions of the Board of Trustees—including inappropriate involvement in academic management, unbecoming statements to the press, and a general lack of transparency—violate best practices for good governance;1 therefore be it,

Resolved, The Faculty Senate has been disappointed with the lack of transparency and prior actions noted. In order to maintain full confidence in its Board of Trustees, and in the spirit of working together as Spartans will and can to uphold the success of the entire MSU community, the Faculty Senate requests that the Board of Trustees hire a professional governance firm within the next 60 days and undergo professional development, which shall include the President of the University.

1 See, e.g., John W. Nason, The Nature of Trusteeship: The Role and Responsibilities of College and University Boards, 22, 86–87 (1982) (“Alert and conscientious boards provide quiet counseling of a kind to enhance the president’s effectiveness. . . . A rapid turnover of presidents is a sure sign of a weak, uncertain or divided board. An effective board is one that delegates responsibility for administration to the president and is prepared to concentrate its attention on policy issues.”); J. Victor Baldridge, Academic Governance: Research on Institutional Politics and Decision Making, 112 (1971) (“Boards sometimes claim the prerogative of identifying and appointing [top-level administrative] officers. Such actions are inconsistent with the policy of acting through a single executive officer.”); “The governing board of an institution of higher education, while maintaining a general overview, entrusts the conduct of administration to the administrative officers—the president and the deans—and the conduct of teaching and research to the faculty. The board should undertake appropriate self-limitation.”; Barbara R. Snyder, AAU President Expresses Deep Concern About Michigan State University Trustees’ Interference in School Operations (September 12, 2022) (“As president of AAU, which represents Michigan State University and our country’s other leading research universities, I am appalled at reports of interference in MSU’s day-to-day operations by the university’s trustees, who are elected officials. If the reports are accurate, then this is inappropriate meddling by a board charged with governance, not management.”); AAUP et. al, Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities (1966) (“The governing board of an institution of higher education, while maintaining a general overview, entrusts the conduct of administration to the administrative officers—the president and the deans—and the conduct of teaching and research to the faculty. The board should undertake appropriate self-limitation.”)


Approved 40-14 on September 13, 2022 

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Whereas,     Members of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees have continued to destabilize the university since the MSU Faculty Senate expressed its concern[1] on September 13; and

Whereas,     Members of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees have compounded their intransigence, intimidating faculty administrators through a retained law firm investigating the resignation of Sanjay Gupta which is both outside of the Board’s administrative purview and a violation of their Code of Ethics; and

Whereas,     The Associated Students of Michigan State University voted no confidence in the Board of Trustees on October 6 by a vote of 21–0 (with four abstentions)[2]; therefore be it,     

Resolved,    The Faculty Senate has no confidence in the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.

[1] See Michigan State University Faculty Senate, Resolution FS2223R01, September 13, 2022 (https://acadgov.msu.edu/-/media/assets/academicgovernance/docs/faculty-senate/2022-2023/fsresolutions/fs2223r01.pdf) and Faculty Senate Resolution FS2223R02, September 13, 2022 (https://acadgov.msu.edu/-/media/assets/academicgovernance/docs/faculty-senate/2022-2023/fsresolutions/fs2223r02.pdf).
[2] See Associated Students of Michigan State University, Bill 59-21: No Confidence in the Board of Trustees, October 6, 2022 (https://acadgov.msu.edu/-/media/assets/academicgovernance/docs/faculty-senate/2022-2023/fs-2022-10-11/asmsu-resolution-59-21-no-confidence-in-board-of-trustees.pdf).


Approved 55–4 on October 11, 2022 

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2021-2022

Whereas, Michigan State University did not provide faculty with merit raises in either October 2020 or October 2021; and
 
Whereas, The university halved its contribution to faculty’s retirement accounts for 18 months; and
 
Whereas, MSU has fallen in the rankings of average salaries at Big Ten schools as a result of these reductions; and
 
Whereas, Historic inflation has decreased the value of faculty pay over the past year; and
 
Whereas, The University Committee on Faculty Affairs is the academic governance body that makes recommendations regarding faculty salary and benefits; and
 
Whereas, UCFA typically develops its budget and salary recommendations in the spring semester and presents it to Faculty Senate every April; therefore be it,
 
Resolved, That Faculty Senate requests that the administration submit a proposed list of ideas based on predicted financial scenarios to UCFA within the next 14 days regarding pay and benefits that takes into account inflation and the university’s aforementioned actions.

Approved - March 15, 2022 

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Whereas, The University predicted pandemic-associated budget shortfalls in state funding of $43M and tuition of $63M resulted in non-union academic managers, faculty, and academic staff being subjected to 10 months of 1-8% salary reductions, 18 months of halved retirement matches, and a planned 3-year gap between merit raises; and,

Whereas, The University’s actual shortfall in state funding was $0 and tuition income was $7M higher than expected; and,

Whereas, The University received Federal COVID non-student-aid relief of over $86M through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund; and,

Whereas, The University’s investments saw a 42% return over the past year; and,

Whereas, The University’s reductions in salary and retirement contributions are the most severe and longest lasting within the Big 10; be it

Resolved, That Faculty Senate endorse a prompt retroactive restoration of all pandemic associated salary reductions and retirement matches, and a reinstatement of the FY22 merit raise to non-union academic managers, faculty, and academic staff; and be it further

Resolved, That such a retroactive restoration include former non-union academic managers, faculty, and academic staff subjected to pandemic pay and benefit reductions who were employed between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.

Approved - November 16, 2021

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FACULTY SENATE RESOLUTION TO: Advocate for the Hiring of a Full-Time Employee for Undocumented Student Affairs

WHEREAS, In Michigan there is estimated to be around 102,000 undocumented immigrants, approximately 9,000 of which are college-aged and are currently enrolled in postsecondary education; and,

WHEREAS, Undocumented students in Michigan are not eligible for federal or state financial aid, and often cannot apply for private loans; and,

WHEREAS, During the COVID-19 pandemic undocumented students have experienced additional economic, psychological, and academic stresses, including increased concerns about on-time graduation and legal status, aggravating existing inequalities; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan State University was given the lowest “least accessible” ranking in a 2017 study in regards to admissions, financial aid and general support for undocumented and DACA students, and a “somewhat accessible” ranking in relation to tuition; other schools, like Grand Valley State University, Oakland University, and the University of Michigan received the highest ranking of “most accessible” across all areas4; and, 

WHEREAS, Both Grand Valley State University5 and the University of Michigan6 have a designated employee to support and advise undocumented students; and, 

WHEREAS, The Michigan State University Diversity Equity and Inclusion Report and Strategic Plan acknowledges that it is “highly difficult to navigate” financial aid and residency status for undocumented students; recommends “more inclusive student support services;” and, includes “formalized services offered through an identified central office to support DACA and undocumented students” as a metric of success; and, 

WHEREAS, DreaMSU, a student organization advocating for more inclusive policies for immigrant and undocumented communities at Michigan State University, has been advocating for an employee to be hired for undocumented students since 2019; and,

WHEREAS, The Associated Students of Michigan State University passed Bill 57-78 in March 2021, “A BILL TO: Advocate for the Hiring of a Full-Time Employee for Undocumented Student Affairs;” therefore be it, 

RESOLVED, The Faculty Senate supports Michigan State University hiring a full-time employee specifically for undocumented, DACA and vulnerable immigrant student affairs; and, 

RESOLVED, The Faculty Senate urges Michigan State University to hire this employee by the conclusion of the 2021-2022 academic year in order to expand recruitment of and support for undocumented, DACA and vulnerable immigrant students; and,

RESOLVED, The hiring of this employee shall be decided by a committee that includes students affected by the current lack of resources and representation for undocumented, DACA and vulnerable immigrant students, as well as staff and faculty knowledgeable in the issues facing undocumented, DACA and vulnerable immigrant student populations; and,

RESOLVED, This employee shall have a designated workplace to create a safer space for undocumented, DACA and vulnerable immigrant students to seek support and advice.


Approved - November 16, 2021

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Whereas, State legislative proposals have been introduced across the United States to suppress teaching and learning about race and racism in schools, colleges, and universities. These measures have been signed into law in Idaho, Iowa, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas1; and,

Whereas, In Michigan, a Senate measure was introduced in May 2021 and debated in October barring K-12 school districts and schools from teaching critical race theory, any part of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, or other “anti-American and racist theories” with a 5% penalty funding cut for schools that defy the order.2 In November 2021, a different measure passed the Michigan House of Representatives; and,

Whereas,
The Faculty Senate is pleased to see robust public opposition to these laws from MSU faculty and MSU Trustee Rema Vassar; and,

Whereas, Nonetheless, the Faculty Senate remains concerned that such bills pose a threat to the right of faculty to teach and students to learn about race and racism in the United States; create a chilling effect on K-12 teachers in addressing race and racism in their classroom; substitute political mandates for the professional judgement of K-12 educators, informed by academic scholarship on these topics; and will lead to students being less well-prepared for discussions of race and racism at the college level; therefore be it,

Resolved,
That the Faculty Senate affirms the Joint Statement on Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism authored by the AAUP, PEN America, the American Historical Association, and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, endorsed by over seventy organizations, and issued on June 16, 2021.

Approved - November 16, 2021

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Resolved, That an ad hoc committee consisting of three Faculty Senate members who are or have served as directors of graduate programs and three additional faculty senators—one of which should be a senator representing a professional school and one of which should be a senator representing a residential college—in coordination with a representative from the Graduate School, be formed to study the issue from two directions: 1) the use of “regular” in the context of graduate education, and 2) the use of “regular” beyond the context of graduate education (including beyond programs/units/departments and by the administration)

Approved - September 21, 2021

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Resolved, Faculty Senate advises the provost to restore the notification of instructors who are informal contacts of known COVID-19 cases; and

Resolved, Faculty Senate strongly encourages the administration to maintain a full-masking policy for work inside by in-person students, faculty, staff, and visitors; and

Resolved, Faculty Senate urges the administration to collect uploaded copies of the vaccine cards as additional evidence of vaccination.

Approved - September 21, 2021

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2020-2021

Resolved, That an ad hoc committee consisting of three Faculty Senate members who are or have served as directors of graduate programs and three additional faculty senators—one of which should be a senator representing a professional school and one of which should be a senator representing a residential college—in coordination with a representative from the Graduate School, be formed to study the issue from two directions: 1) the use of “regular” in the context of graduate education, and 2) the use of “regular” beyond the context of graduate education (including beyond programs/units/departments and by the administration)

Approved - June 15, 2021

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Resolution on Policies and Practices Related to Creating a Safe, Inclusive Campus Environment

OVERVIEW:
This proposal has its origins in multiple and extensive Faculty Senate discussions about the Office of Civil Rights report and MSU’s subsequent response. Given recent articulations of codes of behavior for faculty and advising staff, these resolutions aim to address the need for such standards for higher level administrators as well. In face of the past failure of the administration to recognize and act effectively to address egregious transgressive behavior within their ranks, we also see the need to surface and state the values we share and adhere and to establish policies and practices that will hold administrators accountable. As a body, the Faculty Senate supports the following changes to practice, policy, training, and review procedures that may help to prevent such failures in the future.

VALUES:

  •  Faculty Senators affirm the need to own and learn from our history: a history of secrecy and lack of transparency; of silencing, ignoring, or retaliating against those who spoke up; a purposeful amnesia that has contributed to the erasure of recent history; and a subsequent attempt to identify the problem as being that people are uncivil or too loud.
  • Faculty Senators affirm the need to listen to all voices in the community, especially those of students and those with less power.
  • Faculty Senators affirm that money or the university’s reputation should never be placed above the individual safety and well-being of its members.
  • Faculty Senators support transparency and accountability at all levels of the university.
  • Faculty Senators support acknowledging and addressing behaviors that may not reach the level of ‘punishable’ according to the bylaws, but nonetheless create an unsafe, unwelcoming, or hostile environment for others.

POLICY and PRACTICES

  • That faculty, staff, and administrators commit to speaking up when they have concerns about individual forms of wrongdoing (any form of sexual harassment or abuse).
  • That reporting mechanisms be more accessible, transparent, and safe for all university members (i.e., feature reporting mechanism for students on STU-info, create digital dropboxes, etc.; processes, procedures and timelines for reporting and follow-up should be clearly defined for students, faculty/staff, and mandatory reporters).
  • That such reporting not be limited to grievable transgressions, but include microaggressions and behaviors that create unwelcoming environments, and that such environments be defined by their impact on individuals, not just by the intention of the perpetrator.
  • That the university establish a policy and viable practices for protecting whistle-blowers and preserving confidentiality, whenever possible - that any individual coming forward is protected from retaliation, including OCR staff.
  • That regular policy be established regarding crisis communication and the importance of rapid and transparent responses.
  • That OCR staff share an overview of data, as well as an overview of current and anticipated practices and developments, at, minimally, one Faculty Senate meeting per year, with ample time for discussion.
  • That OCR and Faculty Senate become collaborative partners in developing a process and infrastructure to facilitate responses to microaggressions and other actions and interactions that do not reach the threshold of legal definitions of harassment. Such processes and infrastructure should be based on transformative justice practices.

Approved - April 20, 2021

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Resolved, That Faculty Senate endorsed ASMSU Bill 57-84, titled “A BILL TO: Release a letter addressing the concerns from students in regards to the lack of support given in remote learning courses during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Letter is stated as:

Associated Students of Michigan State University

DATE: February 24, 2021TO: College Deans, Michigan State University
FROM: 57th Session General Assembly, Associated Students of Michigan State University
SUBJECT: Addressing student concerns regarding instruction and assignments

Dear Dean [NAME], [COLLEGE NAME],
On March 11, 2021, Michigan State University will complete a full year of online instruction. This has been a dramatic change to both students and faculty. While many faculty members have been accommodating surrounding the shift of instruction and assignments, others have been less cooperative. Many students are under the impression that more assignments and assessments are being administered this academic year than in previous years. Additionally, students feel a lack of support and flexibility from faculty regarding unique, individual circumstances. This has not only negatively impacted student’s academic performance but also impacted mental and physical health.

Recently, the Broad Student Senate completed a survey from members of the Broad College of Business. This survey covered a range of topics including mental health. 50% of respondents said they are struggling or unwell regarding their mental health. Compared to a World Health Organization survey of 14,000 students where 35% of respondents reported they are struggling or unwell regarding mental health. This 15% increase is concerning. Furthermore, 79% of Broad College of Business respondents reported their academic performance has been impacted due to their mental health. Paired with other responsibilities, work, internships, and cocurricular activities, students are experiencing excessive and constant burnout.
In response to concerns, we are asking you to take the following measures to protect the mental health of students:

  • Foster a safe and healthy classroom environment that allows students to feel supported and to seek help and resources if needed
  • Reexamine the workload students are being assigned and the credit hours being obtained
  • Promote the importance of mental health by allowing students to take mental health days to destress and recollect

We must address the concerns of students to create a campus that prioritizes both academic success and mental health.

In Green and White,
57th Session General Assembly, Associated Students of Michigan State University


Adopted - March 16, 2021

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Resolution on Administrator, Faculty, and Staff Training to Create a Safe, Inclusive Campus Environment

OVERVIEW:

This proposal has its origins in multiple and extensive Faculty Senate discussions about the Office of Civil Rights report and MSU’s subsequent response. Given recent articulations of codes of behavior for faculty and advising staff, these resolutions aim to address the need for such standards for higher level administrators as well. In face of the past failure of the administration to recognize and act effectively to address egregious transgressive behavior within their ranks, we also see the need to surface and state the values we share and adhere and to establish policies and practices that will hold administrators accountable. As a body, the Faculty Senate supports the following changes to practice, policy, training, and review procedures that may help to prevent such failures in the future.

VALUES:

  •  Faculty Senators affirm the need to own and learn from our history: a history of secrecy and lack of transparency; of silencing, ignoring, or retaliating against those who spoke up; a purposeful amnesia that has contributed to the erasure of recent history; and a subsequent attempt to identify the problem as being that people are uncivil or too loud.
  •  Faculty Senators affirm the need to listen to all voices in the community, especially those of students and those with less power.
  •  Faculty Senators affirm that money or the university’s reputation should never be placed above the individual safety and well-being of its members.
  •  Faculty Senators support transparency and accountability at all levels of the university.
  •  Faculty Senators support acknowledging and addressing behaviors that may not reach the level of ‘punishable’ according to the bylaws, but nonetheless create an unsafe, unwelcoming, or hostile environment for others.

TRAINING

  • That we require enhanced sexual harassment training, preferably in person, for all higher-level administrators, deans, and program and department chairs
    - Ideally this would include discussion of hypothetical and actual cases and group norming on how to respond.
    -The process should include transformative approaches, such as training to recognize and avoid microaggressions, to more effectively address behavior that is not severe enough to require punitive measures.
    - Such training should include that group-norm acceptable behavior and safety expectations, so that individuals recognize the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and how it manifests across all aspects of university work (choice of course materials, conversations with students, etc.)
    -The aim is to help individuals recognize situations of harassment when they occur; that they are able to hear a complaint or intimation of inappropriate behavior; that they develop heightened sensitivity in ‘listening’ practices (CAPS-related)
  • That OIE and AAN partner to offer in-person workshops on sexual harassment, for faculty and staff in individual colleges
  • That the organizers of these workshops ensure they offer these workshops with representation from the specific groups entailed, and even, in the home languages of the participants

Approved - February 6, 2021

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Resolution on Review of Deans and Higher-Level Administrators Related to Creating a Safe, Inclusive Campus Environment

OVERVIEW:
This proposal has its origins in multiple and extensive Faculty Senate discussions about the Office of Civil Rights report and MSU’s subsequent response. Given recent articulations of codes of behavior for faculty and advising staff, these resolutions aim to address the need for such standards for higher level administrators as well. In face of the past failure of the administration to recognize and act effectively to address egregious transgressive behavior within their ranks, we also see the need to surface and state the values we share and adhere and to establish policies and practices that will hold administrators accountable. As a body, the Faculty Senate supports the following changes to practice, policy, training, and review procedures that may help to prevent such failures in the future.

VALUES:

  • Faculty Senators affirm the need to own and learn from our history: a history of secrecy and lack of transparency; of silencing, ignoring, or retaliating against those who spoke up; a purposeful amnesia that has contributed to the erasure of recent history; and a subsequent attempt to identify the problem as being that people are uncivil or too loud.
  • Faculty Senators affirm the need to listen to all voices in the community, especially those of students and those with less power.
  • Faculty Senators affirm that money or the university’s reputation should never be placed above the individual safety and well-being of its members.
  • Faculty Senators support transparency and accountability at all levels of the university.
  • Faculty Senators support acknowledging and addressing behaviors that may not reach the level of ‘punishable’ according to the bylaws, but nonetheless create an unsafe, unwelcoming, or hostile environment for others.

REVIEW OF DEANS & HIGHER-LEVEL ADMINISTRATORS

  • That all deans and higher-level administrators be reviewed at least every other year to provide an account of their achievements in creating a more inclusive, safe, and supportive environment, as well as their plans for continuing this work in the future.
  • That a committee of all Faculty Excellence Advocates and 2-3 faculty senators be created and empowered to do this review and to provide oversight on higher-level administrators (deans, provosts, executive administrators), especially from a Faculty Senate Resolution February 16, 2021 framework that ensures a safe, inclusive environment, free of any forms of harassment, for all members of the university community
  • That this committee elect a Chair who attends all Deans meetings, advises on issues related to the FEA position, and reports back to the FEA committee as a whole
  • That this committee reports its findings yearly, to Faculty Senate
  • That this committee has input into the structure of the review process for administrators, including how input from stakeholders will be solicited and taken into account in the review process, and how expressions of concern and actual complaints will be dealt with.
  • That the review of all administrators include substantial anonymous feedback from faculty, staff, and students
  • That in their review materials, administrators include a statement of their values, commitments, and actions in support of a safe and inclusive environment for community members, including how they are responding to complaints and expressions of concern
  • That, at the end of the process, there be a report to the entire community (Department, Program, College, University as a whole) on the way the feedback from faculty, staff, and students has been taken into account in the review.

Approved - February 16, 2021 

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Resolved, That Faculty Senate recognizes that all faculty have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis and have engaged in extraordinary efforts to continue research, fulfill administrative responsibilities, and support and teach students under very different circumstances. We also realize that those of us who are caregivers have been especially heavily and collectively impacted by the crisis in ways that have affected research productivity, teaching effectiveness, health, and family wellbeing. We understand that this crisis challenges faculty excellence, exacerbates inequities, and negatively impacts the university’s investments in strengthening diversity. We recognize an urgent need to address this caregiving crisis. Faculty senators call upon the university administration to commit financial support and provide additional guidance to enable colleges to meet the needs of caregiving faculty and maintain Michigan State University’s excellence.

Adopted - February 16, 2021

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We, the MSU Faculty Senate, move that the MSU police department implement monthly community-oriented occasions, in which police department personnel shall gather and interact with MSU community members. The goal of these informal settings will be to develop positive relationships between police department members and the MSU community at large.

We, the MSU Faculty Senate, encourage MSU police department officers to “immediately discontinue” any policies that target in a discriminatory manner at risk, or marginalized communities within the Michigan State University community. As an example, this may include ICE policies and/or those that may promote or support racial profiling.

We, the MSU Faculty Senate, encourage the MSU police department to implement strong, interactive training programs that are held on a monthly basis. These mandated trainings should focus on implicit bias, crisis intervention training for law enforcement, de-escalation programming and those trainings that facilitate high quality interactions with victims of relationship or sexual violence.

Transparency is of great value for members of the MSU community, therefore, we, as the MSU Faculty Senate, encourage the publication of demographic data. This data should be related to traffic stops, hiring data, officer focused complaints, and arrest data, and should be published on or made available through the MSU police website. Information and access related to timely release of body camera footage in disputed cases should also be provided.

We, the MSU Faculty Senate, move that hiring and review practices require intensive investigation into prospective officers, and current officers which would reveal memberships in organizations and groups that directly contrast with the safety and care of black and brown persons within the MSU community. Extensive review into social media usage should be implemented to discover those who sympathize or participate in groups designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Federal Bureau of Investigation, or Anti-Defamation League.

We, the MSU Faculty Senate, move that hiring and review practices require intensive investigation into prospective officers and current officers which would reveal memberships in organizations and groups that directly contrast with the safety and care of LGBTQ persons within the MSU Community. Extensive review into social media usage should be implemented to discover those who sympathize or participate in actions that promote hatred toward and/or discriminate against LGBTQ persons.

Approved - February 16, 2021

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Resolved, That Faculty Senate encourages the faculty of Michigan State University to: 1) Incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into their teaching practices by doing things like diversifying readings, case studies, and example to amplify the voices of women, Black. Indigenous, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American and other racialized people, LGBTQIA+ individuals, persons with disabilities, and authors of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds and nationalities, reducing the cost of textbooks and other required class material as much as possible, and removing other barriers to the classroom, including accessibility.

Approved - January 19, 2021

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Resolved, That the colleges and departments at Michigan State University to consider: 1) Including at least one person from outside the college/department on search committees to avoid conflicts of interest; 2) Clearly identifying, stating, and publicizing their efforts around DEI initiatives and regularly having those initiatives reviewed by third parties such as the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives; 3) Stopping use of the GRE as a requirement for admission to graduate programs and stop using standardized testing for admission to undergraduate programs, instead prioritizing a more holistic admission process; 4) Conducting exit interviews when faculty, staff, and graduate students leave the college or department to ensure that employees are leaving for better opportunities rather than as a result of a culture that is hostile to their individual identities; and 5) How language about whether a candidate is the “right fit” for a college or department environment can be exclusionary and avoid such language as appropriate.

Approved - November 17 2022

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Resolved, That the administration of Michigan State University to consider: 1) Asking of applicants to MSU jobs to include a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement as part of their application materials; 2) Examining current hiring and retention practices to identify effective and robust strategies that will produce increased numbers of underrepresented faculty and staff employees; 3) How language about whether a candidate is the ‘right fit’ for a given job environment can be exclusionary and avoid such language as appropriate; 4) Providing additional funding and resources to colleges and departments to hire diversity coordinators and providing ongoing training and opportunities for education on DEI issues; 5) Requiring training on DEI and implicit bias as part of the professional development process and incorporating it in a measurable way as part of the annual goal-setting and evaluation process; 6) Creating or strengthening mentoring programs on campus for those from underrepresented groups, as well as offering training for mentors, strengthening networks across departments and campus, appropriately matching people with mentors that represent their personal and professional goals, and incorporating participation in mentoring as a measurable part of the annual goal-setting and evaluation process; and 7) Conducting a study of faculty and staff salaries to identify inequities that negatively impact underrepresented groups and develop a process for addressing these inequities.

Approved - November 17, 2020

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Resolved, That Faculty Senate encourages the University Committee on Academic Governance to: 1) In coordination with the Secretary for Academic Governance, better publicize the process of academic governance and how people are elected or appointed to academic governance bodies; 2) ask candidates to provide a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statement as part of the application materials for service on academic governance bodies whose membership is nominated or selected by the University Committee on Academic Governance; and 3) explore the creation of a University-Level Standing Committee on DEI charged with advancing DEI within academic governance.

Approved - October 13, 2020

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Resolved, That recent events on our campus require that we, the MSU Faculty Senate, emphasize our position of support for diversity and inclusion. We unequivocally support all students, staff, and faculty of the MSU community, regardless of color, race, gender identity, ability status, country of origin and religious belief. We will continue the work that creates an inclusive, diverse community, one that respects and celebrates our differences, promotes our commonalities and recognizes our unique contributions.

Resolved, We summarily reject any circumstances which alienate, demean or make students feel less than others. We strive for a supportive environment that is free from hate, racism, sexism, misogyny, ableism, religious discrimination, and bullying of any kind. We are working to make a positive difference.

Amendment to November 26, 2019 Faculty Senate Resolution


Adopted - September 15, 2020

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2019-2020

Resolved, That we, the Faculty Senate, make a formal resolution to our incoming provost, Dr. Teresa Woodruff, to take the following four specific steps in support of Michigan State University faculty, and particularly faculty of color upon her arrival to MSU.
Number one, we would like to ask that Dr. Woodruff commit to refrain from reducing budgets of any programs which are focused on diverse populations, programs, or initiatives for a period of no less than two years.

Number two, we would like to request a review and possibly increase of budgets whenever possible for programs which impact minorities for the same period. Too often, programs affecting marginalized populations are hit hardest when cuts are made. It is the programs which serve the underserved that are often asked to work on shoestring budgets or are phased out when financial difficulties arise. Sacrifices are sometimes made at the expense of careers and career progress. And invariably, we are moved around, but not up. Just as sometimes less value is often placed on the lives of black men and women, so too go our programs. So, for indigenous peoples, for black, for brown, and Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans, we ask that you not cut and be consciously aware of the dynamics in play when you do make those necessary reviews.

For the third step, we ask that Provost Woodruff commit to the development, review, and expansion of an even more intensive plan than that which currently exists for the recruitment of faculty of color and faculty members from other marginalized groups, as well as a review of our retention efforts.
Lastly, we respectfully request that Provost Woodruff will commit to the Michigan State University community that the efforts of our new, much-desired and looked-forward-to Provost to work on behalf of diverse or marginalized populations will not be limited, as some have feared, to just women and STEM, but rather will be more broad-based during her tenure at Michigan State University. Included will be members of the LBGT community, ethnic minorities, underrepresented identities, and persons with disabilities.


Approved - June 23, 2020 

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Resolved, That we, the faculty senators of Michigan State University, wish to express our unwavering support of the Black Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Association; the Coalition of Racial/Ethnic Minorities; and the Chicano/Latino Faculty, Staff, Specialists, and Graduate Student Association in their responses to the outcome of the Provost search. In standing with these communities, the Faculty Senate wishes to share the burden of advocacy, and affirm our commitment to enacting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at MSU.

If we want to expand on and practice the values of DEI, then we need to hire accordingly. MSU continues to assure its community that DEI are of paramount importance, especially in the face of numerous and egregious racist acts across campus as recently as this academic year. The appointment of a provost with extensive leadership, expertise, and experience in these areas, as two of the three finalists had, would have been a powerful act in demonstrating our commitment to improve. We had a rare opportunity here and we did not act on it.

We recognize President Stanley’s efforts toward transparency in the finalists vetting process, and in compiling a search committee with faculty members that represented different constituencies. These gestures built trust between us, which recent events on this campus, and the long-standing structures that enabled those events, had sorely eroded. And yet at the most crucial moment of the search, the actual selection of our chief academic officer, among such a talented and excellent finalist pool, MSU chose not to act on its commitment to diversity. Our reaction is not personal to Dr. Woodruff, nor do we wish to dispute that she is qualified, in absolute terms, for such a position. But for many, this is a disappointing outcome. For many, it is also deeply hurtful.

Moving forward, we will look to see that the Chief Diversity Officer is a fully-resourced position, both financially, with respect to staffing, and especially in terms of integration across the university community, so that in the future we will enact the broad institutional changes that we say are a priority.


Approved - June 23, 2020

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