by Renata Opoczynski, Assistant Dean for Student Success Assessment and Strategic Initiatives

For those who know me, you know that I am one of the few who geek out and get excited about strategic planning! So I was thrilled when the DEI report and strategic plan was released this month. If you have not seen it yet, you can see it here. A huge THANK YOU to Wanda Lipscomb and Luis Garcia for their work on leading a committee of talented people to create this report and plan.

The report noted that we have many points of pride at MSU, but it also starkly outlines the needs that exist on campus. But it also outlined goals, recommendations, and actions to become a DEI engaged campus. So now comes the fun part of getting to look forward and implement the plan. Taking the big goals and aspirations and operationalizing them. How exactly will we “Recruit and retain a more diverse student body” or “Use a data-informed approach to mitigate disparities evident in persistence and graduation rates between racial and ethnic groups and increase degree completion rates for all students?” These are big recommendations with several strategies and actions tied to them.

As I read the plan, I started seeing lots of connections between the recommendations and strategies in the plan and the strategic student success initiatives we have talked about for next year and beyond. I also see lots of connections to the great work my colleagues are already engaging in around these goals. While it will be several years for the plan to be fully implemented, I am excited and eager to get to work and support this plan.  DEI is a key part to student success and we must all work together to make the changes needed for MSU to be a campus where all students feel welcome and appreciated.

Are you ready to get to work too? Then I encourage you to sign up for the Student Success Launch, scheduled for September 20th at 9:00am! We will be engaging with the DEI strategic plan as well as the Inclusive Campus Initiative to start to think about what can YOU do in your space and role to move some of these strategies and needs forward. How can you help create an MSU that is inclusive and representative of its DEI ideals? We hope you will join us.