Working Groups are making progress and we are soon to welcome a new assistant dean for University Advising.

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a month and a half since our kickoff webinar for the University Advising Initiative, and we have been encouraged by the engagement we’ve received from colleagues across campus. While our current advising landscape works very well for some; our hope is that the fruits of this initiative will ultimately make this landscape navigable by every student we admit, at any level of certainty about their future vocation, from any background. This is a key component of realizing MSU’s Student Success 2030 goal of an 86% six-year graduation rate by 2030 by closing MSU’s opportunity gaps.

During the kickoff event we committed to regular and transparent communication efforts. While we have been communicating with the members of our working groups, which include representatives from all colleges, we wanted to convey our progress regularly to the entire student success community over the course of the initiative’s projected two-year timeline.

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Ebony Green hired as our new Assistant Dean for University Advising in the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education. Dr. Green is an MSU alumna with nearly two decades of advising experience and has conducted research focused on leadership development for professional undergraduate academic advisors. As part of her responsibilities, Dr. Green will assume the role of project lead for the University Advising Initiative upon her arrival to campus September 26th, 2022.

The initiative’s working groups have begun in earnest, with each group meeting at least three times this summer, and we are scheduling meetings for the fall semester.

The Advising Pathways Working Group has been exploring the idea of advising pathways that are connected to the Admissions/Career Services Interest Areas. Our members are currently in the process of reviewing their majors and minors for alignment with the interest areas. We are also beginning the very early stages of a discussion on centralizing administrative functions across the university.

The Professional Development Working Group has been confirming members, establishing group and meeting norms, and working to differentiate between the work of the Professional Development Working Group (PDWG) (led by the PDWG Fellow) and the Professional Development Committee (led by the Director of Advising for leadership and professional development). Some of the work we have begun involves identifying gaps and concerns around professional development on campus and reviewing current onboarding, training, and professional development offerings to identify gaps. Ultimately, we will develop a comprehensive list of training and development topics that address the needs of all advisors across the campus.

The Assessment Working Group is building methods for advising assessment, adding data, and filling in the gaps. The group is currently working on review of the more than 181 advising positions across campus with advising leadership and working toward completion of the Advising Landscape study which will include recommendations to senior leadership to advance advising on campus. 

The Communications Working Group is working on a University Advising Initiative website, set to launch in early October. We are also working on methods of engaging advisors and others who are not members of Working Groups, as well as creating updates and planning events.

The University Advising Initiative will be part of the Student Success Launch and Fall Advising Summit on Tuesday, September 27th 1-4pm. Register here.

The Personnel and Organizational Change Working Group is supporting the university advising search which will be open on a rolling basis, please share widely! Also, an HR and Operations Manager for Advising has been hired to support hiring and development efforts. We welcomed Beverly Buza (previously Stehlik) to the team in early August and she will be supporting the hiring and onboarding of the advising staff associated with University Advising.

While we have been working on and trying new strategies for advising for over 10 years, we move forward to build and expand academic advising with significant and broad executive support for this effort – including from President Stanley, Provost Woodruff, and the college Deans. This support is demonstrated through advocacy, action, communication, and a financial investment of $2 million from the provost for all aspects of the initiative. We look forward to working with  all of our MSU partners for student success on this crucial project that will support all of our students as they learn, thrive, and graduate.


Warm regards,

The University Advising Initiative Project Team

Amy Martin, Project Lead, Personnel and Org Change Lead

Qiana Green, Professional Development Lead

Jonelle Golding, Advising Pathways Lead

Beth Judge, Assessment Lead

Greg Teachout, Communications Lead