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Michigan State University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
Michigan State University 426 Auditorium Road
East Lansing, Michigan 48824
(517) 355-1855
Email address
School Information
"Michigan State University is the nation’s pioneer land-grant university and one of the top research universities in the world. Every day, Spartans work to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community." The university enrolls over 49,600 students and has over 5,700 faculty, across its more than 200 academic programs. (Source:
General Information
In addition to implementing mandatory training for students, faculty, and staff, Michigan State University has taken symbolic steps to placate the activists. Under public pressure, the university announced that James Madison Residential College may be renamed, due to the namesake's associations with slavery. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Mandatory Anti-Bias Education and Development for students, faculty, and staff.
  • The Women's Advisory Committee for Support Staff held an "Anti-Racism Insight Series," which featured sessions such as "Challenging Racism in Consumer Culture," "Intersectionality as Lived Experience, Radical Theory, and Social Justice Activism," and "Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Your Journey Toward Anti-Racism."
  • Michigan State University originally promoted (now backtracked) “Affinity Groups for conversation within identity groups” at its 2021 “Spring Conference on Teaching, Learning, and Student Success."
  • The university will, "Coordinate and manage compliance of required annual DEI learning for students, staff and faculty" and "Continue offering DEI Foundations online educational module for students, staff and faculty."
  • The university will, "Add a required component to New Student Orientation (NSO) to introduce MSU’s values related to diversity, equity and inclusion."
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at MSU has an Anti-Racist Path series which invites participants to "commit or re-commit" themselves to anti-racism. The workshop would "notice and name racism and envision what dismantling white supremacy looks like for each of us."
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at MSU offers an Implicit Bias Certification Program that consists of five modules including "Why Talk About Race? Systemic Racism in the US Context" and "Implicit Bias and Microaggressions."
  • As part of its DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) goals, Department of Physiology faculty and staff members (at MSU) "recently participated in multiple training sessions sponsored by the College of Natural Science on developing cultural competency skills."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The university will, "Establish a curriculum task force, with consultation from programs and centers in which curriculum centers around DEI, to identify ways to incorporate DEI within university-wide undergraduate requirements" and "Implement a minimum of two DEI-related requirements in the formal curriculum for undergraduate students."
  • On January 10, 2023, MSU's Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer outlined the "Proposed institutional-level metrics" related to diversity, equity, and inclusion which include "Increasing the percentage of DEI-specific course offerings."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • The university will, "Require regular DEI training and identify other related developmental opportunities" for staff.
  • The university will, "Hold academic and major administrative unit heads and other leaders accountable for instituting DEI initiatives with respect to their faculty and staff as well as generating an annual report on their actions."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • The university posted an article titled, "Ask the Expert: What is critical race theory and why is it under attack in our schools?" The article partially reads, "It’s important to try to help youth understand how bias and oppression are institutional, structural and systemic, and not simply interpersonal. Young people are not colorblind or color mute. They see color and they talk race and racism in their own social circles and peer groups."
Program and Research Funding
  • A "$750,000 gift from Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU)" will fund a "Critical Race Studies Residency Program that will bring an Artist-in-Residence and a Designer-in-Residence to campus to enrich the life of student experiences and the greater community by facilitating practices of inclusion through art and design as part of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design."
  • A scholar received a $218,000 fellowship from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to extend "groundbreaking work in antiracist and anti-Blackness teacher education to pediatric medicine and public health."
  • The university will, "Provide incentives to deans to prioritize DEI-related research and scholarship when requesting to fill new or existing faculty lines" and "Establish an institutional social justice research fund to support startup funds for research on racial equity and justice conducted by MSU faculty."
  • The aim of the "Critical Diversity in a Digital Age" initiative at MSU's College of Arts and Letters is to "advance the recognized strengths of Michigan State University in the digital arts and humanities through a focus on questions of race, inclusion, cultural preservation, global interconnectedness, and engaged scholarship" and is "...designed to attract, retain, and support collaborative leaders who think synthetically about scholarship, teaching, and the creative endeavor." The initiative includes the "Creation of Research Consortium (called CEDAR)" and the "Establishment of a Residency Program in the Performing & Fine Arts."
  • On November 22, 2021, MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at the College of Social Science published a research article on CRT titled "The Spread of Misinformation." The basis for the research is described as follows: "A research team from Michigan State University’s College of Education (two faculty members and three graduate students) tracked the development of Critical Race Theory bans as they spread across the U.S., making their way to Michigan in summer 2021 when legislation was introduced. The team was curious about what Michiganders were hearing about Critical Race Theory, how they understood it, and what they thought should be taught in schools. The team asked Michiganders to share their opinions on the Fall 2021 State of the State Survey."
  • The Diversity Research Network (DRN) "connects faculty of color and scholars interested in diversity research, to create scholarly communities, facilitate new interdisciplinary collaborations, and to advance the growth and visibility of research by underrepresented faculty as well as research on diversity across MSU."
  • Creating Inclusive Excellence Grants funding through MSU "presents an opportunity for Colleges and Academic Units to engage in efforts that will enhance academic quality; and, through clearly articulated outcomes; demonstrably benefit students and create a more inclusive campus community for all."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • The university will, "Promote community policing and inclusive practices that connect students, staff and faculty from diverse backgrounds."
  • College of Music will host its 2021 MLK Day Concert with the theme "Good Trouble: Reclaiming our Democracy, Demanding Social Justice.”
  • The College of Education hosted a seminar "Anti-bias Training: Moving Dr. King’s message forward in a 2021 platform" which asserts,"Diversity is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs."
  • The School of Social Work's Racial and Social Justice Collaborative "will function as a facilitating entity that every member of the School has access to as we strive to make sure our work, communities, and selves are anti-racist and operate in the benefit of racial and social justice." The collaborative will "Engage current students in regular town halls to ensure their voice and experiences relating to racial and social justice matters are shared widely across all campuses and program options," "Host interns and student workers to assist with events, research projects, and other work to advance the mission of the Collaborative," and "Publish blogs based on current events and work happening around the School to highlight and our School as a prominent voice in the University and among peer institutions doing racial and social justice and equity work."
  • The university's Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives has an "Anti-Racist Path & Resource List," which includes "How to Be an Anti-Racist" by Ibram X. Kendi and "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo. The university also offers its "Anti-Racist Path: Series for dialogue, skill-building, and action," where participants will gain a "fundamental understanding of all levels of racism and how racism functions in our lives" and "Tools & practice exercises that will help you identify & intervene on racism at all levels."
  • On April 1, 2022, MSU's department of University Outreach and Engagement hosted an event titled "The Responsibility of Privilege: A Critical Race Counterstory Conversation for Allies and Accomplices" at the Kellogg Center Auditorium and livestreamed on Zoom.
  • The University published its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report for the 2022-2023 academic year.
  • On January 10, 2023, MSU's Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer outlined the "Proposed institutional-level metrics" related to diversity, equity, and inclusion which include "Increasing the percentage of faculty who cite DEI contributions in the Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Process."
Symbolic Actions
  • James Madison Residential college may be renamed to reflect anti-racist agenda.
  • The university will, "Conduct a cultural audit of architecture, physical edifices and spaces to ensure they are representative of the diversity that exists within the university community, paying specific attention to funding sources and building names."
Last updated April 17th, 2024
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