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Mississippi State University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
25 Old Main
101 Montgomery Hall
Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762
Phone
(662) 325-2224
Email address
admit@msstate.edu
School Information
"As the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi—one of the national land-grant entities created by Congress through the 1862 Morrill Act—it was established February 28, 1878. In doing so, the Mississippi Legislature gave it a mission to provide training in 'agriculture, horticulture and the mechanical arts . . . without excluding other scientific and classical studies, including military tactics.' The new college received its first students in the fall of 1880 during the presidency of former Civil War general Stephen D. Lee, a United States Military Academy graduate. In 1887, Congress passed the Hatch Act to provide for the establishment of the Agricultural Experiment Station in 1888. Two other pieces of federal legislation provided funds to extend the college’s mission: the 1914 Smith-Lever Act called for "instruction in practical agriculture and home economics to persons not attendant or resident," creating a statewide effort that led to extension offices in every county; and the 1917 Smith-Hughes Act that supported the training of teachers in vocational education" (https://www.msstate.edu/about/history). The school hosts 8 schools which have 22,000 students in enrollment. The student to faculty ratio is 17 to 1 and the school also has an honors college. The university offers 175 degrees program at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
General Information
Mississippi State University has many diversity offices and initiatives. These include Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion which hosts many programs meant to encourage the adaptation of anti-racism, bias, and diversity teachings. Additionally, the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations has spearheaded many programs and training opportunities. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • On June 29, 2023, MSU issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action which reads as follows: "In general, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning undergraduates are admitted based on completing the college preparatory curriculum in high school, high school GPA, and ACT/SAT score. In consultation with the Attorney General’s Office, we will review the Supreme Court’s ruling and our general undergraduate, graduate, and professional school admission policies to determine if any changes are needed to ensure compliance with federal law."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Dr. Daniel Gadke made a statement that the CEPF has committed to hosting "a minimum of one antiracist, equity, or social justice programming activity per semester."
  • The CEPF will host, alongside Counselors for Social Justice, an annual program denoted the Social Justice Symposium, as Dr. Daniel Gadke stated.
  • In Spring 2018, the university led the Dawgs 4 Diversity program which was intended "to teach students, faculty, staff, and administrators to be advocates for underrepresented groups and individuals on campus."
  • The OIDI also leads a great deal of programming including workshops and presentations. These training programs feature topics such as "Exploring Unconscious Bias," "Cultural Competence," "Fundamentals of Diversity and Inclusion," "Microaggressions and Stereotypes," "Recruiting for Diversity," and "Creative an Inclusive Classroom."
  • The MSU Department of Communication's 2021-2023 Strategic Plan (DEI Committee Directive) states that the Department would place trained diversity advocates on its search and hiring committees and include DEI training as part of its professional development for faculty members.
  • The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion offers several DEI workshops including: "Open Doors: Diversifying Student Organizations," "Bias, Beliefs, and Behaviors," and "How Cultural Competency & Inclusion Drive Teamwork."
  • The MSU Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion states that the "online training offered through Human Resources...is required for all faculty positions and professional positions that have a search committee" in order to attract the "broadest and most diverse applicant pools possible...."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The university stated in its Diversity Strategic Plan that one of its goals is to "enhance the overall curriculum by infusion of content that enhances multicultural awareness and understanding."
Program and Research Funding
  • The OIDI will be awarding 4 fellowships to diverse applicants as part of the Dr. Harold Grier Doctoral Scholar's Program.
  • The OIDI has launched the Minority Faculty Writing Groups which give "mini-grants" for research.
  • The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President has also effected the Faculty Enhancement Fund. At a total balance of $1.26 million, the university is setting aside an additional $200,000 as a "transitional incentive to stimulate the recruitment and hiring of African Americans."
  • The university hosts a series of lectures titled "Race in America." One of these events featured Deadric T. Williams, whose talk was entitled "Racial Inequality in Poverty: Towards a Critical Race Approach." The series of lectures is sponsored by three entities: the Department of Sociology, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the MSU Critical Race Studies Group.
  • The College of Arts and Sciences 2024 "Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) Race & Racism Research Funding Program" is described as follows: "Research on race and racism will bring us closer to understanding the causes of racial inequality and to developing research-based solutions to dismantle racism and end racial injustice." Grants of up to $10,000 will be rewarded to accepted proposals.
  • The mission of the Bagley College of Engineering’s diversity program is to "increase the participation of minorities and women in the field of engineering."
Resources
  • The Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations has an Antiracism, Equity, and Social Justice Committee. The goal of this committee is to "promote understanding of differences of people through teaching, research and service."
  • The OIDI also provides faculty, staff, graduate students, and post doctoral students with access to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. This membership provides individuals with "Core Curriculum Webinars & Guest Expert Webinars" as well as "Multi-Week Courses."
  • The OIDI also provides resources such as the Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit from Brown University, recommended readings for Inclusive Teaching, and a plethora of videos, movies, and articles pertaining to the subject of diversity.
  • The university states that it is "committed to inclusive excellence at all levels, which is reflected and integrated into multiple aspects of campus life, including academic, co-curricular, and administrative activities and initiatives."
  • The Holmes Cultural Diversity Center also provides programming, resources, scholarships, and mentorship with the goal to "encourage, through sensitivity training and programming, the development of a climate in which all cultures, especially minority and international students, are appreciated as valued members of the campus community."
  • According to the university's Diversity Strategic Plan, the President's Commission on the Status of Minorities will be set in place as an "advisory body to the university President on all existing and proposed policies, procedures, practices and programs relating to or affecting diversity, equal opportunity, or affirmative action at MSU."
  • Other initiatives outlined in the Diversity Strategic Plan include beginning the African American Studies Program as well as the Diversity Certificate Program.
  • On February 9, 2023, Deadric Williams gave a speech at MSU titled "Structural Racism and Black Family Life in the U.S."
  • MSU's College of Education offers a course titled "Planning for the Diversity of Learners" which includes the following course objective: "Demonstrate an understanding for working with diverse (diversity of culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic level, developmental level) learners using pro-active management strategies...."
Symbolic Actions
  • In response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others, the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Foundations released a statement saying, "We unwaveringly commit to operating as a department centered in antiracism, equity, and social justice."
  • The OIDI has launched the BRIDGES program which seeks to pair a racially underrepresented undergraduate with a faculty mentor. One of the goals is to "sensitize more faculty and staff to important issues that minority students experience on the campus."
Last updated May 17th, 2024
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