Continued Support for International Research and Educational Collaborations
Memo to All Faculty
Since its founding over 160 years ago, Michigan State University has been an inclusive place of learning that welcomes a diverse range of scholars. Foremost among our land-grant values are access and inclusion.
As a leading global university, MSU engages in and promotes international scholarship, partnerships, and exchanges. Our community of scholars has always welcomed—and will continue to welcome—students, faculty, visiting scholars, and staff from around the world. Diversity is our strength and expanding inquiry and enriching our campus community are outcomes associated with MSU’s diversity. There is no doubt that the varied and complex exchanges between intellects and of perspectives that occur across our campus serve to cultivate an environment of education, discovery, and innovation.
Regardless of country of origin, all are welcome to participate in this lively exchange of ideas. Suspicion, prejudice, and discrimination based on country of origin have no place in an institution of higher education, and are fundamentally opposed to MSU’s core values, especially as they relate to the ways in which we study and conduct our work. We are aware of national security concerns related to foreign influence and we have established, and will continue to evolve, procedures and security practices to ensure that proper protocols are followed for research and other scholarly work. Locally, we will also continue to monitor our policy regarding dual appointments and compensation.
Michigan State University, as a member of the Association of American Universities, endorses a bill that would establish an interagency working group to develop and update a framework to help federal agencies and grantees defend against foreign threats. H.R. 3038, the “Securing American Science and Technology Act of 2019” (according to the June 4, 2019 AAU President’s Report) would direct the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to “establish an interagency working group of federal science, intelligence, and security agencies…to identify, assess, and define current controls for federally funded research; take inventory of current control definitions;” and provide a framework.
On campus, we are currently working to convene a representative group of faculty, staff, and administrators to discuss issues related to international activities that might interfere with or exploit MSU operations or scholarly work. In their discussions, the group will identify key benefits and potential areas of risk to MSU, as well as make recommendations for actions and communications, both immediate and longer-term. The group will bring together a set of individuals who are familiar with the recruitment of undergraduate international students; international educational programs; collaborative international research programs; funded research by/involving organizations in other countries; visiting international professionals; international hiring and faculty activities including joint appointment with foreign universities; international graduate students and their responsibilities; and MSU’s Confucius Institute. Anticipated outcomes of this group’s discussions include a stated set of intentions about MSU’s ongoing engagement with other countries, as well as a list of action items necessary to safely accomplish MSU’s international engagement goals.
Now more than ever, it is the responsibility of all members of our community to uphold MSU’s values and to engage with others in ways that make them feel welcome, safe, and valued. Our thanks to each of you for continuing to make MSU an inclusive and welcoming community for all.
Satish Udpa, Acting President
June Pierce Youatt, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Stephen Hsu, Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation
Steven Hanson, Associate Provost and Dean for International Studies and Programs
Paulette Granberry Russell, Senior Advisor to the President for Diversity