Statement on second-year evaluation of President Stanley

Oct. 29, 2021

Michigan State University’s Board of Trustees is charged with conducting an annual performance evaluation of the president. Led by the Committee on Budget and Finance, the second-year evaluation of President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D. was conducted this fall.

Last year, the board adopted a policy for the evaluation of the president which formalized the process and requires a comprehensive evaluation, including input from diverse stakeholders, by year five.

This process evaluates the president’s leadership in the context of contributing to the success of the university, affirming with a clear understanding the priorities of the board, deepening the board’s communication and relationship with the president, and fulfilling the governance responsibility of the board.

President Stanley’s second-year assessment covered the 2020-2021 academic year and touched on areas including:

  • Continuing to respond to the safety, operational and financial challenges of COVID-19.
  • Continuing to examine both the structure and composition of the senior leadership team with the goal of improving the effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness and quality of the university administration.
  • Concluding the processes and reporting the outcomes of a comprehensive strategic plan for MSU, together with complementary plans for addressing relationship violence and sexual misconduct and for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at MSU. That these occurred during the pandemic and its disruptions is particularly noteworthy.
  • And continuing to develop relationships and engage with MSU alumni and donors throughout the U.S. and internationally.
The evaluation included both a self-assessment and trustee input on the extent to which such performance goals were satisfied. The process also included the opportunity for board members to provide other feedback and recommendations.

Overall, the board determined the president met or exceeded his performance goals. President Stanley’s second year at MSU was, once again, shaped to a great extent by challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic on top of the continuing imperative to position the university, its students, faculty and staff for success.

As discussed in the board meeting’s personnel action, trustees approved an amended and restated contract that keeps the president’s total compensation the same.

I want to thank my board colleagues for their engagement and guidance, and President Stanley for his leadership and commitment to the current and long-term success of MSU. I don’t think the university has had a strategic plan that was developed with such broad engagement among the campus community, including involvement from Trustees to chart the way forward.

We are grateful to have Sam Stanley leading this institution during the COVID pandemic. We appreciate his understanding of the great scope and scale of MSU, his constant concern for the success and well-being of our students and his belief that our staff and faculty are essential to the mission of this institution.

-Dianne Byrum, Chair, MSU Board of Trustees