Appointment of interim president

Oct. 31, 2022

Dear Spartans:

I am pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has appointed Michigan State University Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D., as interim president.

Dr. Woodruff, who joined MSU in her current role in August 2020, will replace President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., upon his departure. President Stanley and Dr. Woodruff will come to an agreement about the transition time frame in the coming days. The board appreciates President Stanley’s leadership and service to the university, including fostering a safer and more welcoming campus and leading us through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among President Stanley’s accomplishments was recruiting and forming an exceptional leadership team, including Dr. Woodruff. Her vision for and understanding of MSU that has developed over the past two years — together with her strong commitment to the university’s educational mission and strategic plans — make her the right leader to shepherd the institution through this presidential transition.

Dr. Woodruff’s work at MSU has earned the respect of the university community and the confidence of the board. She is an accomplished administrator and scholar as well as an outstanding advocate for the success of MSU’s students, faculty and staff. The board is confident that the university’s mission, excellence and momentum — guided by the MSU 2030 strategic plan and our strategic plans around diversity, equity and inclusion, and relationship violence and sexual misconduct — will continue their upward trajectory under Dr. Woodruff’s leadership.

Over the past two years, she has successfully led the Office of the Provost, which is responsible for 50,000 students and more than 5,600 faculty and academic staff. She developed a new University Laude and honorifics program to highlight MSU’s excellence and created opportunities to acknowledge those individuals, programs and colleges that have been underrecognized in the past. President Stanley entrusted Provost Woodruff with the coordination of two key initiatives — a new Ethics Institute and the Arts Initiative. Additionally, she worked with faculty, academic staff, deans and the board to uphold a culture of respect through new disciplinary policies in the case of egregious behavior by faculty.

The board recognized Dr. Woodruff’s leadership qualities and her strengths in collaboration and equity. She is an internationally respected expert in ovarian biology and reproductive science and has received numerous academic and science awards throughout her career.

As interim president, Dr. Woodruff will lead the administration of the university until a permanent president is named. The board will appoint a search committee in early 2023 and engage in an inclusive process to seek a highly qualified and experienced president for MSU.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Woodruff and supporting her as she undertakes this important work.


Dianne Byrum
Chairperson, Board of Trustees