MSU Board of Trustees December 2022 roundup

Research presentation 

Mark and Sadie Rucker from the MSU College of Music provided a first-of-its kind research presentation to the MSU Board of Trustees. In addition to discussing their important and impactful work, Mark sung the Black spiritual “Ride on King Jesus” accompanied by his wife Sadie on the piano. Mark is an accomplished baritone and professor of voice in the college, while Sadie helps coordinate the vocal outreach program as part of her role as an academic specialist. The Ruckers have made it their mission to encourage young people — in particular, students from underrepresented groups and those from historically disadvantaged families — to get involved in the performing arts. More information on the Ruckers can be found here on MSUToday. 

Contact: Alex Tekip, University Communications (517) 353-8819, 

Division of Public Health to expand, become Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health 

MSU College of Human Medicine Division of Public Health is now the Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health — the university’s first fully philanthropic-named department. Through a $25 million grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation earlier this year to expand community-participatory research efforts, the new department will expand MSU’s footprint in the Flint and Genesee County community by bringing 18 new tenure-track faculty positions and up to 200 new jobs. Researchers within the Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health work to improve health in the areas of chronic disease and behavioral health with a more focused approach to solutions and equity-centered public health interventions.  

Contact: Nardy Bickel, Health Sciences: (517) 353-4413 or 

Board recognizes outgoing Trustee Melanie Foster for years of service to university, community 

Trustees recognized outgoing Trustee Melanie Foster, whose term ends this month.  Foster is a 30-year veteran of higher education governance, having served on the MSU board two different times and on the Central Michigan University board. Foster is the longest-serving member of the current Board of Trustees, having held her seat since being elected in 2004. During her tenure, Foster has served as board vice chairperson, co-chaired a presidential search committee and has chaired the Budget and Finance Committee since 2015. Foster is a proud graduate of MSU, having earned a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture in 1977.  

Contact: University Communications: (517) 353-7077 or 

Over 50 graduating Spartans earned 4.0 GPA 

Each semester, the Board of Trustees recognize the hard work and dedication of graduating students who earn the highest scholastic average — a 4.0 GPA. This semester, 52 students are the recipients of the Board of Trustees Award, which also includes $1,000 from the university for their achievement.

Contact: University Communications: (517) 353-7077 or 

Faculty appointments with tenure: 

  • Chris Blackwood, professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, effective Jan. 1, 2023. 
  • Andrea Case, professor in the Department of Plant Biology, effective Jan. 1, 2023. 
  • Michael Hickner, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, effective Jan. 1, 2023. 

Administrative appointments: 

  • Thomas D. Jeitschko, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, effective Nov. 4, 2022. 

The Board of Trustees next public meeting will be Jan. 11, 2023. Only elections for board officers will take place during this meeting.