April 2023 roundup

Research presentation 

Trustees received a presentation from Meghan Hill, a graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, titled “Engineering Nanoparticles for Effective Brain Cancer Detection and Treatment.” A nanoparticle represents a particle that ranges in size between one and 100 nanometers. Hill’s presentation focused on the use of Prussian blue nanoparticles that can cross the blood-brain barrier and specifically target tumor cells. Once the particles are near the tumor region, they can allow for early detection and localized treatment using heat. The goal of Hill’s research is to deliver nanoparticles that can have both a diagnostic and therapeutic effect on brain tumors.  

Contact: Emilie Lorditch, University Communications: (517) 432-0304 or lorditch@msu.edu 

Department of Economics establishes fund functioning as an endowment for Frederick S. and Marilyn Addy Distinguished Chair in Economics 

The Trustees’ approval of the resolution supports an endowed chair position within the Department of Economics in the College of Social Science. There currently are  six fully funded and filled positions in business and economics that bear the Addy name. An initial funding amount of $127,000, transferred from University Advancement, will establish the Frederick S. and Marilyn Addy Distinguished Chair in Economics. It was Frederick Addy’s wish to create an endowed faculty position within the Department of Economics if gifts received from the Addy estate exceeded $2 million. 

Contact: Dan Olsen, Deputy Spokesperson: (517) 353-7077 or media@msu.edu 

Room and board rates set for 2023-24 academic year 

Returning second-year students will see no increase in the university’s standard room and board rate for the 2023-24 academic year. The residence hall rate for first-year incoming students on the silver unlimited meal plan has been set at $11,754 for the next two academic years. The new rate for first-year students is the third lowest in the Big Ten and is competitively priced among Michigan’s 15 public universities. The new rate for incoming first-year students is a result of increased inflation rates for housing and food services on campus.  

Contact: Kat Cooper, Student Life and Engagement: (517) 355-3465 or cooper94@msu.edu  

Approval to issue public bonds to fund construction of new MSU multicultural center 

The Board of Trustees have authorized MSU Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Lisa Frace to finance the university’s new, standalone multicultural center using public bonds. At a projected cost of $38 million, the center will be located on the northeast corner of North Shaw and Farm lanes and will create a safe space and sense of belonging for students from historically underrepresented groups and our entire Spartan community. With design input from students, the center will feature collaboration and learning spaces, a community kitchen, office spaces, an amphitheater and other amenities. The center is expected to be complete by the fall 2024 semester.   

Contact: Lauren Scott, Offices of the Executive Vice President for Administration and Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer: (517) 355-5016 or finance@msu.edu   

Term loan agreement established for MSU Health Care Inc. 

MSU Health Care Inc. has entered into a term loan agreement with Michigan State University in the amount of $10 million. The funds will be used to finance strategic projects that advance the research and academic missions of MSU Health Sciences.  

Contact: Lauren Scott, Offices of the Executive Vice President for Administration and Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer: (517) 355-5016 or finance@msu.edu   

New Health Education Building to address expansion, growth within College of Osteopathic Medicine and College of Nursing  

MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and College of Nursing are in need of additional simulation and academic space for their respective programs. The College of Osteopathic Medicine’s class size has doubled and the College of Nursing is planning to increase its size. To accommodate the academic and physical space needs of both colleges and other potential stakeholders, the Board of Trustees approved the planning process for constructing a new Health Education Building in the south academic district that will include simulation, anatomy, prosection and other laboratory spaces. It is also expected to feature administrative and public gathering spaces.  

Contact: Nicole Szymczak, MSU Health Sciences: (517) 353-5981 or nls@msu.edu 

Multiyear project to bring renovations to MSU’s chemistry laboratories 

MSU’s Department of Chemistry will undergo $11.6 million in chemistry lab upgrades over the next couple of years. The upgrades will help support new wet and computational research labs on the building’s second floor, while consolidating teaching labs on the building’s main floor. These measures will improve access, collaboration and safety within the building. The renovations will include new fume hoods and necessary mechanical system upgrades, and replacement of laboratory casework and utility services, ceilings, lighting, painting and other improvements. Upgrades are expected to be mostly completed by January 2025. 

Contact: Fred Woodhams, Infrastructure Planning and Facilities: (517) 930-6931 or woodham4@msu.edu 

Radiochemistry labs to undergo renovations in support of Facility for Rare Isotope Beams 

In conjunction with the Department of Chemistry’s teaching and research laboratory renovations, the radiochemistry labs in the MSU Chemistry Building will also receive upgrades in support of FRIB’s isotope harvesting program, set to be operational in 2024. Rare isotopes harvested from FRIB can have a role in multiple fields of study, such as medicine, biochemistry, materials science, horticulture, and astrophysics. Upgrades to the radiochemistry labs will include wet bench laboratories designed to support radioisotope research, a new exhaust system and radiochemistry hoods with HEPA filters to ensure safety. FRIB and the College of Natural Science have hired three new faculty members to establish and lead a world-class research and academic program in radiochemistry at MSU. These renovations will support these faculty members’ research and education efforts.   

Contact: Karen King, FRIB: (517) 908-7262 or kingk@frib.msu.edu 

Associate provosts receive title change following survey of Big Ten, peer institutions 

MSU employees holding the title senior associate provost will now be referred to as senior vice provosts. The change in title comes following a survey of the provost offices in the Big Ten and other peer institutions where predominant titling for senior leaders in the office of the provost is vice provost. The sole change in the title is the nomenclature. Affected positions will continue to report to the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and salaries will remain unchanged. The title change is effective April 21, 2023.  

Contact: Brandon Gross, Office of the Provost: (517) 432-8778 or bgg@msu.edu  

Board chair issues statement on decision to maintain attorney-client privilege

Before concluding the board meeting, Board Chair Rema Vassar, Ph.D., addressed the attorney general’s April 14 request to waive attorney-client privilege on documents related to Larry Nassar, declining to waive privilege and apologizing to members of the survivor community.

Contact: University Communications: (517) 353-7077 or media@msu.edu 

Faculty appointments with tenure: 

  • Danielle Brown, associate professor in the School of Journalism, effective Aug. 16, 2023 
  • David Markowitz, associate professor in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, effective Aug.16, 2023 
  • Olorunseun Ogunwobi, Barnett Rosenberg Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, effective Aug. 16, 2023 

Administrative appointments: 

  • Robyn Fralick, women’s basketball head coach, effective April 4, 2023 
  • Douglas Freeman, interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, effective April 15, 2023  
  • Marlon Lynch, vice president and chief safety officer, effective March 20, 2023 

The next Board of Trustees public meeting will be June 14, and will be held in Grand Rapids. Location details will be announced at a later date.