MSU Board of Trustees February 2023 roundup 

Research presentation 

Trustees received a presentation from Apple Developer Academy Director Sarah Gretter. The presentation, titled “From Research to Reality: the Apple Developer Academy,” showcased learning experience design, a form of applied educational research. The research combines how and why the brain learns with ideal conditions for meaningful experiences. This creates an interactive learning environment where students can explore, learn and grow. The Apple Developer Academy is a partnership with MSU in Detroit and follows this model. The free program offers participants an opportunity to become entrepreneurs and app developers by learning the fundamentals of coding, design, marketing and project management, with an emphasis on inclusion. This year’s diverse cohort includes 192 participants between the ages of 18 to 70, 47% of which are women. 

Contact: Dan Olsen, deputy spokesperson: (517) 355-7505 or 

MSU to purchase Meridian Township property for MSU Health Care operations 

MSU will purchase two buildings and the 13 acres they sit on in Meridian Township east of Hagadorn Road across from the MSU campus. MSU Health Care has been the primary tenant of the facilities for several years. The purchase will allow MSU Health Care to consolidate and brand its clinical practices as an MSU clinical destination adjacent to campus. The properties also will be an important asset as the university continues its expansion of health science teaching and research.  

Contact: Fred Woodhams, Infrastructure Planning and Facilities: (517) 930-6931 or 

Turfgrass research facility to aid in development of natural grass playing surfaces 

Thanks to a grant from the International Federation of Association Football, or FIFA, MSU and the University of Tennessee will research and develop natural turfgrass systems ahead of the 2026 World Cup. MSU Board of Trustees have authorized the administration to enter into agreements to plan construction of a new turfgrass research facility on Farm Lane in the agricultural district later this spring. Teams in the 2026 World Cup are expanding from 32 to 48, requiring more venues and practice facilities for teams. MSU will use the facility to explore and grow turfgrass systems that will be used in 16 stadiums and practice facilities across North America prior to the 2026 World Cup. As part of the agreement, the facility will be available for use by the university at the conclusion of the FIFA project. 

Contact: Kelly Kussmaul, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources: (517) 242-9790 or 

MSU planning to build new Detroit research facility in partnership with Henry Ford Health 

MSU is expected to expand its footprint in Detroit. In partnership with Henry Ford Health, MSU is planning for the construction of a new research facility on Henry Ford Health’s Detroit campus. The facility will include several research laboratory spaces, common meeting areas and other features. The MSU 2030 Strategic Plan calls for reaching $1 billion in annual research expenditures and tripling the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding within the next five years. This new facility will enable MSU to reach those goals while laying the groundwork for a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. The facility is expected to open in 2026. 

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

MSU to begin planning for Campbell Hall renovations 

MSU is beginning the planning process for improvements to Campbell Hall, located in the university’s North Neighborhood off Abbott Road. Opened in 1939 and among the oldest residence halls on campus, the building’s modifications are expected to include electrical, safety, mechanical and accessibility upgrades, including improvements to entry ways, elevators, bathrooms and sleeping rooms. The project also has the potential to provide office and program space for the MSU Honors College, helping to strengthen the student experience and elevate the academic reputation of the university. The exterior facade and collegiate-style architecture of the building and landscaping will remain intact.  

Contact: Kat Cooper, MSU Student Life and Engagement: (517) 355-3465 or 

Free-standing multicultural center is cleared for construction 

Trustees authorized the university to move forward with breaking ground on the university’s first free-standing multicultural center. The project is expected to begin later this spring. The center, which will be located on the northeast corner of North Shaw Lane and Farm Lane, will create a safe space and sense of belonging for students of historically underrepresented groups. 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: Henry Mochida, DEI communications manager: (808) 255-4477 or 

Farm Lane bridge to undergo reconstruction beginning spring 2023 

Built in 1936 and carrying 12,000 vehicles and 7,000 pedestrians each day, the Farm Lane bridge, which connects MSU’s north and central academic districts, will undergo reconstruction in two phases starting this spring. The bridge will close this summer for utility work and again after the fall semester for reconstruction. In May, MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities will begin building an adjacent walking bridge while utility work begins on the bridge. 

Contact: Fred Woodhams, Infrastructure Planning and Facilities: (517) 930-6931 or  

Board of Trustees reappoint Plante Moran as the university’s external auditors for 2022-23 fiscal year 

As part of the university’s six-year auditor eligibility cycle, trustees have reappointed Plante Moran as the institution’s external auditors for fiscal year 2022-23. This will be the fourth year of the current cycle, which includes an audit of all the university’s financial statements, including WKAR-AM/FM, WKAR-TV and federal awards. Plante Moran will also review agreed-upon procedures for the university’s athletic programs to determine compliance with NCAA financial reporting policies and procedures.  

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

Presidential search update 

During the board comments section of the meeting, Chair Rema Vassar, Ph.D., provided a brief update on the presidential search process. She noted the selection of Trustee Dennis Denno and Trustee Brianna Scott as chair and vice chair of the committee, respectively; and they will be joined by Trustees Renee Knake-Jefferson and Kelly Tebay. Vassar noted that additional details about the search process will be shared with the campus community soon. 

Contact: Dan Olsen, deputy spokesperson: (517) 355-7505 or 

Faculty appointments with tenure: 

  • Enrique Seira Bejarano, professor and Frederick S. Addy Distinguished Chair of Economics, Department of Economics, effective Feb. 10, 2023.  

Administrative appointments: 

  • Stefan S. Fletcher, secretary and chief of staff to the Board of Trustees, effective Jan. 30, 2023. 

The next Board of Trustees public meeting will be April 21, 2023.