Letter from the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer


Welcome back, Spartans! The Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, or IDI, is excited about our return to campus following a robust year of advancing numerous diversity, equity, and inclusion organizational efforts, including policies, tools and investments, expanding our capacity for inclusive excellence.

In 2023, the university announced the Name, Gender, Sexual Identity and Pronoun Data Policy, renewed commitments through an updated Religious Observance Policy and restructured the President’s Advisory Committee on Disability Issues. Institutional Research launched one of several planned dashboards to provide a comprehensive lens into MSU’s data. In addition, the groundbreaking of the long-awaited multicultural center realized over 50 years of student activism and promises to expand multicultural education and co-curricular opportunities to support student success.

Along with the expanded Excellence in DEI Awards program last spring, in the summer of 2023, IDI  hosted its second annual Summer Leadership Institute and, last fall, convened the newly established Unity Council, a gathering of campus-based student and employee groups that work to advance institutional DEI strategic priorities. We are happy to announce that a new and improved DEI Foundations online educational curriculum will be released in February, which all incoming students and new employees are expected to complete. And this year, to expand our efforts and help organizations and units build capacity, IDI is distributing $339K in funding over 32 projects through the Creating Inclusive Excellence Grants, or CIEG, program.

The DEI Strategic Planning Implementation Steering Committee continues to meet, advancing numerous action items from the DEI Report and Plan. Earlier this fall, we launched the inaugural InsideMSU DEI-special edition, featuring the DEI scorecard to track our results.

In 2024, stay tuned for the annual DEI Report to be released at the end of March and numerous campus-wide programs starting with the 44th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration this month. Finally, throughout 2024, we will promote Project 70/60, the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, and the 60th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act. We encourage your campus partnership in recognizing and celebrating the Project 70/60 theme throughout the year.

As we look forward, I would be remiss not to acknowledge the anger, disappointment and frustration that many share related to domestic injustice and social unrest, as well as deadly international conflicts. In 2024, we must commit to working together more diligently to better understand and explore nuanced complexities and local solutions to the myriad challenges we collectively face today.



Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D. (he/him)

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer