Message from the CANR Dean: April 17, 2020

From: Ron Hendrick, Dean, CANR
Date: Friday, April 17, 2020
Subject: Message from the Dean's Office

CANR Community,

Thank you for all you are doing and continue to do for Michigan State University and for our organization in particular. I am so grateful for your teaching, learning, working, researching and outreach efforts under these trying circumstances. Your positivity, kindness and adaptability (even if some of us are still adapting) are admirable.

It’s important to remember that the coronavirus pandemic is impacting people in vastly different ways. This challenging situation has exposed weaknesses and inequities in our health care, employment and food systems – to name just a few. Those who live in large cities – like Detroit – are experiencing much higher levels of infections and deaths than those in more rural areas of the country.

Many people of color, especially those of Asian descent, are experiencing discrimination. African-Americans in particular are dying at higher rates than any other group in the U.S. It’s important that we seek to understand, before seeking to be understood. And especially, to continue supporting one another.

You have likely heard that President Stanley and other university executives are taking temporary pay cuts. We all need to do our part by reducing unnecessary travel, conferences and purchases. I encourage you to listen to President Stanley’s livestream event for faculty and staff on Monday, April 20 at 3 p.m. And submit questions, if you have them.

Information about extending the tenure clock for those in the tenure track system has also been updated. Summer sessions have all been moved online as well. While student applications and deposits remain strong for FY21, we are participating in university efforts to ensure that the enrollment is strong for the Class of 2024.

MSU Extension is acting in accordance with the university in modifying or suspending all summer youth programs – including the popular 4-H Exploration Days. While our MSU Extension colleagues are working on what an online version of the event might entail, I know you’ll join me in supporting their efforts. Additionally, all MSU Extension’s adult programming has moved online until Sept. 1, and MSU Fall Extension Conference will also take place online.

As essential research moves forward, we will continue to adhere to the additional stipulations that come with it. Please continue to work with MSU AgBioResearch leaders on research and travel associated with it. Our research field days will take on new formats as well. More to come on that later.

We are updating our ANR coronavirus website as new information becomes available, and regularly adding content – about the good work that all of you are doing. I encourage you to share this good news through your social networks, and again, thank you for everything you’re doing.

Please take a break from work (I know this is hard to do when your "office" might be a few steps away, or even in your kitchen) this weekend – you deserve it.

Sincerely,

Ron Hendrick
Professor and Dean
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources