Message from the CANR Dean - March 15

From: Ron Hendrick, Dean, CANR
Date: Sunday, March 15, 2020
Subject: Message from the Dean's Office
Dear CANR community, including our MSU Extension colleagues,
As we continue to address a constantly changing situation, we want you to know that we are grateful for your flexibility, your creativity and your patience. This is a time when we must come together, and we are seeing this happen all across Michigan State University.
While we know that the novel coronavirus is disruptive to learning, work and productivity, we are doing everything in our ability to minimize harm to our students, faculty and staff. The health and safety of our community – both on campus and off – is the top priority.
There are still many questions about exams, graduation, research, moving labs online and how we will staff offices. As a leadership team, we are prioritizing these issues and dealing with the most urgent ones first.
It might be helpful to know that the leadership team is in communication daily (via Zoom, email, text). Additionally, our Chairs and Directors are meeting regularly with college leadership and we are calling subject-area meetings as needs arise. All of these meetings are being done remotely, via Zoom or other technologies.
There are a few areas where we want to reiterate and ensure our already-diligent practices.


See for directions. Information has been updated since our last communication.

Staffing Campus Offices

Staff who are able to do so have been asked to work remotely. The university is still open for business and has not moved to modified operations. For those offices that experience regular calls, please make sure someone is answering the phone (even if it’s remotely).
Please work with your supervisor on issues such as time off. And, to troubleshoot any issues you might have.

Learning Updates

Students have been asked to return to their permanent addresses for the remainder of the semester. For those who cannot, residence halls and dining facilities will be open. Dean Ron Hendrick will reach out to undergraduate and graduate students on Monday. A new set of resources continues to be updated at If you know of students who are struggling to get remotely connected, with food insecurity or anything else, please let Assistant Dean Dorcia Chaison (; undergraduate students) or Senior Associate Dean Kelly Millenbah (; graduate students) know.


We understand there are many research projects that are ongoing, and with spring approaching, our research, in particular, needs attention. AgBioResearch Director Doug Buhler and Associate Director George Smith are working on this and will host a meeting with Chairs and Directors on Tuesday evening. Look for more direction about ongoing research on Wednesday.

MSU Extension Programming

MSU Extension has moved most programming online. Visits are being moved to phone, Zoom, etc., whenever possible. As stated in earlier messages from MSU Extension Director Jeff Dwyer, if county buildings are closed, educators and staff should follow that direction and work remotely in consultation with District Directors and Institute Leadership. There is an All-Staff webinar scheduled at 4 p.m., Tuesday, March 17, for all MSU Extension staff and you will continue to receive regular updates from MSU Extension leaders.
MSU Extension and research leaders are working closely with our counterparts in the MSU medical schools, where similar outreach is done, and at other universities to mirror their operations and share ideas. Plans for how we will continue programming and research while practicing social distancing and remote work will be delivered to MSU leadership later this week.

Promotion & Tenure

MSU will move all promotion and tenure meetings and other processes to a remote format.
We will have additional information available and will send email communications as we do. To eliminate some of the email traffic, we will send new information only. Please visit to see previous messages from us.
We recognize that this is an exceptional situation, and we are grateful that the entire community is bringing its best efforts to this. We ask that we continue to do the best we can, be patient with each other, remain calm, and also take care of yourself.
Ron Hendrick, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean
Doug Buhler, Ph.D.
Director of MSU AgBioResearch; Assistant Vice President of Research and Innovation
Jeff Dwyer, Ph.D.
Director of MSU Extension; Senior Associate Dean of Outreach and Engagement
Suzanne Lang, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Faculty and Administrative Affairs and Director of Faculty Development
Kelly Millenbah, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean and Director of Academic and Student Affairs
George Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Director, MSU AgBioResearch; Associate Dean for Research
Quentin Tyler, Ph.D.
Associate Dean and Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion