Community Norms

The Department of Forestry (FOR) is a human community; we recognize our imperfections and strive to improve by committing to uphold Michigan State University’s core values of quality, inclusiveness, and connectivity. We aspire towards:

  • Quality: continually strive for improvement and excellence
  • Inclusiveness: value differences and welcome all into our community
  • Connectivity: strengthen relationships to enhance our creative impact



  • Embracing change for a just community while remaining grounded in MSU core values and mission.
  • Leading/managing with positivity, respect, and sensitivity to power differentials. 
  • Valuing the complementary roles of all faculty and staff members, as each brings important skills towards achieving department success. 
  • Conducting ourselves in a manner consistent with a professional workplace in our interactions within our department, college, and MSU campus community. 
  • Carrying out our missions of research, teaching, and outreach with honesty and integrity. 
  • Identifying our areas of weakness and actively seeking to strengthen them. 
  • Recognizing that all of us carry implicit biases and that active work is required to be aware of these biases. 
  • Embracing growth as a community by providing valuable feedback and holding each other accountable in a respectful, caring, and supportive manner.


  • Embracing that we are all unique and that our uniqueness enhances our workplace. 
  • Recognizing that agriculture and natural resource issues affect everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, religion, income level and age. 
  • Acknowledging that long-standing barriers and practices have excluded many groups from pursuing careers in agriculture and natural resources, we need to work to identify, confront, and overcome these barriers. 
  • Incorporating diversity and inclusion practices into undergraduate and graduate curricula. 
  • Integrating diversity and inclusion initiatives into faculty and staff onboard training and continuing education for students, staff and faculty to help foster a more aware, tolerant, and open-minded work community. 
  • Working individually and collectively to ensure all people in our community feel safe, welcomed, and listened to. 
  • Collaborating as a community regardless of our background, personal beliefs, differing thoughts, and perspectives. 
  • Being professional and respectful of others’ opinions/identities, especially when discussing controversial topics and embracing opportunities to learn from one another. 
  • Respecting cultural differences to attract and attain a plethora of perspectives.



  • Recognizing that we work better as a team and that each member of our team is valued and respected. 
  • Cultivating open lines of communication at all levels of our FOR community to ensure that all voices are heard. 
  • Communicating and acknowledging personal and professional boundaries. 
  • Continually educating ourselves on the nuanced importance of other people’s experiences and perspectives. 
  • Identifying, targeting, and eliminating moments of prejudice, and illuminating current and past inequalities and obstacles that individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in agriculture and natural resources face. 
  • Creating a supportive environment for all individuals of the FOR community, including those who have experienced instances of discrimination and/or harassment. 
  • Using authority responsibly and only in advancing the mission of FOR. 
  • Department staff and administrators should work with members of diverse groups within the department and across the university to ensure that departmental social gatherings are developed in ways that create a sense of belonging, broaden our professional and academic perspectives, and promote connections among people from all backgrounds.


Please contact the Forestry Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee if you have any suggested changes or improvements for the department community norms.