CANR Dean's Update - Nov. 11, 2016

A message from Ron Hendrick, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

November 11, 2016 - Author:


This week we were once again witness to and participants in our democratic election process. It is imperative at times of emotion and change that we continue our work to make the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources a place of honest, measured dialogue and safety for all our students, faculty and staff.

I would ask that all of us be acutely aware of students expressing fear or concern - and that we assist them through this process. There are several outlets for this - undergraduate advisors, the MSU Counseling Center, and the Office of Institutional Equity. You'll hear and see more intentional communication around these efforts and what we're doing in the CANR.

In early October, I hosted a leadership retreat to help identify some priority areas for the CANR. We covered a variety of areas, and, with each, filled in the statement: In five years, we will have will have achieved ... in the college.

The areas we covered were:

  • Outreach
  • External Funding
  • Communications/Marketing
  • Organizational Culture
  • Perspectives
  • Scholarship
  • Diversity/Inclusion
  • Administration/Governance
  • Professional Development
  • Facilities
  • Development
  • Research
  • Technology
  • Education

Leaders from the college, MSU Extension and AgBioResearch all had the opportunity to add their thoughts to these areas of importance. We then identified the top priority areas in each larger area, came up with action items and the resources needed to accomplish these goals.

This provides a basis for what areas we tackle first together. Some will require a significant investment of capital, others require investments of time, thought and changing how we do things. A highlight was that many of the priorities identified had to do with people and time - while building improvements and resources are important, we highly value people. And, with time as our most scarce resource, setting priorities will be key to managing it.

In the next few months, you will see and hear me talk about several internal priority areas like graduate education, development efforts, diversity and inclusion, and communications and marketing. Our spring retreat will focus on programmatic priorities for the college, which will guide our discussions at college-wide faculty and staff meetings this spring.

As always, please email news for the CANR community to And, if you're a social media user, I'm on Twitter @Ron_Hendrick, and so is the college @CANRatMSU. Give us a follow.

Ron Hendrick
Professor & Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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