Statement acknowledging the impact on our community of the Minneapolis trial verdict

Students, please read the messages from our MSU President and Dean Hendrick. The School of Packaging and Dr. Daum are in alignment with these statement and sentiments.

To the MSU Community,

Many in our community have been profoundly impacted by the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The verdict marked the culmination of nearly one year of calls for justice following our anger over the death of George Floyd and the killings of Black Americans by police. These tragedies sparked a national movement that heightened our country’s awareness of systemic and structural racism, and demanded accountability, equity and change.

Since the trial began, dozens of people have been killed by police. Police videos of a few of those deaths have been released and amplified the intensity of the Chauvin proceedings. On the day the trial began, a 13-year-old Latino boy, Adam Toledo, was shot and killed by police in Chicago. And on April 11, a 20-year-old African American man, Daunte Wright, was shot and killed by police in a suburb outside of Minneapolis where the trial was taking place.

Today, Chauvin was convicted of one charge of second-degree unintentional murder, one charge of third-degree murder and one charge of second-degree manslaughter. Though his conviction can never bring back the life that was so tragically and senselessly lost, it is my fervent hope that it brings some measure of justice to the family of George Floyd and the millions of Americans demanding accountability.

I acknowledge that I will never be able to truly understand the pain and trauma experienced by those in our Black and African American communities and by other people of color. I remain steadfast in our commitment to rooting out racial inequities that affect members of the campus community.

Accordingly, since the events of summer 2020, I appointed the formation of the Task Force on Racial Equity that resulted in a list of recommendations that includes expanding the MSU Police Department’s Inclusion and Anti-Bias Unit. Additionally, as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee finalizes its strategic framing for the university, one of the driving areas will be to increase diversity in our student, faculty and staff community.

The well-being of our campus community is of utmost importance. For those impacted by the outcome of the trial, know that MSU offers resources for students and employees. Students can visit Counseling and Psychiatric Services. You can also call its crisis hotline, which is available 24/7. To reach a crisis counselor, call 517-355-8270 and press “1.” Employees can visit the Employee Assistance Program or set up an appointment by calling 517-355-4506.

In addition, CAPS is hosting listening space events for students to process their feelings, thoughts and reactions related to the death of George Floyd and the trial:

  • April 21, 1 p.m. (ET)
  • April 22, 5 p.m. (ET)
  • April 23, 1 p.m. (ET)
  • April 26, 4 p.m. (ET)
  • April 29, 4 p.m. (ET)

It might be difficult to process the outcome of this trial. While we acknowledge that the verdict doesn’t fully address issues of equity, systemic racism and anti-Black violence, we must continue to engage in difficult conversations and support each other as one Spartan community.



Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. (he/him)

 April 21, 2021

Dear CANR Colleagues,

The trial in the murder of George Floyd ended Tuesday with the jury finding the officer who killed him guilty on all counts.

It is tempting to see this verdict as an ending. It is rather an opportunity to renew our efforts to recognize the shortcomings and failings in our academic and social structures, and work to remedy them.

Remembering that events of the past year have impacts on our community is critical. We encourage you to reach out to check on the well-being of colleagues, family members and students, especially those most likely to be affected by the traumas witnessed. Offer active support, now and into the future. Set aside our necessary embrace of virtual work, to virtually embrace others. 

Our university community, including President Stanley, continues to support all members of our community. And, recognizing that many are affected in different ways, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) is hosting listening space events for students. Additionally, employees can visit the Employee Assistance Program or schedule an appointment by calling 517-355-4506.


 ·     Ron Hendrick, Dean

·     Quentin Tyler, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Acting Associate Dean for Administration and Faculty Affairs

·     Kelly Millenbah, Senior Associate Dean, Director of Academic and Student Affairs

·     Doug Buhler, Director, AgBioResearch and Assistant Vice President for Research and Innovation

·     Patrick Cudney, Acting Director, MSU Extension

·     George Smith, Associate Dean and Associate Director, AgBioResearch


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