This Month at the Office of Diversity and Pluralism

With all the programming, professional development opportunities, and diversity-focused education happening in our college and MSU as a whole, we at ODP have decided to post a monthly news to our website.

What’s happening in the office:

  • You can now follow us on Twitter! The office has started a twitter account to provide you with information on our programming, provide a signal boost to the University’s diversity initiatives, and tell the stories of our diverse and interesting workforce of graduate students, faculty and staff from all walks of life.
  • If you haven’t heard by now, Dr. Ronald Hendrick has been recommended as the new CANR Dean. Dr. Hendrick comes to us from Ohio State, which we are trying hard not to hold against him. He has a track record of prioritizing diversity in his previous positions, including creating the first college level equity and inclusion strategic plan at Ohio’s Ag school, and participation in leadership development courses on issues of cross-cultural leadership. We are confident Dr. Hendricks will be a full partner in our ongoing initiatives.
  • We are welcoming, and settling into work with Pauline Tobias, who has stepped into Leo Savala’s shoes as Interim Director in the undergraduate diversity office. Paulin has worked as an Academic Specialist for the past 14 years. In addition to managing the various programs that office runs, Pauline is hoping to conduct a climate survey to ask the undergraduates what kinds of support the office can provide to create a welcoming community for all CANR undergrads.

Coming up soon:

  • This year, we are continuing our co-sponsorship of the William G. Anderson Lecture Series: Slavery to Freedom. This year’s speakers are as impressive as always, including bestselling author Edwin Black, legendary social commentator Cornel West, and activist and MSU alum Ernest Green. We have arranged for Ernest Green to have lunch with some of our undergraduate and graduate students when he comes to campus so that they can talk about where we’ve been and where we’re going in the fight for equity in education.  
  • Our March First Tuesday is entitled Racial Equity and the Promise of “Good Food” for Michigan, and will be a conversation with Rich Pirog and Anel Guel, who have recently completed an annotated bibliography about structural racism in the food system.  If you haven’t been to a First Tuesday mixer yet, they are a great opportunity to have a meal, meet fellow students, faculty, and staff, and hear speakers on a variety of topics.
  • Keep an eye out for the 2016 Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) conference happening March 31 – April 2 in Jacksonville Florida. MANRRS members from CANR, students, faculty, and staff will be representing CANR in competitions, panels, and at the job fair. Let ODP know if you’re planning on attending, and we’ll connect you up with the other CANR representatives.

Around Campus and beyond:

  • The brand new Office of Institutional Equity introduced themselves to the MSU community at a town hall meeting on January 28th. ODP representatives were in attendance, and learned how that office is working to build trust and address bias incidents and structures in the whole university community. We are hoping to invite OIE to CANR soon to tell us about their mission, and give us concrete tools we can use when we encounter bias on campus. Please contact us if you want to chat about this resource and how it fits into the structure at MSU.
  • As part of their work, OIE is undertaking an Institutional Campus Climate Study – to understand how individuals at MSU experience their various identities on campus, and measure people’s ability to learn in those conditions. Participating students will receive $5 in Sparty bucks and will be entered to win $100 Amazon gift cards. Please feel free to pass along the links: and
  • Project 60/50 is still going strong as the calendar and resource center for diversity initiatives at MSU and in the larger community. Bookmark their website to stay on top of projects and events happening in the area.

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