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Mark Burnham

October 2014

Another year has begun and MSU continues to be recognized as a national leader. U.S. News & World Report released its “Best Colleges in 2015” edition and MSU ranked 25 degree programs in the top 20. Listed as number one is our undergraduate Supply Chain Management program along with four of our graduate degrees which were also ranked number one: Nuclear Physics, Elementary and Secondary Education and Industrial Psychology; our programs and curriculum continue to be nationally recognized. Our Service Learning and Study Abroad programs were also cited as “outstanding examples” that foster student success.

The incoming student numbers for the class of 2018, reflect that national recognition. Our fall 2014 student enrollment is up to 50,085 of which 77 percent are from the state of Michigan. Our 2013 Destination survey demonstrated that more Top 500 businesses are hiring MSU graduates compared to previous years. Another employer survey showed that hiring for all college graduates is up by 16 percent, this year alone.

MSU continues to focus on its mission to provide a world-class education. With endowments, we have been able to renovate some of our dorms and classrooms, to give students not only the opportunity to benefit from 21st century technology but also and most importantly to create learning environments that incorporate academics and student services into a seamless, intentional and connected residential experience. Our new student neighborhoods have been recognized nationally by the University Innovation Alliance.

In order to maintain our presence as an economic stimulator to Michigan’s economy, we continue to make higher education affordability and accessibility our priority. This year we invested $150 million into student financial aid, that figure is up 45 percent from just five years ago and at the end of this month, we are launching a capitol campaign to encourage our partners, alumni and families to help us increase that investment.

A recent business study cited that six out of ten jobs will require a college education by 2025, however, that same study noted that only 20 percent of graduating high school students is college ready. While it appears the long cycle of state cuts to higher education funding have finally reversed with the recent increase of 5.9 percent, there is still a long way to go before Michigan achieves the goal of returning to a top ten state for higher education funding. This is in part due to the fact that the state’s 5.9 percent increase is only 22 percent of our operating budget. As November brings another election cycle, the need to share with policymakers the importance of MSU’s impact on the state continues.

Below are a few stories about how MSU research, students and alumni are impacting the state and changing the national perception about MSU. Tell us how you are making an impact in your community on our Facebook page or tweet us at @MiSpartanImpact because Spartans Will!

Mark Burnham
VP Governmental Affairs
Michigan State University

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