To the Class of 2020

Congratulations to the Class of 2020! Hello, I’m Chris Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. Normally I would be staring out over a sea of green, the rafters filled to capacity with family, friends and loved ones to support each of you — the brilliant and resilient class of 2020! Instead, I am coming to you on video … from my living room. 

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Deepening a Connection in a Time of Distancing

As this disquieting semester comes to a close, it’s appropriate to pause for a moment to reflect on the distance we have traveled and the path that lies ahead. Over the past five years, we in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University...

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Imagining a Resilient Pedagogy

The sudden shift to remote teaching and learning in higher education and, in many states, in K-12 schools too, seems likely to be a watershed moment. It calls for us to invent an approach to learning that is more resistant to disruption, more resilient...

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No Quality Without Equity

In October 2019, I attended a three-day workshop on Driving Institutional Change for Research Assessment Reform jointly convened by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) on the beautiful HHMI campus in Chevy Chase, Maryland... 

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Catalyst of Collaboration

On September 26, 2019, I had the opportunity to address the Michigan State University President’s Council, which includes the Deans Council and the Executive Leadership of the University, about the values-based strategic planning process we have undertaken in the College of Arts & Letters...

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To the Class of 2023: Embrace the Adventure

Dear Class of 2023, Welcome to Michigan State University! As we prepared our Welcome to MSU video this year, I found myself unexpectedly face-to-face with a picture of my past self as a first-year student at Wittenberg University. It brought me immediately back to a transformative time in my life...

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Toward a Culture of Care

In the summer of 2018, a group of MSU Deans came together to write an essay that was published in Inside Higher Education under the title: “Can Michigan State Recover and Chart a New Path for Higher Education?” In the essay, we wrote...

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Failures to Listen

One year ago today, Rachael Denhollander addressed the Ingham County court in Michigan, her abuser, and the institutions that failed to protect her and her #SisterSurvivors. Listen again to part of what she said on January 24, 2018: "This is what it looks like when"...

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Open Letter Regarding MSU Interim President Transition

By Dean Christopher P. Long on January 17, 2019 Dear College of Arts & Letters Alumni, Students, Staff, and Faculty, One year ago this week, the courageous testimonies of the Sister Survivors began to sow the seeds of change at Michigan State University. Taking courage from their leadership, we in the College of Arts & Letters (and in collaboration with colleges and deans across MSU) embarked upon an intentional and difficult process of critical self-reflection, ethical candor, and intentional culture change. We remain resolved to create a culture in which daily practices of care, accountability, and equity empower us to use our position and privilege to support our colleagues – students, staff, faculty,…

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Living Values

By Dean Christopher P. Long on December 3, 2018 on In the open letter we wrote to the College of Arts & Letters community in January 2018, we promised to look critically at ourselves, recognize our failures, and rebuild the trust that is required of us. This commitment has led to an intense period of critical self-reflection in the Dean’s Office and across the College in which we have considered the core values we aspire to embody in our work and interactions with one another. Over the summer and through the fall, all units in the College undertook a values-based planning process in which the core values of each unit were identified and mapped…

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