Welcome to the Office of the Dean in the College of Education at Michigan State University.
About Dean Floden
University Distinguished Professor Robert Floden became dean of the MSU College of Education on January 1, 2016, leading a vibrant community of scholars, students and staff members who are prepared to meet the toughest challenges in education and kinesiology. Learn more.
Dean Floden is part of the Council of Deans at Michigan State University. This group of academic leaders share their insights, community events and more at deans.msu.edu.
Message from the Dean
(Jan. 17, 2019)
Dear College of Education Community,
This week, the university reached another turning point, with the MSU Board of Trustees ending the appointment of Interim President John Engler, effective January 17, 2019.
While much has been done in recent months to put resources and policies in place that can protect and support survivors of sexual violence, our university community still has work to do. Moreover, that work goes beyond addressing sexual violence, to also focus on many issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
A year ago, all of the deans on campus came together to identify and work toward three core values:
- Foster and protect a culture that is transparent, open, trusting and safe
- Continuously cultivate leadership through caring and accountability
- Empower everyone to be fully engaged in a community that is inclusive and equitable
We shared these values with the Board of Trustees when the university first began a search to replace its president, and this week we stood together in asking that action be taken in response to Engler’s hurtful pattern of comments toward the women and girls we are striving to support. Now more than ever, we must show leadership that is not only accountable and transparent, but also compassionate.
In the College of Education, we have long aspired to do work that embodies these values. Many of our instructional programs aim to instill these values in our students, and to give them knowledge and skills to act on them. Much of our research and outreach work is aimed at understanding the forms and sources of inequities, and at developing ways to make improvements. We believe, however, that we too often fall short. One proposal from our faculty governing body is a new standing committee. This group will share responsibility with me for making recommendations to improve persistent and systemic conditions concerning our college climate regarding faculty equity and diversity. We have established a staff committee with a parallel charge. The core values listed above will guide our collective efforts to move our college forward.
The MSU Board of Trustees has unanimously appointed Satish Udpa as Acting President. Udpa previously served as the Executive Vice President for Administrative Services, and as the dean of the College of Engineering. I have always been impressed with the ways in which he works and with his accomplishments. The search continues for a permanent president for our institution.
I am hopeful that with new leadership, we can return our focus to healing for the survivors of Nassar and to creating a campus where we have not only the policies and resources but the will to prevent such abuses from ever happening again.
I welcome your comments and concerns.
Robert Floden, Dean
Michigan State University resources
- Sexual Assault Program, Crisis Line: (517) 372-6666
- Safe Place
- Counseling and Psychiatric Services
- Office of Institutional Equity (OIE)
- Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Program
- Our Commitment website (with information about the Healing Assistance Fund)
- Police Department, (517) 355-2221
- Safe Ride
- Educational Assistance Program
Local and national resources
- End Violent Encounters (EVE), 24-hour Crisis Line: (517) 372-5572
- Community Mental Health, (800) 372-8460
- National list of resources for sexual assault survivors and their loves ones