Lizabeth A. Barclay, Jennifer Cordon Thor Oakland University
Michigan State University: Leader Communication in a Crisis
Michigan State University (MSU) named Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., MD as its next president with a term starting August 1, 2019. He had been the president at Stony Brook, prior to this appointment. While the job of president of a university is challenging, he was joining the university during an ongoing sex abuse crisis involving Larry Nassar and other employees that could have an effect on the future of MSU. He wondered what he needed to do in both the short and long run to help the university recover. First, he had to examine how his predecessors tried to deal with the crisis. Did their communications extend the crisis? Next, what steps could he take to reach out to different constituent groups and how could he prioritize these groups? He needed to develop a communication strategy.