Dear College of Arts & Letters Faculty and Staff,

I have been heartened by the return of students to campus and by your commitment to giving them the best possible experience as we reconvene on campus during a very challenging new semester. I want to thank each of you for all the hard work you have done to prepare a world-class education for our students here at MSU, in-person and remote.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we developed a Contingency Plan that outlined the principles that would inform our work together during this difficult period. One of the principles was to “advance transformative change” and an important effort in this regard was to develop and implement a new Functional Staff Team Model in the College. 

As many of you know, this past summer the College of Arts & Letters began to implement the Functional Staff Team Model to better enhance effectiveness and efficiency within our units. Each unit has been assigned a functional staff team to which you can reach out for finance, HR, academic operations, and office operations support. Those units that fall under the Functional Staff Team Model and the appropriate contacts for each function can be found at the bottom of this landing page on the College website:

As we continue to navigate our way through the academic year, it is important to remain focused on our priorities of health, safety, and support for student success as we make decisions this semester. Staff are committed to providing the same level of support regardless of whether they are working remotely or on campus. To facilitate this, the following guidelines are provided:

  • Staff are to work with unit leaders to determine the staffing arrangements (in-person or remote) that will most effectively support the educational mission of the College and the University. 
  • A commitment from each unit has been made to provide our students with a vibrant, meaningful, and on-campus experience when possible. 
  • Everyone who does not have an approved exemption must adhere to the vaccine and mask requirements as outlined by the University on the Together We Will website.  
  • Masks must be worn when in an office, meeting room, or open interior space on campus where others are present.

A more detailed set of recommended guidelines will be sent out by our Chief of Staff Ken Desloover over the next week. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Chair, Director, or any member of the College leadership team if you have any questions or concerns.

With this move to a Functional Staff Team Model, there will be many individuals moving to new offices and out of old offices across floors, buildings, and units throughout the month of September. The Dean’s Office team in Linton Hall will be communicating to your unit leader where those individuals will be located in the next several weeks. I ask that you be patient and generous with one another during this time of transition.

In closing, let me express my deep gratitude for your conscientious leadership and creativity in preparing for this semester. I am grateful for the flexibility and resilience you have all demonstrated. 

In the meantime, please be well, stay safe, and take care. 

Black signature of Dean Christopher P. Long

Christopher P. Long
Dean, College of Arts & Letters