Job of the Week: Communications Manager I

This week’s featured job from MSU Human Resources is a Communications Manager I support staff position (posting 743910) for the Department of Strategic Initiatives in Infrastructure and Planning Facilities. 

The selected candidate will report directly to the Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF) communications manager. Special duties include, but are not limited to, oversight of photography, video and other multimedia and management of social media accounts. They will be responsible for strategy development and creation of all visual communication materials for IPF and oversee MSU and IPF level branding. The position will work to develop and maintain relationships internal and external to IPF. The staff member will also prepare files and reports for vendor printing and design presentations. For the complete list of responsibilities, click here

Applicants interested in this role should be self-starters who possess good decision making and problem solving skills. Knowledge required includes what would normally be acquired in a four-year college degree program in a communications-related field. One to three years of related experience in print marketing, photo and video production, and social media oversight is also required. An equivalent combination of education and experience may also be considered when filling this position. The desired qualifications for the position include experience with the Adobe Creative Cloud, website content management systems, and social media sites and content. The ideal candidate would also be a creative and innovative lifelong learner with the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse population. 
Learn more about Infrastructure and Planning Facilities at Read more about the position here and apply with a resume, cover letter, and portfolio by November 9. All the latest job postings can be found at

Job of the Week: Office Coordinator II

This week’s featured job from MSU Human Resources is an Office Coordinator II support staff position (posting 741956) for the Department of Educational Administration in the College of Education. 

The selected candidate will provide executive-level support to the Department of Educational Administration chairperson in the MSU College of Education. Specific duties include, but are not limited to, assisting in the faculty reappointment, promotion, tenure and annual review processes. They will process various forms and reimbursements, maintain faculty personnel files, plan department faculty meetings and class schedules, and more. The position will represent their department in interactions with students, faculty, staff, administrators, executives and the public. The staff member will also provide front desk support for the department bay area and direct all office guests to the proper location or person. For the complete list of responsibilities, click here

Applicants interested in this role should be initiative-taking team players who are willing to learn for continuous self-improvement. Knowledge required includes two or three years of college, technical school or a related field. One to three years of related experience in a professional office setting performing secretarial and administrative tasks is also required. An equivalent combination of education and experience may also be considered when filling this position. The desired qualifications for the position include experience in Microsoft Office and experience with university systems including SAP, SIS, D2L, Campus Solutions, WordPress and others. The ideal candidate would also have knowledge of University policies and procedures.

Learn more about the College of Education at Read more about the position here and apply with a resume and cover letter by November 2. All the latest job postings can be found at

Leadership Blog Series: Leading Strategic Planning

Written by Sharri Margraves, HR Associate Director for Organization and Professional Development 

Strategic planning is a critical aspect for leaders in all organizations, and now that MSU has recently introduced its first strategic plan in decades, you have an opportunity to help drive the results that will continue the upward trajectory of the university. Strategic planning is about change, and as with any change effort, communication and clarity of purpose are essential throughout the process.

It can be helpful to recognize the process of strategic planning as four typical phases: pre-planning, assessment, implementation, and measuring and monitoring.


The pre-planning phase is a lot like trying out a new recipe, and the first rule of cooking is to read through the entire recipe before you start. Be sure you have everything you need, and you understand what you need to do. Similarly, with strategic planning, first make sure you have the people, tools, and clarity that will allow your team to be successful before you formally begin. Consider all aspects including who will be on the planning team, general timing, communication cadence and how you will ensure DEI throughout the planning process.

Assessment: Begin Where you Are

Assessment will take the greatest amount of time.

  • What is your organization’s readiness for change?
  • Do you have a current and valid Mission, Vision and Values (MVV, for short)?
  • Can you hear the truth from your employees and stakeholders?
  • Do you need to provide training?

Assessing the organization is a part of the plan that is vital to get right—and your organizational context matters. All the tools in the world will not help if you or your team is defensive about what you might hear. From here, you will begin to develop the tactical plan.

Implementation: Building the Document

Going from assessment to writing the plan… well, let’s just say it takes time. Gleaning the most essential strategic goals or themes from your assessment effort is an iterative process, and multiple people will be involved. You will need to align your MVV and framework and produce a clear and concise “living” document.

For each strategic goal, you will have key objectives. From there, you need to have the tactics that will be needed to reach the objective. Often forgotten: leaders need to connect the dots. These tactics tell teams and individuals what needs to be done by when.

Implementation: Communication

Sure, you’ve thought about the day when your plan would be done. The reality is, now is the point where the real work begins. Cascading the information throughout your organization for implementation while also communicating with your external stakeholders is critical.

Establishing the priority while allowing your team to contribute to the “how” is important because the strategic plan should be parallel to the normal work you are already doing. On an individual level, each person in the organization should know how they will contribute to the responsibilities and tasks that will roll up from tactics to objectives to goal achievement.

Measuring and Monitoring: Review and Revise

What will success look like? As you develop your tactical plan, you will have time/milestones, key performance indicators (KPI) and other measures to indicate you are achieving your goals. Establishing a regular cadence for reporting progress is important to your internal and external stakeholders. Some objectives have a bit of a lag before data can be obtained, which is why you want to have other indicators to ensure you are progressing. Including the measurement in the building phase is important. It’s easy to get excited over goals, only to realize measuring progress is not so easy.

Interested in learning more? Recommended resources are listed below, and the Organization and Professional Development department can be reached at for specialized support.

Recommended Resources

MSU Strategic Plan

Strategic Planning Checklist

Business Orientation: Strategic Organizational Goals | elevateU course (50 minutes)

Job of the Week: Communications Manager I

This week, MSU Human Resources is featuring a Communications Manager I support staff position (posting 739078) through the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

This individual will be supporting the MSU Center for Low-Moisture Food Safety, a large, multi-institutional grant team. They will coordinate communications, marketing, publicity efforts, and develop communications strategy. They will also support the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering by coordinating best communications and marketing practices for student recruitment and retention (undergraduate and graduate), research, and outreach in the department. The primary responsibilities include serving as a communications resource for faculty and staff on the grant team and in the department. The position also includes networking within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Engineering, and University Communications to generate collaborations and successful media campaigns, as well as overseeing composition and editing of web and print content, news stories, feature stories and social media posts. A day in the position may entail attending regular meetings with the grant project management team, department communicators or faculty and staff members, developing creative work focused on the grant project activities and the department’s teaching, research and outreach, and making sure all communications and materials are aligned with MSU and college specific brand strategies. For a full list of responsibilities, click here

Applicants interested in this role must have knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in communications, public relations or a related field as well as one to three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in higher education, experience developing and executing communications strategies for a large project or unit and experience in public and media relations, composing news articles and print media, marketing, advertising, creative service and graphic design is also required. Other necessary skills include word processing, desktop publishing, web design, database software, public presentation and experience managing and executing content for social media. The desired qualifications include experience in AP Style writing and editing techniques; web communications, social communications and general communications support; strong writing, proofreading and editing skills; attention to detail; strong interpersonal skills; knowledge of tools such as Office 365, Adobe Photoshop and InDesign; and MSU branding knowledge.
To read more about the department of this position, visit Learn more about the position and apply with a cover letter, resume, and three professional references by October 26 here. The position is grant-funded through August 2025 with possible extension contingent upon funding renewal. Find all the latest job postings at

Updates to Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance for the 2022 Plan Year

AD&D insurance is a voluntary, employee-paid benefit that provides various amounts of coverage for accidental death or dismemberment that occurs at any time (not just during work). AD&D insurance is available to all benefit-eligible employees and their spouse/other eligible individual (OEI) or dependent children. You can only enroll, make changes or cancel coverage in AD&D insurance during the Open Enrollment period in October.

AD&D coverage is available at 1 to 10 times your annual salary. Benefit levels vary by type of insurance selected (employee-only or family) and the extent of the injury. Benefit amounts for your spouse/OEI and/or child(ren) are based on a percentage of your benefit amount. To calculate your monthly rate, review the Support Staff Open Enrollment Guide or Faculty/Academic Staff Open Enrollment Guide.

Please review the Prudential brochure for AD&D insurance to find details about the plan. We’ve highlighted a few plan enhancements for the 2022 plan year below that may help you determine if this optional benefit is right for you and your family:

  • The maximum benefit has increased for employee coverage to $1,500,000 (from $1,000,000) and spouse/OEI coverage to $750,000 (from $600,000).
  • The child only benefit amount has increased from 20% to 25% of the eligible employee benefit.
  • The spouse & child benefit amount increased to 50% spouse/20% child (from 50% spouse/15% child).

Additionally, other updates for the 2022 plan period include benefit amounts for triplegia, motorcycle safety equipment, home alteration/vehicle modification, critical burns, mortgage payment, funeral expenses, monthly rehabilitation, and surgical replantation. Find details about these new benefits for the 2022 plan year here.

Questions? MSU’s plan administrator for AD&D insurance is Prudential. If you have questions, we encourage you to speak to a Prudential representative during the MSU Virtual Benefits Fair this October or contact Prudential at 877-232-3555. Additionally, find further details about AD&D insurance in the Prudential brochure available on the HR website.

Mental Health Matters: Resources from MSU

Health is no longer seen solely as a way to measure how often you go to the gym and how many veggies you eat each week. Now, in today’s world and workplace, mental health is recognized as one of the biggest players in your overall health. That means resources to support mental health are more important and more available than ever before, but they can be hard to navigate. Here are some resources you can use at MSU to improve or keep up your mental health and improve your overall health along the way. 

MSU Health 4 U

MSU Health 4 U is part of the Office of the University Physician and is a way to get resources for all aspects of your health through Michigan State and with other employees. 

Employee Assistance Program Counseling Services

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential counseling service provided at no cost to MSU faculty, staff, retirees, graduate student employees, and their families. Learn how to make an appointment on the EAP website. These appointments are offered virtually through Zoom or in-person if you are comfortable. This is the only direct-through-university program offered for employees currently, so the wait time for an appointment is higher than normal. If you are in need of support earlier than EAP can offer, check out the offsite resources below.

Teladoc and Best Doctors Service

As a reminder, benefit-eligible employees also have access to Teladoc and Best Doctors Behavioral Health Navigator for mental health services. Teladoc offers 24/7 access to a healthcare professional via web, phone or mobile app for employees enrolled in an MSU health plan. Employees and their dependents over 18 can also receive medical care for behavioral health (depression, anxiety, grief counseling, addiction, etc.). If deemed medically necessary, a prescription will be sent to the pharmacy of your choice. The Behavioral Health Navigator can help you get a second opinion on any medical decisions and access to coaching and online educational tools.

Your mental health matters and MSU resources and benefits are available to get you—or keep you—on the path to a healthy body and healthy mind.

Job of the Week: MSU Extension District Director

This week, MSU Human Resources is featuring two Extension District Director positions (internal posting 738242) through MSU Extension.

The MSU Extension (MSUE) District Director is part of MSUE’s administrative team. Two districts, District 4 and District 6, have director openings. District 4 supports the counties of Alcona, Arenacc, Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Oscoda, and Roscommon. District 6 supports the counties of Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Mecosta, Missaukee, Osceola, and Wexford. The role of the district director is to develop and maintain relationships between MSU Extension and community partners, provide oversight and mentoring to MSUE educators, paraprofessionals, and support staff, and to employ entrepreneurial efforts to secure resources with partners. In this role, you will join the MSUE administrative team and collaborate regularly with colleagues across MSUE. You will lead efforts to recruit staff and work with Institute Directors to develop, coach and mentor staff, and when applicable, address personnel matters. This role entails the responsibility to develop, maintain and enhance relationships with the district. You will work closely with county boards of commissioners on budgets and other matters relative to the work MSUE does. You will help partners understand the mission and impacts of MSUE by telling a story to community partners and organizations.

The minimum qualifications for this position include a completed Master’s degree by the date of hire and demonstrated experience in building relationships with community partners, resource development and budget management. The applicant must also be able to demonstrate interpersonal skills, outstanding oral and written communication skills, proficiency in technology for day-to-day work and educational program delivery and success in program development for diverse audiences and communities. Experience with marketing and promotion of education programs, demonstrated skills and professional development from the last five years related to cultural competency, inclusive excellence and the understanding of and ability to implement Civil Rights principles and standards are also required.

The office location for the district director is negotiable. The Ogemaw County office in D4 and the Clare County office in D6 would provide a central location with easy driving access to all countries supported by the position.

Learn more about MSU Extension here. More information about the position and how to apply is available within the EBS portal by selecting the “My Careers and Training” menu at the top and clicking the “Careers @ MSU” tile. The job closes on October 19th and you must submit a resume, cover letter and four professional references including two current or previous supervisors to apply.

What’s Your Plan: Six Steps to Align Your Goals with What’s Important to You

Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to look at MSU’s new strategic plan, which was recently shared by President Stanley. The plan, MSU 2030: Empowering Excellence, Advancing Equity and Expanding Impact, provides a framework and vision for the university that puts people first, prioritizing the success of students, staff and faculty while focusing on key areas of growth:

  • Expanded opportunity.
  • Advanced equity.
  • Elevated excellence.
  • Strengthened community.
  • Strengthened stewardship. 

Most units and departments at MSU also have strategic plans in place to guide their work—perhaps you’ve led or been a part of creating one of these plans. The next step is to make a personal strategic plan to guide you as an individual.

Why Have a Personal Strategic Plan?

One way we measure success at MSU is through goal setting and attainment, often using the Performance Excellence framework. Creating a personal strategic plan can be an extension of this goal-oriented process, providing a vision and structure for your professional life and an anchor for you to connect with during periods of change and as new opportunities arise.

A personal strategic plan will help ensure your professional goals and actions are aligned with what matters most in your life. With the recent release of MSU’s strategic plan, now is a perfect time to create or update your own plan.

Six Steps to Strategic Success

Your personal strategic plan will likely include career goals (e.g., ongoing development in your current position or preparing for a different role), finances, health and professional relationships. The Center for Association Leadership recommends a six-step process that can serve as a starting point for creating your individual plan.

  1. Find time. Even if it’s just ten minutes you set aside each day, take a step away from your day-to-day duties and responsibilities and envision what you want to accomplish.

  2. Clarify your values. What matters most in your life? Many of us find it easy to identify the first few priorities—perhaps family, health, happiness—but you may need to dig deeper for the purposes of a personal strategic plan. Think carefully about everything you truly value and want to honor. Consider areas such as relationships and connectivity at both personal and professional levels, recognition or greater influence, time, flexibility, life/work integration, personal growth, new challenges, and meaningful work.

  3. Create your mission statement. No need to overthink or be intimidated by this step. Simply write a brief statement—just a sentence or two—based around the values you want to honor. This is not intended to redefine who you are or remain static as time goes on. Rather, it serves as a reminder of your life’s and your work’s purpose and can be a touchstone you can use to help guide your behavior and inform your decisions.

  4. Do a SWOT analysis on yourself. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is typically done in conjunction with a new project or goal, but we don’t always take the time to examine these aspects of ourselves as individuals. What are your personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? Can a close colleague or mentor provide you with honest feedback regarding these areas? In our current environment of rapid, ongoing change, what are the opportunities and threats that may apply to your plan?

  5. Create your goals. Identify SMART and HARD goals that align with the core values you identified. Your goals can be broad, but your action steps should be specific and time limited. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and prioritize what’s most important to you. Typically, three or four goals with one or two actions steps for each is a manageable target each year.

  6. Determine the support you need to stay accountable. Identify a friend or colleague as an accountability partner to help you stick to your plan, and agree on a regular time to check in. Schedule a time weekly, biweekly, or monthly to review your personal strategic plan on your own and modify as needed.

Align Your Personal Plan with the Larger Picture

Take the time to compare your personal strategic plan with the plans of the university and your unit. Where do they intersect? Where do they diverge? Are there ways they could better align, leading to greater job satisfaction and performance?

Focus on what is within your control, as opposed to things you cannot control, such as the economy or what your coworker does or does not do. Take daily actions, no matter how small, to create real, meaningful change and be sure to celebrate your successes! Realize that some changes happen quickly, while others take much longer. The key is to be patient with yourself and know you are moving in the right direction.

Below are upcoming Organization and Professional Development (OPD) courses that can help you better identify your key values and goals to create a personal strategic plan that’s right for you. OPD is also available at for additional information and resources.

Useful Courses for All Employees

Everything DiSC: Behavior Styles at Work | October 28, 8:30 a.m. to Noon | Zoom

Identify and Maximize Your Strengths | October 28, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. | Zoom

The Power of Habit | December 1, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. | Zoom

Courses Designed for Supervisors and Managers

Strategic Planning | October 13, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. | Zoom

Everything DiSC: Management | November 4, 8:30 a.m. to Noon | Zoom


Job of the Week: Transportation Services Motor Pool Manager

This week, MSU Human Resources is featuring a Transportation Services Motor Pool Manager position (posting 736792) through Infrastructure Planning and Facilities.

This support staff position will manage the human resources, operational and financial activities of the Motor Pool. The individual is also responsible for maintaining accurate licensed vehicle records for the university fleet and verifies compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations pertaining to vehicle ownership and operation. The Motor Pool Manager must understand and follow all IPF and University guidelines, rules, and policies governing personal conduct of employees, as well as all  policies related to licensed vehicle operation and ownership as documented in the Manual of Business Procedures. The position will engage in high performance, leading edge practices, which are innovative in their approach to increased stewardship and service excellence. The goal is to foster the mission, vision, and values of IPF and MSU. For a full list of responsibilities, click here

Applicants interested in this role must have knowledge normally acquired in the first two or three years of college, technical, or vocational school in business administration or a related area. Five to eight years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in supervising operational activities in an automotive or transportation service area is also required. Some related combination of education and experience may also be accepted. The applicant must also possess a valid vehicle operator’s license and must meet MSU safe driving standards. The desired qualifications for this role include experience and knowledge of facilities and municipal transportations operations, processes, and procedures as well as knowledge of University policies and practices. Effective oral and written communication skills, collaboration and problem solving skills, and familiarity with Asset Management systems, Microsoft Office 365, and a CAFM/CAFS fleet industry certification are also desired for applicants. The applicant should also be a creative and innovative learner with the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse population and collaborate well within a team environment. 

To read more about the department of this position, visit Learn more about the position and apply with a cover letter and resume by September 29 here. Find all the latest job postings at