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Michigan State University
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., was selected by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees as MSU’s 21st president, effective Aug. 1, 2019. Since his arrival at MSU, Dr. Stanley has moved decisively to ensure the university is a safe, respectful and welcoming place for all. Student success and well-being and continuing to grow MSU’s extraordinary regional and global impact are his top priorities.
His infectious disease research background has informed MSU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as he leads the university’s work to safely advance its mission of education, research and outreach.
Stanley launched a comprehensive strategic planning process for the university, created a diversity, equity and inclusion planning committee and appointed two relationship violence and sexual misconduct expert advisers. He has overseen several changes in the institution’s administration, organization and programs to improve services, operations and accountability.
Prior to becoming MSU’s president, Stanley served as president of Stony Brook University on Long Island in New York. At Stony Brook, he focused on improving campus diversity and student success and elevated the university’s research profile by supporting a new institute for artificial intelligence. He chaired the board of Brookhaven Science Associates, which manages Brookhaven National Laboratory on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Stanley earned a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Chicago. After earning his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, he completed resident-physician training at Massachusetts General Hospital and then went to Washington University in St. Louis for a School of Medicine fellowship in infectious diseases. There, he became a professor in the departments of medicine and molecular microbiology, recognizing the collaborative nature of his research.