Academic Programs Catalog

Other Departments and Offices for Research and Services

University Outreach and Engagement

Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Associate Provost

The Office of the Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement (UOE) supports scholars and academic units in actively collaborating with communities, to join the best of MSU research with the best community knowledge and expertise, to address such complex issues as: regional economic and community development; early childhood development; K-12 education; community systems change; and the centrality of engagement in higher education. UOE facilitates the development of university-community partnerships designed to generate evidence-based solutions to community-based concerns, locally and globally. UOE:
  • encourages and creates opportunities for community-based scholarship for faculty and graduate students;
  • connects the university and its faculty with agencies, communities, schools, groups, businesses, non-profit and other organizations, professional associations, and varied public and private sector constituencies;
  • uses asset-based models to obtain positive outcomes and long-term impacts,and to provide linkages between multidisciplinary faculty teams and external groups, facilitation services, and evaluation research and training;
  • maintains facilities for usability and accessibility evaluation with user experience specialists to test and recommend designs for Web sites and information systems;
  • develops and maintains Web sites that catalog a wide variety of Michigan State University’s activities and areas of expertise;
  • provides learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to help them develop community-based research and engagement skills;
  • colloborates with the Office of Vice President for Student Services and Affairs to facilitate inclusion of service-learning and civic engagement components in undergraduate courses;
  • recommends institutional structures, policies, and procedures that will enhance public access to the University’s knowledge resources;
  • works to strengthen outreach and engagement incentives and rewards for faculty and for academic units;
  • coordinates networks of faculty and community members around geographic areas (Lansing, Detroit, Flint, etc.) and topics of concern.

Across the university, the unit collects data and information about faculty, department, college, and institution outreach and engagement activity and participates in various national higher education benchmarking initiatives.  It uses these data to provide information about what and how much the University is contributing to the public good in a given general locale such as a legislative district or an urban area, or about a particular societal issue.

For more information, visit or e-mail, or call 517-353-8977.  For information on statewide programs, see  To learn about the University's many youth programs, see  University Outreach and Engagement is housed on the Garden Level, Kellogg Center.

Julian Samora Research Institute

Rubén Martinez, Director

The Julian Samora Research Institute (JSRI) generates, disseminates, and applies knowledge to serve the needs of Latino communities in the Midwest and the United States.  To achieve its mission, the JSRI:  1) serves as the hub of an interdisciplinary research program on social, cultural, health and economic issues confronting Latino populations and communities;  2) advances Latino scholarship by encouraging and supporting Latino-focused faculty and students to conduct research and engage in mentoring, research assistantships, fellowships, symposia and related activities; and 3) transmits and disseminates knowledge and research findings to various academic, government, community and private institutions and officials.

In addition, JSRI provides technical expertise to the broader community on policy development issues facing Latinos, and promotes the development of Latino cultural and human capital through leadership development, community empowerment, and education.  Through the generation, transmission and application of knowledge, JSRI is committed to transforming lives.  By engaging Latino-focused researchers, agencies, practitioners, policymakers and Latino communities in collaborative learning, community-based projects, and responsive engagement, JSRI joins University Outreach and Engagement and the larger university community in contributing to the advancement of the larger society – both locally and globally.

Michigan State University Museum

Mark Auslander, Director

The MSU Museum is a multidisciplinary museum of sciences and cultural studies. The Museum's core functions are diverse. It is first and foremost an institution of learning and provides education for the widest of audiences through exhibits and related educational programs. The MSU Museum also delivers outreach programs across the state and farther afield through touring exhibits and teleconferenced 'virtual' classes to schools. As part of University Outreach and Engagement, the MSU Museum is committed to engaging the community with knowledge resources of MSU.

The one million objects in the Museum collections span the natural sciences (mostly vertebrate zoology and paleontology), anthropology and archaeology, history and technology, ethnology and folk and decorative arts. These collections support the Museum’s public programs – especially the exhibits - and they are also used for course work for MSU students, especially in the natural sciences and cultural and art studies. Thousands of MSU students engage with the Museum's collections through their courses each year. The collections also support active research programs, by MSU faculty and students, and researchers based around the country and internationally.

Research materials include documented collections of fossil and modern vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes), folk art and folklife, historical materials, and archaeological materials from excavations of sites of early human habitations in the upper Great Lakes region. Collections are under the care of collections managers and curators. Curators may hold joint appointments in various MSU departments. Curators also teach courses within their specialties and direct graduate student research. These collections and the fieldwork required to obtain them are closely correlated with teaching activities and strengthen the research and teaching capabilities of several academic areas. Interested students can participate in Museum fieldwork expeditions. Financial support can be available to assist research studies of students. Research contributions are published widely in refereed and popular media, and in periodic MSU Museum publications.

The MSU Museum collaborates with other academic units to offer the Specialization in Museum Studies that is administered by the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.

The MSU Museum is the home of the Michigan Traditional Arts Program, the State Folklife Program. Major outreach programs include the Great Lakes Folk Festival and travelling exhibitions service. The Museum provides technical assistance to small museums. Museum staff provide specialist advice to other museums and state agencies in areas relevant to their expertise (natural science, cultural studies, collection care, education, exhibition development).

The programs (collections, teaching, research and public programs) of the MSU Museum have a particular focus on the state of Michigan and the Great Lakes region, but also have strong national and international linkages and coverage. The Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum and is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The MSU Museum occupies several sites on campus. The main building on West Circle Drive houses the public exhibition galleries, together with offices and some collection storage. Long term-exhibitions include Heritage Hall, Hall of World Cultures, Michigan Artists – Passing on Traditions, Hall of Evolution, Habitat Hall, Animal Diversity, and Collections-Connections In addition to the long-term displays, large and small changing exhibits, events and educational programs are featured throughout the year. Changing exhibits relate to any of the Museum disciplines and increasingly are profiling the nature and impacts of MSU research.

The MSU Museum has a flexible-function, technology-enable auditorium with seating up to 80.  The Museum is available for special events, and some galleries can provide a unique venue experience. The Museum store offers educational and gift items that relate to themes of the displays.

The main public building is open to the public and students from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday. Students may arrange access to collections outside of these hours by contacting with Museum staff.
Museum collections are also housed at other non-public sites around campus, which can be accessed with the appropriate curator or collections manager.

For more information, visit; call 1-517-355-2370 or email for general inquiries.