Dear MSU family and friends,

As our students, faculty, and staff are no doubt aware, new legislation has been signed into law in our state that raises significant concerns about the culture of inclusion and diversity in Mississippi.

I wish to speak to those concerns as they relate to our campuses in Starkville and Meridian and to the conduct of our broader business as a community of scholars.

Let me assure each of you that Mississippi State University’s mission and our core values are unchanged. As I wrote in 2013 in a letter to the university community that accompanied MSU’s Diversity Strategic Plan, MSU is committed to creating and maintaining a campus community that reflects the rich diversity of this nation – an environment in which differences are welcomed, embraced, and valued.

Progress toward a campus that fully welcomes and respects differences and embraces the concept of inclusion is contingent on each individual’s commitment. All of us must work together to that end – and I remain committed to that goal.

I believe we have in place a focused and explicit plan to guide MSU in creating a truly diverse, inclusive educational community. Much work has been done, much work remains to be done. Please join me as we continue to work together to make MSU one of the most welcoming campuses in the country and a model for other institutions of higher education to emulate.


Signature of Mark Keenum



Mark E. Keenum, President
Mississippi State University