Hannah Administration Building surrounded by fall colored trees

It’s fall already. How is that possible?? On the one hand, there is still time for get-aways and enjoying time with family and friends. On the other hand, the mind is shifting to the start of contracts, of responsibilities for the fall, of back-to-school sales, preparing D2L and Teams sites, and trying to figure out remote/hybrid/face-to-face meeting schedules. In the typical pattern of academic life, there is always change and adaptation – sometimes met with joy and anticipation and other times met with a bit more resignation. But it’s part of what it means to be in an academic institution at any level – being part of the cycles of the academic year.

Most of us begin each academic year with many goals and promises to self about all we will accomplish, the things that won’t frustrate us, the new opportunities we will take advantage of, etc. Like a lot of New Year’s resolutions, many of these aspirations decided in the excitement of the start of the academic year may fall away. Hopefully, those we work harder to hang on to bring us fulfillment and joy, help us connect to others with similar interests and values, and contribute to how each of us define a satisfying career as an educator, regardless of the position and title we hold. The point would be not to get too lost in “what” must be accomplished or “how” but in remembering “why” we are here.

At a place as large, complex, and diverse as MSU, it can be a challenge to figure out how to engage in ways that will help meet our individual and collective objectives. The Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Development (OFASD) is one of many campus units here to support you in the coming year offering numerous large and small group offerings, learning communities, Fellows programs, topical seminars and career- and university-level conversations. We invite you to take a look at the OFASD calendar of activities and join in as you choose. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, reach out and we’ll do our best to connect you with opportunities facilitated by our many campus partners. The year will be replete with opportunities to engage, explore, lead, collaborate, and try out new ideas in safe and respectful spaces. Hopefully, we remember to invest in our whole selves knowing that in doing so, we can be individually and collectively successful. Here’s to taking those first steps into a great fall!

You don’t need to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King, Jr.