James Johnston: ‘Creating our Signature’

Kara McIntyre

James Johnston, provost and vice president for academic affairs, gave a presentation titled “Creating our Signature” on Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. for an audience of about 50 faculty and staff. While it was a brief presentation, ending promptly at 11:21 a.m., Johnston discussed MSU’s change from a commuter school to a residential school and what that means for three focal areas: curriculum, student support and tradition/identity.

“As we’ve moved from a commuter to a residential campus, our traditions have not kept up with that change,” Johnston said in his presentation.

The biggest conversation starters of the presentation were the proposed additions to MSU traditions. Johnston suggested having a senior campus walk, where all the graduating seniors would walk through the hallways of the campus while faculty and students watched and waved. He also discussed possibly splitting graduation into two separate days — Friday and Saturday. Graduates would be divided by college and their graduation date would be based on that.

“[The presentation] was good. I used to work in the registrar’s office, and we always loved graduation,” Dottie Westbrook, academic counselor, said. “I love the new traditions and they’re not expensive either.”

To view a full version of the academic address, click here.