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MSU VP Lee June stepping down

Courtesy photo

By Scott Pohl, WKAR



Last week, Michigan State University announced that vice president for student affairs and services Lee June would step down at the end of the year.

Along with his vice presidency, Doctor June has also held the title of associate provost for academic student services and multicultural issues.

President Lou Anna Simon says an immediate task will be to determine if one person should hold both jobs at the same time.

"Well, they're clearly already two roles," Simon said. "He just did both of them. So, the question is how best we can take those two hats and make it work within the current organization."

WKAR's Scott Pohl interviewed Lee June about his decision to step down and return to the faculty at MSU, asking first about the timing of the announcement.

Scott Pohl: "Dr. June, first of all, congratulations on your announcement. I'd like to ask you, first of all, what prompted this? Why now?"

Dr. Lee June: "Well, I've been in the role of vice president for 16 years, and when I told my staff yesterday, I quoted a phrase, that, To everything, there's a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.' And, as I looked at my career, and in particular what I've done in the role of vice president, I feel that I've accomplished some things, and that it's really time for me to step aside and give someone else opportunity to move forward. There's some real challenges and opportunities for the institution in the years ahead, and my belief is that whoever's in this position needs to be in it for a long haul. And, as I looked at the challenges ahead, that was not something I felt that I wanted to do, and I just felt that it was the opportune time to stop, to step out."

SP: "You mentioned accomplishments, could you cite one or two that you're most proud of?"

LJ: "My dedication. You know, I have two titles: Vice president and associate provost, and each of them has the word student' in it. And, what I've felt that I've done is been able to expand services, both in terms of quality and the quantity of services particular for underrepresented and diverse populations. And, so if you look over the last, say, 20 years, we have really expanded the services to serve all student populations - racial (and) ethnic students, gay (and) lesbian, international students and so I feel that I've been involved in trying to make sure that we provide services and a climate that's conducive to all the students. And, if I had to comment on my legacy, it would be in terms of expanding both the quality and quantity of services for all populations."

SP: "Would you say maintaining that might be the leading challenge for whoever assumes your job?"

LJ: "Well, during my tenure, we were in a climate of expansion and trying to make sure that everyone is served. I think the challenges ahead are going to be, as we talk about budget reductions, and refining and cutting back, the challenge is going to be, How do you do that, but not lose the kinds of things that are still needed for these various populations to feel comfortable so they can be successful at this campus? So, that's going to be a real challenge, and I'm confidant, but also hopeful, that, as those decisions are made, both the unique as well as the common needs of all students are considered, and that we don't go in any direction without considering the other."

SP: "One final question, returning to the faculty in January what does that mean in your case? Classroom teaching, some other capacity?"

LJ: "It'll be a combination. I'll go back to the psychology department and the honors college. I'm a psychologist by training, and I've done a lot of research and thinking in the areas of retention, graduation rates, how you deliver effective services, so I've also done a lot of collecting of data while I was in the position and didn't have a chance to make sense out of it. So, I'll be doing some writing, research, and possibly some teaching."

SP:"Dr. Lee June, again, congratulations and thank you."

LJ: "Thank you very much."

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