1.1. The Environmental Science and Policy Program is a University wide program with the following mission:

A basic truth is that humanity depends on the global environment for our well-being. The quality of our air, water, soil, and the resources the environment provides are a vital platform upon which our entire society rests. Environmental problems are complex, and their solution requires the integration of physical and biological sciences, social sciences, and engineering, with public policy interventions. As such, the overall goal of ESPP is to work toward the integration of these dimensions of environmental science and scholarship within the teaching, research and outreach missions of  Michigan State University to help address real world environmental problems.


2.1. Membership

2.1.1 A faculty member at MSU may be jointly appointed in ESPP and other academic units at MSU. ESPP Appointed Faculty refers to faculty members with part of their time and responsibilities appointed in ESPP.

2.1.2 Any person with an appointment at MSU with an active interest in fields related to environmental science and/or policy is encouraged to apply to be a member of ESPP. Any MSU tenure stream or fixed term faculty may apply to be an ESPP Affiliated Faculty. Prospective ESPP members should communicate with the Director stating their interest in joining the program, focusing on their area of interest relative to the mission of the ESPP. A short vitae for posting on the web site together with a complete vitae for the records should be provided.

The final decision regarding admission to the ESPP Faculty lies with the Director. Faculty who remain inactive in the program may be asked to remove their names from the listing.

2.1.3 ESPP Faculty refers to both ESPP Appointed Faculty and ESPP Affiliated Faculty.

2.1.4 ESPP Faculty Rights and Responsibilities ESPP Faculty members will have the right to vote in ESPP elections and at ESPP Faculty meetings. ESPP Faculty members will be expected to serve as major professors and sit on the graduate committees of students in ESPP. They are expected to ensure that students under their supervision complete the necessary coursework for the specialization. ESPP Faculty members will be encouraged to take part in designing the content of the coursework for the ESPP Dual Major and to take part in the teaching of these courses (with the approval of their academic department). Members are expected to attend meetings and seminars run by the program to share the results of their own work at such seminars and to  make themselves available for committee work and consultation connected with the program.

2.2. Membership Meetings

2.2.1. The ESPP office shall notify members of the ESPP faculty of the time, place and agenda of the proposed meetings at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. There shall be at least one meeting scheduled per year.

2.2.2. Each ESPP faculty member in attendance shall have a vote on matters brought up at the meeting. Voting can also be conducted online when appropriate.

2.2.3. Action may be taken when at least 15% of the ESPP faculty members (including at least 50% of ESPP appointed faculty members) participate in voting. Action shall be taken on the basis of a double majority vote of the returned ballots: approval requires a majority of the overall votes, as well as a majority of Appointed Faculty voting on the action in question. The tally will be made ten calendar days after the ballot is sent out.

2.3. Membership Review

2.3.1. In order to keep the list of ESPP faculty up to date, the Director and/or Associate Director will conduct an annual review of the faculty members’ status at MSU. This is to ensure that interested parties seeking help from the web site will be assured that the information is up to date and accessible. Faculty who wish to change their status in the program may do so at any time. Faculty who remain inactive in the program may be asked to remove their names from the listing.

2.4. Modes of Participation

2.4.1. Consultation – a body of ESPP members that discusses with and informs the ESPP Director in a decision making process. Such a body is not a deliberative body and there is no vote, but rather the members express their views to inform the Director’s decision.

2.4.2. Advisory – a body of ESPP members that recommends policies or actions to the ESPP Director. The Director, however, is not bound by such recommendations, and accepts responsibility for his or her decisions.

2.4.3. Shared Responsibility – a body of ESPP members that recommends policies or actions to the ESPP Director. If the Director disagrees with these recommendations and a compromise cannot be achieved, the Director and deliberative body will each submit their recommendation to the next higher administrative level for resolution.

2.4.4. Delegated Authority – a deliberative body of ESPP members that is authorized to make decisions on specified matters. Such decisions are subject to administrative review, but will typically be altered only in exceptional circumstances.


3.1. The Director is the chief administrator, responsible for the overall operation of the ESP program. His/her function is to achieve the objectives stated in the preamble. The Director shall be advised by the ESPP Faculty Advisory Council (ESPP FAC), any relevant standing and ad hoc committees, and the ESPP faculty and graduate students as a whole and shall take account of and consider seriously any  recommendations made at their meetings or through voting processes. The Director or his/her designate shall be an ex officio member of all ESPP committees.

3.2. Functions

3.2.1. Provide long range planning for the ESP program involving matters of research support,
environmental research coordination and initiation, graduate training and budget.

3.2.2. Serve as administrative liaison between the ESP program and all units engaged in environmental research at Michigan State University.

3.2.3. Prepare annual budget requests and supervise budget expenditures.

3.2.4. Develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders in the field of environmental science and policy at the local, national and international level.

3.2.5. Prepare an annual progress report in consultation with the ESPP FAC that summarizes program accomplishments relative to objectives, and supports the development of an annual budget.

3.2.6. The Director will provide written annual evaluations of all faculty with an appointment within ESPP, and will coordinate with the chair of the faculty’s primary academic department to provide an overall annual evaluation for raises. The Director will also coordinate with the faculty’s primary academic department during the reappointment, tenure, and promotion evaluation process.

3.2.7. The Director shall work with the ESPP faculty to recruit and admit outstanding candidates for the program. The Director or his/her designate will review the program of study of all graduate students pursuing an ESPP specialization, and will ensure that at least one ESPP faculty member is a member of their graduate guidance committee.

3.3. Appointment and Review

3.3.1. The Deans of the coordinating Colleges, currently Agriculture and Natural Resources, Natural Science, Engineering and Social Science, as well as the Dean of the Graduate School and the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies shall, in consultation with the ESPP FAC and the ESPP faculty, establish procedures for selection of the Director in accordance with College and University bylaws. The ESPP Faculty shall be kept informed of procedures concerning the selection of a new Director.

3.3.2. In accordance with the Bylaws of Michigan State University, at intervals not to exceed five years, the Deans of the Colleges named in 3.3.1 shall review the desirability of continuing the appointment of the current Director. The dean of the college in which the Director is appointed shall take the lead in coordinating the review. At the same time the Director shall be consulted by the Deans concerning his/her willingness to continue. The ESPP FAC or a designated ad hoc committee shall represent the ESPP faculty in determining the procedures for the review and reappointment of the Director. Under extraordinary circumstances the ESPP faculty may request that the Deans review the Director at any time.

3.3.3. Upon the recommendation of the Dean that a new Director be found, or upon retirement, or death of the Director, a new Director shall be appointed in accordance with the procedures  established under 3.3.1.

3.3.4. In the event that no person holds an appointment as Director, or upon the incapacitation of the Director, the Associate Director shall assume the role, duties and responsibilities of the Director. The Associate Director shall take on this role until the Director returns to service or a new Director is appointed.

3.3.5. In the event that the Director is absent from the University, the Associate Director will stand in his/her place.


4.1. In the event that sufficient financial support is available, an Associate Director may be selected if the Director and ESPP FAC deem it desirable. The Associate Director is appointed to assist the Director in the operation of the program and to help define and achieve its goals.

4.2. Functions

4.2.1. To act for the Director in his/her absence.

4.2.2. To undertake tasks on behalf of the Director.

4.3. Appointment and Review

4.3.1. The Director in consultation with the FAC will establish search and recommendation procedures in accordance with College and University bylaws. The final decision will rest with the Director.

4.3.2. The Director will determine the activities, duties, and tasks of the Associate Director.

4.3.3. In the event of a vacancy in the position of Associate Director the Director may appoint an interim Associate Director until the position can be filled by the regular process.

4.3.4. In accordance with the bylaws of Michigan State University, at interval not exceeding five years, the Director may set up a review of the Associate Director and at the same time inquire if the Associate Director wishes to continue in the post.

ESPP Program Committees

5.1. ESPP Faculty Advisory Council (ESPP FAC)

5.1.1. The ESPP FAC will consist of nine faculty members. Any ESPP faculty may be elected to the ESPP FAC. In the Spring Semester of each academic year, two or three members will be elected by an e-mail ballot of the entire ESPP faculty, and two or three members will be appointed by the Director, to a two year term on FAC. The terms will begin at the beginning of the fall semester of the following academic year. Faculty may be elected or appointed to the ESPP FAC for a maximum of six consecutive years, after which they will be ineligible for appointment for two years.

5.1.2. The Chair of the ESPP FAC, appointed by the Director, shall be a full professor. The Chair serves as the liaison between the Director and FAC, and presides over FAC meetings.

5.1.3. The relationship of the ESPP FAC to the Director in most situations is advisory in nature. Thus the ESPP FAC will advise the Director on all matters concerning the administration of the program. Exceptions to this where the ESPP FAC has shared responsibility with the Director include: Review of the program bylaws on a regular basis for any changes deemed necessary by the faculty. Any other matters determined in consultation with the Director.

5.1.4. ESPP FAC will consult with the Director regarding the annual progress report (3.2.5)

5.1.5. ESPP FAC may participate in appointment and review of Director and Associate Director, as identified in 3.3 and 4.3.

5.1.6. ESPP FAC will hold two scheduled annual meetings, one each in the Fall and Spring semesters. All ESPP FAC members are expected to attend both meetings if their schedules allow.

5.1.7. ESPP FAC shall offer advice to the Director on all matters of importance to ESPP. These matters may be initiated by the FAC, or they may be referred to the FAC by the Director.

5.1.8. The Director may delegate to the ESPP FAC any additional function s/he deems appropriate. Delegation of responsibilities should be formalized by an update to the bylaws, and agreed upon by the ESPP FAC.

5.2. Standing committees

5.2.1. Graduate Program Council (GPC) The ESPP GPC shall consist of at least one member of the ESPP FAC, up to five ESPP Faculty members at large, and one graduate student, all appointed by the Director. The GPC will have the primary responsibility for advising the Director on all matters related to ESPP’s graduate programs, such as identifying the courses needed to support the ESP Program, and approving the requirements for the specialization.

5.3. The Director, with the advice of the ESPP FAC, may appoint ad.hoc committees as required.


6.1. Any ESPP Faculty member as defined under 2.1 or ESPP graduate student may initiate a grievance, alleging violation of existing policies or established practices by an administrator, pursuant to the procedures set forth in the Michigan State University Faculty Grievance Procedure or Michigan State University Graduate Student Grievance Procedure.

6.2. The ESP Program Director and/or the ESPP FAC shall meet with the parties involved in an effort to resolve the grievance informally.

6.3. In the event that the grievance is not resolved by the parties, a grievance hearing will be arranged by the Faculty Grievance Officer (FGO) or Graduate Student Grievance Procedure.

6.4. In the event a grievance is initiated at the ESP Program level, the model Academic Unit Grievance Procedure, as attached to the College of Social Science Bylaws, will apply.


7.1. Initial Approval

7.1.1. The ESPP Bylaws, as drafted by the ESPP FAC, shall become effective on both of the following actions: Unanimous approval by the Deans of the Colleges of Social Science, Engineering, Agriculture and Natural Resources and Natural Science; and A two-thirds vote of approval the ESPP faculty, including approval by two-thirds of ESPP Appointed Faculty. Such a vote requires participation of at least 15% of the ESPP faculty members (including at least 50% of ESPP Appointed Faculty members).

7.2. Interpretation

7.2.1. The Deans of the four Colleges referred to in shall be the final authority with regard to the interpretation of these bylaws.

7.3. Amendments or Revisions

7.3.1. Any ESPP faculty member may request in writing that the ESPP FAC initiate procedures to amend or annul any part of these Bylaws. The ESPP FAC shall research and discuss the proposed amendment and shall forward the request, together with its recommendation, to the ESPP Director who will then engage the faculty at a regular or special meeting so that it can be considered further, and amended if necessary. Following passage of a motion for approval of the request, or its amended version, the amendment shall be submitted to the ESPP FAC for voting. Following approval by the majority of the ESPP FAC, the amendment becomes part of the Bylaws, or the section whose annulment was desired shall become void.

7.4. Review of Bylaws

7.4.1. In accordance with the provisions of the University Bylaws for Academic Governance, the membership of the ESP program shall review the ESP Program Bylaws at regular intervals not to exceed five years. The ESPP FAC and program Director shall have the responsibility of ensuring that these reviews are carried out and shall have delegated authority by the Deans of the colleges referred to in 7.1.1 to establish procedures for the review.