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Faculty Excellence Advocate

Photo of Heather EisthenHeather Eisthen 
Faculty Excellence Advocate  
NatSci Dean’s Office

Pronouns: she/her/hers 
Location: 342 Natural Science Building 
Phone: (517) 353-1953 
Email: eisthen@msu.edu

The Faculty Excellence Advocate (FEA) works to promote the career growth of tenure-stream faculty members in the College of Natural Science (NatSci). To do so, the FEA serves as a link between the NatSci Dean’s Office and the college’s departments and programs to assist in implementing diversity goals and evaluation criteria related to the advancement, retention, and professional development of faculty members. 

Advising and advocating 

The FEA serves as a confidante for faculty members from their initial appointment through their career milestones and their development as leaders. My goal is to work with unit and college leadership to create positive and inclusive work environments by providing a safe place for faculty members to share their experiences and seek guidance and assistance. Importantly, the FEA plays no part in making decisions about faculty evaluation or tenure and promotion and thus can serve as a neutral third party in offering advice. 

Policies and procedures

The FEA works with deans and chairs to update policies and procedures concerning hiring; annual review; and reappointment, tenure, and promotion to make NatSci a more supportive working environment and to ensure consistency and transparency in the implementation of our policies. I recognize that well-intentioned policies can have unintended consequences and disparate impacts, and welcome conversations with any member of the faculty and academic staff who would like discuss problems with existing policies or make recommendations about improving policies.


All conversations with the FEA are confidential and, in general, the FEA will not take any action without explicit permission from the faculty member. Exceptions will be made in cases involving violation of MSU’s Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct policy, as the FEA is a mandatory reporter.