and Integrity

Governance and Administrative Structures


Core Component 1d: The organization’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the organization to fulfill its mission.

To demonstrate that the University’s governance, administrative, and collaborative structures provide a sound framework for effective leadership, this section will describe the University’s administrative and governance structures; the key ways the University articulates its standards and procedures; the means by which the University communicates with faculty, students, and staff about its policies, procedures and activities; and the ways in which the University reviews and evaluates its policies and procedures related to this topic.

Board of Regents

The University is governed by a Board of Regents, which is made up of eight members who are elected at large in statewide elections every two years, and the president of the University (ex officio). The Board of Regents has been mandated by the state constitution since 1850 as an independent branch of the state government, answerable to the people of the state. According to the Michigan Constitution of 1963, the regents have “general supervision” of the institution and “the control and direction of all expenditures from the institution’s funds.” The regents serve without compensation for overlapping terms of eight years.

The positions of chair and vice chair rotate among the regents, based on seniority. The board has two standing committees: Finance, Audit and Investment, covering internal controls, financial reports, and investment policies and practices; and Personnel, Compensation, and Governance that evaluates the president’s performance and decides on her compensation, advises the president in her review of the executive officers and their compensation, reviews compensation-related issues affecting the University’s ability to recruit and retain faculty and staff members, reviews progress on diversity, reviews governance and Board performance, and advises the Board on University-wide conflict of interest policies.

The Board meets once a month in a public session, with schedule and agenda available to the public (website). All formal sessions of the board are open to the public.

Executive Officers

The University Executive Officers perform duties as specified in Chapter II of the Regents’ Bylaws. These include:

The President

MSCMary Sue Coleman was appointed the University’s 13th President in August 2002. As chief executive officer, she is responsible for general oversight of the University’s teaching and research programs, its libraries, museums and other supporting services, the welfare of the faculty and supporting staff, the business and financial welfare of the University, and for “the maintenance of health, diligence, and order among the students” (Bylaw 2.01). The president recommends the appointment of executive officers, who perform their duties under her general direction. She is a member of the University Senate, represents the University at ceremonies and public events, and plays a major role in fund raising.

President Coleman has led several major initiatives, some of which were mentioned earlier. They include the groundbreaking Michigan Digitization Project, a partnership between the University and Google, Inc., which is digitizing some 7-million volumes from the University’s libraries and that will aid preservation of and access to recorded human knowledge. She also launched “The Michigan Difference” campaign to raise $2.5 billion for the University, and in November 2008 she led the celebration of the $3.11 billion actually raised.

Executive Vice Presidents

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Teresa A. Sullivan became Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2006. The provost is the chief academic officer and the chief budget officer for the Ann Arbor campus, in which she collaborates with the president to guide educational programs and supporting activities as well as academic and budgetary affairs. The provost recommends faculty appointments, promotions, and tenure actions to the president for action by the Board of Regents. A listing of provost’s office activities is posted online.

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Timothy Slottow has been Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (EVPCFO) since 2003. He supervises finances, property, and business for the University. His organization of ~2,850 staff members handles architecture, construction, operations, and maintenance of 31 million gross square feet (~2.9 million m2) of buildings, parking and transportation, department of public safety and security, occupational safety, environmental health, utilities, human resources, administrative systems, and financial operations, as well as the University’s endowment.

Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz became the University’s Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs (EVPMA) in May of 2009. She is the chief executive officer of the University of Michigan Health System and leads and manages the Health System, including Hospitals and Health Centers, and the Michigan Health Corp. The deans of the Medical School and the Nursing School also report to the EVPMA, and she recommends faculty appointments, promotions, and tenure actions in the Medical School to the provost.

Vice Presidents

Vice President and General Counsel

Suellyn Scarnecchia became Vice President and General Counsel in June of 2008. Her office provides legal advice and representation to the University, including the Board of Regents, executive officers, faculty, staff, and sometimes students. She manages the central campus and satellite general counsel offices. Her office also provides legal counsel to the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses.

Vice President for Government Relations

Cynthia H. Wilbanks has been Vice President for Government Relations since 1998. Her office directs local, state, and federal programs in the field of government relations; plans and develops the responses to proposed legislation; develops and maintains relationships with governmental officials and agencies; and analyzes and assesses legislative, administrative, and regulatory actions as they pertain to University programs, activities, and operations. She also supervises the activities of the Office of State Outreach.

Vice President for Communications

David Lampe was appointed Vice President for Communications in 2007. He directs public relations and communications work at the University, advising the president, the other executive officers, and the deans and directors. His purview includes the Offices of Public Affairs and Media Relations, Michigan Public Media, the News Service, Michigan Marketing & Design, and the Office of Freedom of Information. He and the heads of his offices plan and coordinate University communications, serve as University spokespersons, and inform constituents and the public about the University’s activities, goals, and needs.

Vice President for Research

Stephen R. Forrest has been Vice President for Research since 2005. He holds responsibility for the research programs of the University, assists and advises the president and the Board of Regents in all matters pertaining to such programs, and reviews recommendations with respect to research proposals, research budgets, and the appointment of research faculty and personnel. His office maintains liaisons with external foundations, government agencies, and other organizations that provide research funding. His office also nurtures research, scholarship, and creative activity within the University; promotes responsible conduct in these activities; and helps to share the University’s knowledge and expertise with the larger society. His office promotes new interdisciplinary initiatives and helps to incubate novel approaches to research and scholarship through supervision of five research units that cross disciplines or school and college boundaries.

Vice President for Development

Jerry May has been the Vice President for Development since 2003. His office is responsible for all fundraising activities at the University, policy formulation, development of strategic plans, and program implementation. His office maximizes private support in collaboration with development leaders and staff in the schools, colleges, and units. His office also stimulates and facilitates healthy, productive, and lifelong relationships with colleagues, alumni, friends, foundations, and corporations. The office planned and implemented the highly successful Michigan Difference campaign.

Vice President for Student Affairs

E. Royster Harper has been Vice President for Student Affairs since 1999. She advises the Board of Regents, the president, and other University leadership on student affairs and student services, and manages programs, services, and facilities that promote student opportunities for personal growth and acquisition of skills and tools for lifelong learning. The Division of Student Affairs (DSA) is a combination of educational enhancement, service delivery, and facility management.

Vice President and Secretary of the University

Sally J. Churchill has been Vice President and Secretary of the University since 2005. She coordinates the business affairs of the Board of Regents and facilitates communication between the board and executive officers. Her office facilitates, coordinates, and manages policy matters, governance, and communications pertaining to the board, the president, and the executive officers. She is also the official custodian of the board proceedings and other supporting documents, including the Seal of the University of Michigan. Her office maintains and disseminates official records of board actions, coordinates board meeting agendas and organizes those meetings, serves as liaison between the board and the University community, and coordinates the regents’ participation in events and functions.

Deans of Schools and Colleges

Regents’ Bylaw 6.01 defines the schools and colleges as the means by which the University serves the state and the nation through instruction, scholarly investigations, and research in the branches of knowledge that form the basis of modern culture, professional practice, and leadership in business and industry, and the application of knowledge to social problems. The affairs of the schools and colleges are the responsibility of the governing faculties, the deans, and the executive committees. The next section discusses governing faculties and executive committees. Regents’ Bylaw 5.06 makes deans the executive officers of the schools and colleges. Each dean exercises a great deal of autonomy in all matters of the school or college. Working, where appropriate, with the governing faculty of the school or college and with the executive committee, each dean exercises oversight over all aspects of the school or college’s activities. This set of activities includes academics (e.g., faculty recruitment, appointment, and retention; student recruitment; and all aspects of the curriculum), all aspects of the budget; external development; planning; human resources; student academic affairs; oversight of academic departments, institutes, centers, programs, museums, and other academic resources; support services; and the full range of relevant administrative matters.

Faculty Governance

Faculty governance structures exist at the department, school or college, and University-wide levels, as described below. In 2008 the second edition of the document “Principles of Faculty Involvement in Institutional and Academic Unit Governance at the University of Michigan” was endorsed jointly by the Office of the Provost and the Senate Assembly. In the introduction to the principles, which include general principles, academic unit level principles, and institution level principles, the document states:

Faculty participation in governance promotes and encourages diversity of ideas, a sense of shared responsibility, collaboration, collegiality, and institutional excellence. The faculty of the University of Michigan is encouraged to use these principles as a basis for participation in governance at all levels and in all units.

Faculty Governance in the Schools, Colleges and Departments

Faculty includes members of the teaching and research staff; the executive officers; the directors of various teaching, research, and library units; and librarians, curators, and archivists. Educational affairs are governed by governing faculties, executive committees, and deans of the schools and colleges, and by the directors of the University’s libraries and institutes. The governing faculty typically includes professors, associate professors, and assistant professors, and, where authorized by a unit’s bylaws, certain clinical faculty, research faculty, and instructors and lecturers who hold appointments of half-time or more. Each unit has established criteria in place for voting rights. The governing faculty interview and endorse candidates for faculty positions, plan for the future, make changes in the curriculum, and exercise jurisdiction over academic policies. An appointed department chair provides administrative leadership to the department, working with the governing faculty and in some cases assisted by one or more associate chairs who attend to undergraduate education, graduate education, or research.

Executive Committees

Executive committees assist the deans, who typically serve as ex officio Chair of the committee. Executive committees investigate and formulate educational and instructional policies for the governing faculty to consider, and act for the faculty in matters of budgets, promotions, and appointments. Executive committees are optional, but most of schools and colleges have them.

University-wide Governance

  • The University Senate consists of all members of the professorial staff, the executive officers of the University, the deans of the schools and colleges, and members of the research staff designated through the Senate Assembly’s standards and procedures. The Senate considers any subject pertaining to the interests of the University, and makes recommendations to the executive officers and to the Board of Regents. Actions undertaken by several faculties that affect other schools and colleges or University policy as a whole fall under the Senate’s jurisdiction. The Senate meets at least once a year.
  • The Senate Assembly consists of faculty-elected representatives from all schools and colleges of the Ann Arbor campus, and from the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses. It is the legislative arm of the Senate and deals with important issues for the University community. It meets eight times a year, in meetings open to all faculty. Its agendas and minutes are available online.
  • The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) is the executive arm of the Faculty Senate and of the Senate Assembly, consisting of nine members elected by the Assembly. SACUA advises and consults with the president, the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and the executive officers of the University on matters of University policy. It also coordinates and initiates governance activities and helps to implement the actions of the Senate and the Assembly. SACUA agendas and minutes are available online.
  • The Senate Assembly has 10 standing committees that advise and consult with each executive officer on matters within the areas of their responsibilities, and with SACUA and the Assembly. The Assembly also has committees that advise University officials and/or assist SACUA and the Assembly on such topics as tenure, civil liberties, the budget, and the economic status of the faculty. Special committees are sometimes appointed to help with the Assembly’s work.

Staff-related Governance Structures

Staff related governance includes nine bargaining agreements, the University’s Standard Practice Guide, and the VOICES of the Staff initiative that provides staff the opportunity to raise concerns and offer suggestions and ideas to University leadership.

  • Nine bargaining agreements establish terms and conditions of employment for valued employees, arrived at through good faith collective bargaining between the University and the employees represented by such agreements. The Staff Human Resources Division of University Human Resources administers collective bargaining agreements and memoranda of understanding, and negotiates and administers contracts and handles grievances, discipline, and discharge processes with these units: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME. Local 1583, Council #25, AFL-CIO); Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM); University of Michigan Skilled Trades Board of Directors; International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE Local 547); and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). Academic Human Resources administers contracts with the Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO) and the Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO). GEO was founded in 1970 and established its first contract in 1975, making it one of the oldest graduate employee unions in the United States. The Human Resources Division of the University of Michigan Health System administers bargaining agreements with the Michigan Nurses Association and the University of Michigan House Officers Association.
  • VOICES of the Staff was launched in 2005 to give staff at the Ann Arbor, UM-Dearborn, and UM-Flint campuses and in the University Health System the means to develop and share ideas and to encourage a sense of community among University employees. Regular dialogue between VOICES teams and the University’s executive officers helps to improve the University for all. In 2009-2010, VOICES Network Teams are addressing benefits, health and wellbeing, career development, environmental stewardship, leadership development, technology/ best practices, work climate, parking and transportation enhancements, improved communications, and savings and discounts through the M-Card Discount Program.

Structures for Collaboration

The University employs several structures to share information, discuss topics, develop initiatives, assess progress, and plan for the future. These include:

  • The Board of Regents meets monthly, except for August; formal sessions are open to the public (the Office of the Vice President and Secretary posts the monthly meeting schedule and agenda on its website). A “Public Comments” session of each meeting allows members of the public to address the board. Executive officers of the University attend all board meetings.
  • Executive Officers. The president meets with executive officers (EOs) on a weekly basis throughout most of the year.
  • Deans and Directors. The provost convenes a twice-monthly meeting of the Academic Program Group (APG), consisting of deans of the schools and colleges, the University librarian and dean of the libraries, and the directors of the Institute for Social Research and the Life Sciences Institute.
  • Vice Provosts and Associate Deans Group (VPADG). The provost’s office convenes monthly meetings of the vice provosts and associate deans to share information, learn about University initiatives, and discuss concerns.
  • Research Associate Deans Group (RAD). The research associate deans and comparable representatives from other schools, colleges, or units meet every other month during the academic year.

There are also less formal groups that meet for a limited time to study and make recommendations about a specific issue or topic, and to discuss the future of the University.

Articulation of Standards and Procedures

Formal articulation of standards and procedures is accomplished by the Bylaws of the Board of Regents and the Standard Practice Guide. Handbooks for faculty and staff members and students are not formal policy, but are key sources of information, guidance, and resources.

Regents’ Bylaws and Ordinance

The Bylaws of the Board of Regents provide the rules about important matters of University organization and policy. Bylaws originate as recommendations from the schools and colleges, the University Senate, or other University forums, but some Bylaws arise directly from the board exercising its legislative powers. The Regents’ Ordinance contains regulations pertaining to parking, traffic, and the use and protection of University buildings and property.

Standard Practice Guide

The Standard Practice Guide (SPG) provides employees with convenient access to the University’s operating policies and practices. Sections cover organization, faculty and staff (human resources, payroll, and staff benefits), student affairs, business and financial services, and general policies and procedures. Units may complement the SPG with their own written guidelines and procedures.

Policies for Students

The Policies for Students website is provided by the Division of Student Affairs (DSA), often with student input, to support and maintain a healthy learning environment. Themes include respecting others, appreciating diverse perspectives, assuming individual responsibility, student rights and responsibilities, student records, religious holidays, alcohol and drug use, mental health, sexual assault, relationships between students and faculty or staff, freedom of speech, hazing, and use of information technology. Policies focused on integrity will be described later in this section.

Faculty Handbook

The online Faculty Handbook provided by the Office of the Provost contains information about policies and procedures affecting faculty members at the University of Michigan on the Ann Arbor Campus. An abridged version is provided to new faculty members each year. It is updated frequently, most recently in 2008.

Staff Handbook

The online Staff Handbook is provided by University Human Resources (UHR) to acquaint employees with the University’s policies, procedures, and practices, including getting paid, benefits, University services, paid time off, absence from work, cultural and recreational facilities, non-discrimination, and other employment matters.


Many channels are used to communicate the University’s mission, standards and expectations, and activities to faculty, staff, and students.

University Publications

The University uses an array of communication vehicles that range from traditional print to modern electronic communications. These include:

  • record The University Record, published weekly by University News Service during the academic year, serves thousands of active and retired faculty and staff members with news and features covering the University. More than 20,000 copies of each issue are distributed by mail and news racks on the campuses, and the publication is also available online and in a daily alert edition, the Record Update. The Record recognizes accomplishments, reports on progress and issues, informs faculty and staff members about changes in state and federal policies that could affect the University, and generally increases understanding about the University. The Record publishes a feature called the Regents Roundup following each board meeting, and publishes all proposed changes to the Regents’ Bylaws and significant changes to the Standard Practice Guide.
  • Electronic Updates. Targeted email and web postings are used increasingly to inform the entire University community about important topics, including welcome messages from the president at the beginning of the fall semester (delivered in video format ), changes in University benefits, and on such topics, to give some recent examples, as the University’s financial outlook in the face of the 2008-09 economic downturn, information about the 2009 swine/H1N1 flu, and the purchase of the Pfizer research campus (the new North Campus Research Complex).
  • The University of Michigan on social networks:
facebook Facebook
ituneslogo iTunes U
youtubelogo YouTube
  • Michigan Today, published by the University News Service since 1968, is now a quarterly online magazine to engage, entertain, and educate alumni and friends. It keeps readers in touch with and reinforces their identity with and support for the institution.
  • The Michigan Daily has been the campus newspaper at Ann Arbor since 1890. The paper is student-run and financially independent. It is published each weekday during the regular academic year and weekly during the spring and summer terms. It covers the campus, administration, sports teams, faculty and culture, the town of Ann Arbor, and other topics of interest to students. Former editors, reporters, photographers, business staff members, and others have gone on to work at well-known publications.

Proceedings from the meetings of the Board of Regents and the University’s written and online publications have been noted above. Orientation programs are another important channel to welcome new members of the University community and convey important information. These include:

  • Orientation for Faculty. The Office of the Provost holds an event called New Faculty Orientation each fall to introduce new faculty to the University, and some schools and colleges and departments offer complementary programs of their own.
  • Orientation for Staff. UHR’s Office of Recruiting and Employment Services provides a mandatory orientation program each week for new staff members, while the U-M Health System’s HR office provides a program for all new UMHS staff members except nurses, who attend their own orientation program. Some schools, colleges, and units offer unit-specific orientations.
  • Orientation for Students. The Office of New Student Programs provides a required orientation for all new students, introducing them to the University community and providing them a view of what the University offers. The Rackham Graduate School runs a web-based orientation for new Rackham students to introduce them to the University, complemented by a fall welcome event and information fair. Many academic programs conduct formal or informal orientations for their new students.

Policy Review

The University reviews groups of policy and specific policies regularly. The Office of University Audits, which maintains the online Standard Practice Guide (SPG), suggests policy reviews within four years of most recent revision. Policy review sometimes occurs because of changing leadership priorities, suggestions from faculty governance, external influences (e.g., shifts in practices among peer institutions), changes in practice, or circumstances that suggest a policy or practice should be changed. The SPG website lists policies that have been revised or deleted. In 2008 the Office of University Audits implemented revisions to 24 policies in the SPG. The Office of the Vice President and Secretary of the University routinely reviews and revises Regental Bylaws, often making modest revisions in a process called “housekeeping.” University Human Resources is currently in the midst of a detailed review of the Faculty & Staff category of the SPG, in collaboration with the Office of Academic Human Resources and the Office of the Provost.