Office of the Provost

The University of Michigan Faculty Handbook

Preface to the Published Version:

The University of Michigan is one of the great public research universities of the United States, guided by the commitment and vision of its Board of Regents, executive officers, deans, and, importantly, by its faculty. Since the nineteenth century the University has provided a national model of a complex, diverse, and comprehensive public institution of higher learning that supports excellence in research; provides outstanding undergraduate, graduate, and professional education; and demonstrates commitment to service through partnerships and collaborations that extend to the community, region, state, nation, and around the world.

Michigan’s position of leading excellence in higher education rests on the outstanding quality of its nineteen schools and colleges, as well as on the national recognition of the excellence of individual departments and programs and on the many major scholarly and creative contributions of its faculty.

It is the University's goal to create a climate that enables faculty to focus their time and energy on their scholarly, research, or creative pursuits; their teaching; their clinical work; and their service. As in any complex institution, clear policies and procedures help the University to function more effectively and efficiently, enabling faculty and staff to focus on their pursuits and responsibilities. The purpose of this handbook is to provide information to faculty about a wide range of administrative matters that include general University principles and practices, the ins and outs of faculty appointments, tenure, faculty governance, and many more topics. In addition, the handbook provides information about key resources available to faculty.

The University is a highly complex and decentralized institution. It would be virtually impossible to capture in detail the many policies, procedures, and information that affect faculty, and to attempt to do so would duplicate many existing resources. With this in mind, the Office of the Provost provides the Faculty Handbook, both the online and printed versions, as a navigation aid. The reader is given brief descriptions of existing policies, procedures, and resources, and referred to primary resources for more information.

This abridged faculty handbook, which is produced for the convenience of those who prefer a printed document for reference, contains information about policies and procedures affecting faculty at the University of Michigan. The unabridged, authoritative Faculty Handbook is available on-line at <>.

The printed version contains the complete table of contents for the online Handbook and several key chapters printed in full. It also includes six appendices and a full index to the on-line version, which includes 21 chapters.

Since the online Handbook is revised on an as-needed basis to reflect changes in policy and to revise outdated information, it is the most up-to-date source of information. In addition, the online Handbook provides direct access to a wide variety of resources through hyperlinks. Some of the resources (for example, the Standard Practice Guide references) are provided in Portable Documents Format (PDF).

The Faculty Handbook is not, nor is it intended to be, a primary source of official University policy. Official policies are found in the Bylaws of the Board of Regents, the Standard Practice Guide (SPG), the bylaws of the schools and colleges, and many other documents, some of which are referenced in the handbook. Throughout the handbook, references to authoritative sources of University policy are provided. The handbook is not intended to directly establish or imply contractual obligations to any faculty group or individual faculty member. Official University policies may be revised at any time. Unless otherwise stated, revised University policies, when approved, apply to University faculty and staff, regardless of their initial appointment dates.

Although this handbook is written for Ann Arbor faculty, it includes information about University of Michigan-Dearborn and University of Michigan- Flint. Key differences among the campuses are noted and some information about local resources provided by the provosts on those campuses has been included. The UM-Dearborn Faculty Handbook Supplement is available online at <>. UM-Flint’s Faculty Code of the University of Michigan-Flint is posted online at  
Every effort was made to ensure that the information contained in this updated edition of the printed Faculty Handbook is accurate as of July 2013. However, the University of Michigan is a dynamic institution, constantly growing and changing. Some of the information will become out of date. Corrections, comments, and suggestions for ways to improve future editions are welcome and encouraged. Faculty may send comments to <>. The provost’s office updates the online version of the Faculty Handbook regularly.

July 2013