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Office of the Provost

Advisory committee named for Ford School dean search

Law School dean search advisory committee named

Five join U-M's faculty through Anti‑Racism Hiring Initiative

Redesigned Provost Office website launches

The Office of the Provost has a redesigned website. It looks better (right?), and the important information on the website has been reorganized in a way that should make more sense. Please explore the site and use the search function – top right of every page – when you don’t find the item you are looking for. The faculty handbook has a new look, too, and is linked at the top of every page just to the left of the search field.

Send questions and comments to provost@umich.edu.

Week Three Welcome

September 12, 2022

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff,

Welcome to week three of the 2022-23 academic year!  The start of the school year is an exciting time full of fresh perspectives and new opportunities.   We can now take full advantage of all the university and Ann Arbor offer.  What opportunities will you embrace?  What impact will you have on our world? Whether you are a new first year student, a recently promoted faculty member, or an experienced staff member, we can all individually and collectively, make a difference in our world.  And here at the University of Michigan we have lots of possibilities to do so.

Immerse yourself in all our campus has to offer:

Be a civic minded citizen. Vote.  Be informed about the topics we will vote on and/or help others become informed.  Expressing our opinions through voting can lead to empowerment and positive change. UMMA will be offering an opportunity to register and vote on campus!

Generate new knowledge.  This is what research universities do so well. Experience the joy that comes from expanding what we know.  Our faculty and researchers do this every day. New students may want to embrace this engaging opportunity.

Create a piece of art or admire one. Art can turn heads, make people think, inspire others to act, bring joy and calm tensions.  It’s all around you on campus and in our galleries.

Move.  Go for a hike in the arboretum, play tennis, lift weights, meditate.  Nourish your body and your mind will thrive.

Be a sponge. On a campus as broad and deep as ours, the opportunities to learn are endless.  Focus on an area you want to excel at and learn as much as you can.  Education can change the world.

Embrace change. Express your gratitude to our beloved two-time president Mary Sue Coleman and welcome our new president Santa Ono who is eager to join us in October.

Respect others. Participate in the campus DEI Summit, and in all you do this fall term – be kind, compassionate and respectful to others.

We have the good fortune of coming together to study and work and immerse ourselves in the life of the university.  We get to interact with interesting people and expand our knowledge and experiences. I hope you will take advantage of all that the University of Michigan offers you. I wish you a successful, exciting year.  You are an important part of what makes this university so amazing.

Sincerely,

Laurie K. McCauley
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor

Advisory committee named for School of Dentistry dean search

Religious Holiday Scheduling and Scheduling Final Exams

[Email to U-M faculty]
August 30, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to draw your attention to the religious holiday schedule and to the University’s long-standing final exam policy.

Religious Holiday Schedule:

Although the University of Michigan, as an institution, does not observe religious holidays, every reasonable effort should be made to help students avoid negative academic consequences when their religious obligations conflict with academic requirements. Faculty are expected to provide reasonable accommodations, if possible, when religious observances cause a student to miss classes, examinations, or other assignments. If there will be a conflict, students are expected to give notice to their instructors by the drop/add deadline for the term. The information that we provide to students regarding their obligations is copied at the end of this message for your information.

The list of some of the religious holidays that might pose conflicts for many of our students in 2022-2023 is posted on the Provost’s Office website. Please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list and there may be other holidays that pose conflicts for students. When such conflicts do occur with regard to class attendance or the scheduling of examinations, it is my expectation that faculty will make alternative arrangements when students request them.

Such alternative arrangements should not unduly inconvenience other students or faculty. Faculty should make every effort to avoid scheduling required work that is difficult to reschedule, e.g., lab exams or high-profile non- classroom activities, on religious holidays. Some holidays extend over many days, and instructors should take special care to schedule work so that students who observe these holidays have opportunities to complete their work in a way that does not conflict with their religious observance. Faculty members whose classes conflict with their own religious obligations may reschedule these classes at times that are mutually convenient to themselves and their students.

If you have any questions or problems with this approach, please consult with your department chair, program director, or dean. Students will also be informed of this policy, in order to clarify for them their role in this process. Your efforts to resolve potential conflicts and to accommodate the students affected by them will be greatly appreciated.

Final Exam Policy:

The Final Exam Policy was developed to ensure that finals are spread over several days to help eliminate the scheduling of multiple exams per day for our students. By scheduling study days before and during the exam period, we also provide students with sufficient time to study for their finals.

Every term we receive complaints from students who were reluctant to express their concerns when a faculty member asked whether the students in a class objected to a final being moved. The lack of any objections does not necessarily mean that the students are in agreement with the change; they may simply be unwilling to incur peer pressure or the tacit disapproval of their instructor. I also am aware that students often purchase airline tickets home at the beginning of a term based on the final exam schedule only to have the date for the final changed and their travel plans disrupted.

For these reasons I am writing to ask that you please familiarize yourself with the University’s final exam policy and arrange to have finals on the scheduled date. Faculty in Business, Dentistry, Law, Medicine and Social Work should check with their respective schools for academic calendar information, including registration dates.

The University’s Final Examination Policy and Schedule may be accessed online, as is the Senate Assembly’s statement on final exams.

Any questions or concerns should be directed to your department chair, the dean’s office, or the Registrar’s Office. You may also write to me at provost@umich.edu.

Sincerely,

Laurie K. McCauley
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affair
William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor


Information for Students
Regarding Religious and Academic Conflicts

Although the University of Michigan, as an institution, does not observe religious holidays, it has long been the University’s policy that every reasonable effort should be made to help students avoid negative academic consequences when their religious obligations conflict with academic requirements. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who expect to miss classes, examinations, or other assignments as a consequence of their religious observance shall be provided with a reasonable alternative opportunity to complete such academic responsibilities.

It is the obligation of students to provide faculty with reasonable notice of the dates of religious holidays on which they will be absent. Such notice must be given by the drop/add deadline of the given term. Students who are absent on days of examinations or class assignments shall be offered an opportunity to make up the work, without penalty, unless it can be demonstrated that a make-up opportunity would interfere unreasonably with the delivery of the course. Should disagreement arise over any aspect of this policy, the parties involved should contact the department chair, the dean of the school, or the student ombudsperson. Final appeals will be resolved by the provost.

Important: Updated U-M COVID-19 policies

April 27, 2022

Dear Ann Arbor campus community member,

We are writing to share important changes to COVID-19 policies that apply to all students, faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor campus.

Effective May 2, the following mitigation strategies apply for our campus community:

  • Wearing a mask is no longer required on campus in instructional settings during class time or while on U-M buses.
  • Masks remain required in patient care areas and at campus COVID-19 testing sites and are optional in all other areas of campus. Masks remain an effective measure for enhanced personal protection against the spread of COVID-19, especially for individuals who have a compromised immune status, who are not up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, or who have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Michigan Medicine will maintain its current universal masking policy in all facilities where a patient may arrive as part of their care, including for billing or administrative purposes. The Medical School will follow campus guidelines and protocols.
  • The campus community is expected to remain up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations — completion of primary vaccine series and one booster — as outlined under the vaccination policy.
  • Weekly testing of those with an exemption from the vaccination policy is expected.
  • Free asymptomatic testing remains available on campus through the Community Sampling and Tracking Program (CSTP).
  • Continued use of the daily symptom checker tool, ResponsiBLUE, is expected.
  • Continued self-reporting of positive test results from at-home tests to the university is expected.

The two schools — the Law School and the Medical School — that have winter term classes and exams scheduled to meet through early May will maintain the masking requirement during class time through the end of their winter term schedule.

The changes to the face covering policy are consistent with the COVID-19 community level guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provides a measure of the impact of COVID-19 illness on health and health-care systems in addition to current case activity to help inform decision making for mitigation measures at the local level.

Data on our COVID-19 dashboard show that the number of COVID-19 cases on campus have continued to trend downward in the last two weeks but remain at an elevated level, and that the majority of individuals who sought testing at University Health Service reported mild symptoms. The university’s Campus Health Response Committee will continue to monitor COVID-19 activity in the U-M community and base recommendations on the latest guidance available.

Reminders for the U-M community to reduce the spread of COVID-19 include:

  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19, including any additional recommended boosters.
  • Get tested after close contact exposures and wear a mask for a full 10 days.
  • Stay home, avoid others and get tested for COVID-19 when you are sick or experiencing symptoms.
  • Isolate for at least five days and wear a mask around others for a full 10 days if you test positive for COVID-19.

For the latest information and updates related to COVID-19, please visit the Campus Maize and Blueprint website.

Sincerely,

Robert D. Ernst
Associate Vice President of Student Life
Director of Campus COVID Response

Preeti Malani
U-M Chief Health Officer

Preliminary Analysis of Remote Work Challenges/Considerations

June, 2021

As a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic the University of Michigan has been required to take extraordinary measures to continue to meet its missions and obligations. These measures have impacted every aspect of the university and dramatically changed the workplace.

As the community plans for an innovative return to campus, we are doing so with four goals in
mind:

  • Enhance the ways we accomplish our teaching research and service missions, leveraging all that we have learned about new ways of working and learning.
  • Increase efficiencies and reduce costs, in particular by reducing space needs;
  • Reduce our environmental impact and help the university achieve its carbon neutrality goals as those are developed, and;
  • Enhance our position as an employer of choice with particular attention to employee satisfaction.

Of particular interest in the near term is…

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