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Office of the Provost

Advisory committee named for School of Information dean search

Provost Laurie K. McCauley has named a 14-member advisory committee to assist the search for the next dean of the School of Information.

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

ADVANCE Program Director Search

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

Announcement of the 2023 Thurnau Competition

August 30, 2022

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to deans, associate deans, department chairs, and program directors to announce the thirty-fifth competition for the Thurnau Professorships and to invite you to nominate your most extraordinary educators for this high honor.

Each year, Thurnau Professorships recognize and reward a highly select group of five tenured faculty for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. Those appointed to Thurnau Professorships hold this title along with their other university titles and receive a $20,000 grant to support activities associated with further enhancing their teaching (e.g., travel, books, equipment, graduate student support). The Professorships are named after Arthur F. Thurnau, a student at the University of Michigan from 1902 to 1904, and are supported by the Thurnau Charitable Trust that was established through his will.

Thurnau Professors have a sustained record of excellence in undergraduate education, as demonstrated by a combination of the following:

  • A strong commitment to students and to teaching and learning,
  • Excellence in teaching, as evidenced particularly by other teaching awards and also the use of effective teaching strategies and notable methods of assessing student learning,
  • Innovations in teaching and learning,
  • A strong commitment to working effectively with a diverse student body,
  • A demonstrable impact on students’ intellectual and/or artistic development and on their lives,
  • Contributions to undergraduate education beyond the classroom, studio, or lab.

It is extremely helpful to the selection committee when the nomination letter explicitly addresses each criterion.

I would be especially grateful if you would help to identify a diverse pool of nominees with respect to such factors as gender, race/ethnicity, and school/college representation.

Any deanassociate dean, department chair, or academic program director may submit a nomination, with the signature of a dean signifying endorsement of the nominee (see Nomination Cover Sheet). It is common for candidates to be nominated more than once before being selected. Please note that it is somewhat unusual, though not impossible, for nominees to be selected early in their post-tenure career. Thurnau Professors will be recommended to the Regents at their February meeting and recognized at the Honors Convocation in mid-March.

The Thurnau Professorships recognize and reward outstanding faculty who devote their attention to providing an excellent undergraduate experience for U-M students. We take the nominations for these Professorships very seriously and hope you will give them your careful attention. Nominations must be submitted by no later than Thursday, December 1, 2022.

If you have questions about the Thurnau Professorships or the nomination procedure, please call or email Ryan Hudson, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), 763-0159 (rhudson@umich.eduu). We look forward to receiving your nomination(s).

Sincerely,

Laurie K. McCauley DDS, MS, PhD
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

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.