“an uncommon education for the common man.”
President James B. Angell
|Criterion 1: The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.
||The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.
The brevity and simplicity of the University of Michigan’s mission statement reflects the institution’s complexity. It mirrors the University’s key values: knowledge and art, service, good citizenship, and leadership. It captures the University’s primary activities: research and creativity, education, and service. The University of Michigan’s broad mission statement takes form in the University’s tradition of balance between academic decentralization with strong central support for governance, infrastructure, and services.
The heart of the University of Michigan’s reputation as a leader in higher education is its nineteen schools and colleges, with an array of academic departments and programs, most of which are nationally ranked. These programs cover a wide range, from general studies to mechanical engineering, from the history of art to pharmaceutical sciences, from dance to business, from human-computer interaction to graphic arts, from law to political science, from medicine to architecture, and from the environment and astronomy to musical theatre. These are but a few examples on a long list of fields and disciplines at the University.
The underlying cornerstones of the University’s scholarly reputation and its pluralist academic community are its people: the scholarly and creative contributions of the University’s accomplished faculty; the quality, vitality, and passion of its undergraduate, graduate, and professional students; and the contributions of staff members at all levels. Each of the schools and colleges, and each department in the larger units, has a distinct academic mission and culture born of a long and distinguished tradition of academic decentralization. Every academic program at the University shapes its own intellectual milieu for faculty and students. Faculty members form the core of each of these academic environments, supported by research faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, professional students, and undergraduate students, who collectively play key roles in the knowledge and creative enterprise.
This academic decentralization is balanced by central support for governance, infrastructure, and services. The University underwrites the efforts of each academic unit to break new ground and push on the boundaries of knowledge and creativity. This support includes setting general direction for the University, aligning the budget with University priorities, protecting the University’s fiscal strength, promoting activities that reflect the University’s values, and includes our long-standing commitment to diversity, ensuring institutional integrity through policies and procedures at every level, effective problem-solving, and provision of common solutions to support needs. This strategy facilitates the University’s strong commitment to interdisciplinarity, helping faculty and students cross disciplinary boundaries to collaborate with others, a topic to which we will return in several places in this report.
The University’s broad mission statement is an umbrella for the objectives and goals of our academic programs. It respects the fact that faculty in each of the academic units are the stewards of the units’ academic mission and goals.
The University of Michigan is developing a new vision statement that describes our goals and commitments as we move forward in our third century. This vision statement fully embraces the legacy bestowed upon us by President James B. Angell in our first century of offering “an uncommon education for the common man.” With the vision statement, the University identifies the modern challenges and opportunities before us and recognizes that we must change, adapt, and grow to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving and global society.
We are a community of learners. We serve our multiple constituents by providing access to and participation in scholarly and creative endeavors on a vast scale. Our academic research enterprise affects the world. The University is defined by a culture of interdisciplinary teaching and research, coupled with academic rigor. We encourage our students, faculty, and staff to transcend disciplinary boundaries by tackling complex and vexing problems facing modern societies at local, national, and global levels.
We endorse and promote creativity in its many facets. We recognize the arts as a human essential and a foundation that helps to define our future. We see information technology as a powerful means for broadening access to ideas and for widening communication, and to promote the creation of new knowledge and share the joy of discovery.
- We draw from study and experience to prepare our students for leadership roles in a wide range of social institutions, including government, politics, law, business and finance, reflecting the University’s many roles in contributing to good design and decision making within major domestic and international institutions.
- We celebrate and promote diversity in all its forms, seeking the understanding and perspective that distinct life experiences bring. We proclaim ourselves a scholarly community in which ideas may be freely expressed and challenged, and where all people are welcomed, respected, and nurtured in their academic and social development.
- We are committed to providing for our students and faculty international learning, teaching, and research experiences that will prepare them for a rapidly changing global community. The University encourages intellectual and cultural exchange in other countries, and programs that deeply engage scholars from disparate areas of the globe. We support and promote student, faculty, and staff immersion in local and national communities via service, learning, and leadership endeavors. We nurture lifelong relationships with alumni who span the globe.
- We advance health care through discovery and practice. We deliver clinical services to people within our state and the world, educate future generations of health care professionals, conduct basic research in fundamental processes of life, and vigorously advance research on the mechanisms, detection, and treatment of a spectrum of human diseases. The University champions fitness, disease prevention, and policy research to advance health, quality of life, and longevity of our own community, the nation, and the globe.
- We stimulate economic growth and development in Michigan and beyond. The University engages in productive partnerships among academe, industry, and government to sustain and grow a vigorous and dynamic economy. University students, faculty, and staff embody and advance innovative attitudes and entrepreneurial spirit.
- We strive to be an exemplary employer and a positive influence in our community. We provide an environment where all employees can deploy and develop their skills to the fullest potential.
- We dedicate ourselves to responsible stewardship of financial, physical, and environmental resources. We look for tools and strategies to enhance sustainable practices in all facets of operations and seek to lead in the global quest for a sustainable future.
- We gladly accept the challenges and opportunities confronting us and understand that the University of Michigan must change, adapt, and grow to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving society. We will always focus on the horizon.