Chapter 9: Faculty as Representatives of the University/Service

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9.A General Principles

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In conjunction with teaching, scholarship, and research, faculty participation in service activities within and outside the University constitute the core responsibilities of a public university. Service to community groups, and to local, state, national, and international governmental groups, not only provides these organizations with faculty expertise but also helps to fulfill the University’s mission of service to the people of Michigan and the world.

Faculty service on appropriate unit and University committees and participation in administrative tasks are essential to the effective functioning of the University (see handbook Chapter 4 “Faculty Roles in Governance”), as is the mentoring of junior faculty colleagues. Leadership of professional organizations and participation in other professional activities such as reviewing works submitted to professional journals or conferences are also important to the mission of the University, as well as to the advancement of one’s profession or discipline.

The University takes great pride in the various service activities of its faculty and supports and encourages participation. Faculty should check with their dean, director, or chair about that unit’s policies concerning the evaluation of service activities as part of reviews for merit salary increases and tenure and promotion.

Because the University places a high value on its internal and external relations, offices exist centrally and within many of the schools and colleges to help faculty work with news media; community groups; local, state, and federal policy makers; and prospective donors. For example, U-M News Service consults with faculty about media relations and is equipped to provide portrait photographs and biographical data about faculty members to news media, as well as press releases about accomplishments in faculty research. See See handbook sections 9.C “Communications and Media Relations,” and 9.D “Faculty Statements.”

Innovation Partnerships, a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research, serves as the primary gateway for researchers seeking to increase the impact of their work. They provide this service to U-M faculty by connecting with the private sector through corporate-sponsored research collaborations, licensing discussions, or connections with entrepreneurs and investors to support startup company formation. Their team of licensing, business development, and investment professionals provides comprehensive step-by-step service to faculty starting with invention assessment and intellectual property support, followed by business mentoring and connections to early-stage capital from the Accelerate Blue Fund.

The Economic Growth Institute leverages the University of Michigan’s resources, research, technologies, and expertise to foster innovation and create positive economic impact for local, state, and national communities and economies by working with small and medium-sized enterprises.