History of U-M Faculty Governance


History Throughout the 1840s faculty governance was effected principally through personal communications and meetings between the faculty and Regents. The faculty taught classes and handled most student problems. The Regents managed the financial and organizational problems of the University. A few faculty had special administrative duties in addition to their normal teach­ing. The Regents appointed a Librarian in 1841 and a Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds in 1847. The faculty elected their own ”President” from among their numbers. Little else was needed to run an institution that could barely manage to meet payrolls and was struggling to survive. The close contacts between faculty and Regents allowed most decision making to proceed in close harmony and with general agreement. During the 1840s faculty were hired, courses planned, class hours set, rules adopted, and new programs added with the overall support of and input from the faculty. In this way, the University was able to avoid the sectarian infighting that weakened or destroyed many early colleges in America. However, there were disagreements, some of which had serious consequences. By 1848-49, the faculty had become divided over how to deal with the newly established fraternities. This and other problems prompted the Re­gents to “remove or terminate appointments of three of the four LSA faculty (1851) and hire a president (1852) to reorganize the University. Read More

A Bicentennial Conversation with James and Anne Duderstadt

Senate Assembly Meeting, February 20, 2017

The Michigan Daily


Faculty History Project

Faculty Memoir Project