The Academic Innovation Initiative Letter

Dear Colleagues,

Since our founding nearly 200 years ago, the University of Michigan has led the way in shaping higher education and been a model for the public research university. We are excited to invite you to participate in the next stage in the evolution of U-M’s leadership in higher education.

This fall, we will launch an Academic Innovation Initiative to consider how U-M will lead the way for higher education through the information age and further strengthen our impact on society. We will examine how teaching can be enhanced by ubiquitous access to digital content, by unprecedented opportunities for connection, and by an explosion of data about learners, educators, and their interactions.

We invite you to join us and participate in the kickoff event of the Academic Innovation Initiative, 2:00-5:00pm Thursday, September 29 at the U-M Alumni Center. We will share our thoughts, and you will also hear from Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Dean of Libraries James Hilton. A faculty panel will discuss some of the great work we are already doing at U-M. There will also be information sessions on how you can get involved and a reception.

More details and an RSVP link are available on the Office of Academic Innovation website.  We thank that Office and the faculty members of the Academic Innovation Initiative Steering Committee for leading this campuswide discussion.

The Academic Innovation Initiative has the potential to transform our ability to meet the educational demands of a diverse population, open up new frontiers in research about teaching and learning, and even rewrite the social contract for the public research university. It will build upon the outstanding legacies of discovery and impact in our 19 schools and colleges and many institutes and centers that combine to make the University of Michigan one of the world’s most powerful engines for innovation.

As the faculty members who embody our unmatched intellectual breadth, your ideas and perspectives will help establish academic innovation as a new collective focus of the University of Michigan. We invite you to engage with us in U-M’s Academic Innovation Initiative and hope to see you on September 29.


Mark S. Schlissel

Martha E. Pollack
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs