Office of the Provost

The University of Michigan Faculty Handbook

8.A General Principles

Teaching is at the core of the mission of the University, whether it be in the context of undergraduate education, mentoring graduate students, training students in the professional schools, or any of the other myriad ways faculty interact with students, inside and outside the classroom. Our students challenge us to create a rich and diverse learning environment, and they are the lifeblood of the institution. Recognizing that the exceptional students who come to the University of Michigan are one of our most valuable resources, the University places great emphasis on the teaching role of faculty and strives to provide resources to encourage and facilitate interactions between students and faculty members. See section 6.B “Criteria for Tenure” and section 8.B “Resources for Faculty.”

In all of their dealings with students, it is expected that faculty members will be fair and equitable, will support students in their own development within the University community, and will adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct.

In October 2003, the Senate Assembly adopted the document, "Teaching Principles and Responsibilities." The document was developed, as stated in the preamble, "to guide faculty administrators and staff in their efforts to sustain and strengthen a supportive educational environment for our undergraduate, graduate, and professional students." By section the document addresses individual faculty responsibilities, and rewarding excellence in teaching.

A number of policies, rules, and regulations have been developed regarding interactions between faculty and students and the educational process. Most logistical and administrative matters, for example, class assignments, the scheduling of classes, and office hour policies, are handled by the schools, colleges, departments, or academic units. Many academic policy questions, such as issues of academic standing and drop-add procedures, are also handled by the academic units. It is therefore essential for faculty members to obtain and become familiar with their units’ faculty handbooks and/or student bulletins.

University-wide policies are discussed in section 8.D “University Policies and Procedures Affecting Students” of the online Faculty Handbook. Many of these policies are included in a set of University policies for students that is published online by the Office of Student Conflict Resolution at <>.


Faculty Handbook: Teaching and Faculty Interactions with Students: