Launch Committees

Launch committees provide support and guidance to new junior faculty as they begin their careers at Michigan. Committees meet with the new faculty member from the time of hire until the end of the first year at Michigan. Our program is modeled after a similar and very successful effort at Case Western Reserve University.

In the pilot year of this program (2012-2013), two departments in the College of Engineering (Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering) and two departments in LSA (Chemistry; Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology) participated. In addition to the assistant professors and the department chairs, the 8 launch committees included: 9 faculty from the College of Engineering, 5 faculty from the Medical School, and 4 faculty from the College of LSA.

The number of participating departments and schools has increased each year. Over 50 committees were formed in 2016, including all new assistant professors in the College of Engineering, the Natural Science division of LSA and 4 pilot departments in the LSA Humanities and Social Science divisions.

A consortium in the Medical School, School of Dentistry, and College of Pharmacy created committees in 2016 and follows a similar format as the College of Engineering and College of LSA.

The committee focuses on areas that are essential for a new hire to be successful:

  • Integration into the university
  • Teaching
  • Funding
  • Research and publications
  • Lab space, equipment and computing resources (if relevant)
  • Lab personnel, including students (if relevant)
  • Service
  • Mentoring plan for the probationary (pre-tenure-review) period
  • Settling in to Ann Arbor

Each committee consists of the following members:

  • Senior faculty member in the department with research interests fairly closely aligned with the new junior faculty member
  • Department chair
  • Senior faculty member from outside the department, in a field related to the new junior faculty member's interests
  • ADVANCE faculty member
  • New junior faculty member

Each year an evaluation of the Launch Committee Program is conducted by the ADVANCE Program through interviews or surveys of all committee members (launchees, conveners, department chairs, faculty members inside and outside of the department). Brief summary reports of these data across years are available here for:

  • Chairs here. ()
  • Conveners here. ()
  • and Launchees here. ()
  • A summary report for faculty inside and outside of the department is forthcoming.

    In 2015 ADVANCE reported on the Launch Program evaluations conducted to date. This report can be found here. ()

    © 2015 ADVANCE Program at the University of Michigan