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Launch Committees

Launch Committees are a resource for new tenure track assistant professors, offering support and guidance as they begin their careers at Michigan. Committees meet monthly over the first academic year.

Launch Committee meetings are the center of the Launch Program, providing a space in which topics important to the new faculty members’ success can be discussed and addressed. Examples of meeting topics include: teaching and working with students, research and publication plans, laboratory space, field work, resources for scholarship, internal and external funding, starting collaborations, mentoring and evaluation processes, expectations regarding service assignments, integration into the university, and settling into the community. New faculty can map out their first few years, discuss strategies for teaching and research, build rapport with their chair, and expand their scholarly network.

Learn more about the Launch Program here.

Committee membership

Committees are composed of five members:

  • The new faculty member (“launchee”)
  • Department chair
  • Senior faculty member with related interests from within the department
  • Senior faculty member with related interests from outside the department
  • Senior faculty member who moderates the meeting

Thus committees offer multiple perspectives regarding success at the university, and the launchee begins their career with a supportive faculty network already in place.

As of 2018-19, 202 new faculty have been launched since the program began in 2012.

Impact

Successful experiences of launchees and committee members and strong feedback from senior faculty resulted in the continued expansion of the Launch program.

“My launch committee provided me a dedicated space and time to ask questions, seek advice, get clarification, and make connections with like minded scholars across the university.”

 

Bethany Hughes

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Department of American Culture Launch 2018-19

“The feedback and insights that my launch committee members provided were extremely helpful.”

 

Joi Mondisa

College of Engineering, Industrial and Operations Engineering Launch 2016-17

“The monthly meetings with my launch committee were indispensable for quickly finding my bearings at the University of Michigan”

 

Florian Schaub

School of Information Launch 2015-16

Participating units

The ADVANCE Program works with the College of Engineering and the School of Information to launch all new tenure-track assistant professors. All departments in the Natural Sciences Division of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts participate, and the program is rapidly expanding to include departments in the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions.

ADVANCE’s Launch program has inspired similar efforts in other units:

  • We collaborate with the School of Music, Theatre and Dance on their launch committees.
  • Launch in the Health Sciences (a consortium consisting of Michigan Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Kinesiology) independently manages their own program and infrastructure, sharing the same goal as ADVANCE’s Launch program—helping new junior faculty begin successful careers at U-M.