Detroit city skyline in the evening.


President Mark Schlissel

U-M President Mark Schlissel

The University of Michigan’s engagement with the city and residents of Detroit stretches back more than two centuries. Detroit is our birthplace, where in 1817, U-M was envisioned as a public university whose sole purpose would be to serve society.

The centuries since have brought changes to the university and the city, but the public ethos of the university and its link to Detroit remain. Today, U-M is proud that our collaborations and engagement in Detroit include residents, educators, neighborhoods, government agencies, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders. Faculty, students, and staff from all three of our campuses work alongside partners to learn and serve in ways that create mutual benefits.

Together, we strive to embody the fundamental principles that make our partnerships thrive:

  • recognition for the each other’s expertise and knowledge
  • respect for each other, our communities, and our resources
  • equitable engagement focused on reciprocal relationships, transparency, and accountability.

We are excited to add important new chapters to U-M’s more than 200-year history with this great American city. Together, we are enhancing our existing connections –organizationally, geographically, and intellectually – while also seeking ways to further unleash our collective creativity in service of shared goals. Our new and ongoing endeavors honor our public mission and respond to challenges and opportunities by sparking innovations, promoting growth, and focusing university and community strengths on a brighter future for all.

At every step of the way, we are driven by the foundational premise, established back in 1817, that our collaborations will have the greatest impact when we work together for the benefit of our shared society.

Thank you all for your partnership.

Mark Schlissel