The University of Michigan (UM, U-M, U of M, or UMich), often simply referred to as Michigan, is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The university is Michigan’s oldest; it was founded in 1817 in Detroit, as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the territory became a state.
The school was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the flagship university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (780 acres; 3.2 km2) spread out over a Central Campus and North Campus, two regional campuses in Flint and Dearborn, and a Center in Detroit. The university is a founding member of the Association of American Universities.
Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States with annual research expenditures approaching $1.5 billion, Michigan is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.
As of October 2019, 25 Nobel Prize winners, 6 Turing Award winners and 1 Fields Medalist have been affiliated with the University of Michigan. Its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) as well as professional degrees in architecture, business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work, public health, and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni comprises more than 540,000 people, one of the largest alumni bases of any university in the world.
Michigan is one of the founding members (1900) of the Association of American Universities. With over 6,200 faculty members, 73 of whom are members of the National Academy and 471 of whom hold an endowed chair in their discipline, the university manages one of the largest annual collegiate research budgets of any university in the United States, totaling about $1 billion in 2009.
The Medical School spent the most at over $445 million, while the College of Engineering was second at more than $160 million. U-M also has a technology transfer office, which is the university conduit between laboratory research and corporate commercialization interests. In 2009, the university consummated a deal to purchase a facility formerly owned by Pfizer.
The acquisition includes over 170 acres (0.69 km2) of property, and 30 major buildings comprising roughly 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m2) of wet laboratory space, and 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2) of administrative space. As of the purchase date, the university’s intentions for the space were not announced, but the expectation is that the new space will allow the university to ramp up its research and ultimately employ in excess of 2,000 people.
Groups and activities
The University lists 1,438 student organizations. With a history of student activism, some of the most visible groups include those dedicated to causes such as civil rights and labor rights, such as local chapters of Students for a Democratic Society and United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS).
The latter group seeks to hold accountable multinational companies that exploit their workers in factories around the world where college apparel is produced. Although the student body generally leans toward left-wing politics, there are also conservative groups, such as Young Americans for Freedom, and non-partisan groups, such as the Roosevelt Institute.
There are also several engineering projects teams, including the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, which has placed first in the North American Solar Challenge six times and third in the World Solar Challenge four times. Michigan Interactive Investments, the TAMID Israel Investment Group, and the Michigan Economics Society are also affiliated with the university.
The university also showcases many community service organizations and charitable projects, including Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan, The Detroit Partnership, Relay For Life, U-M Stars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, InnoWorks at the University of Michigan, SERVE, Letters to Success, PROVIDES, Circle K, Habitat for Humanity, and Ann Arbor Reaching Out. Intramural sports are popular, and there are recreation facilities for each of the three campuses.