President's Message

U-M president Santa J. Ono

The University of Michigan stands as a beacon of excellence, marked by world-class academic programs, cutting-edge research and one of the top-rated health systems in the nation. Underlying all that we do is our vital mission: an enduring commitment to serving the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.

This commitment means we have a responsibility to draw on our institution’s incredible breadth and depth of academic, research and medical expertise to address our society’s most pressing challenges. With a strong financial foundation, U-M is well positioned to do just that.

From the threat of the global climate crisis to the potential of emerging technologies and innovations like artificial intelligence and precision medicine, faculty, staff and students from a variety of disciplines are working together to open new horizons and strengthen the university’s incredible impact on our region, our state and our world.

As I embark on my second year as president of this amazing institution, I am more certain than ever that our university’s two centuries of success can be attributed to the members of this university community — faculty, students, staff, alumni, donors and so many others. They are our critical thinkers, our champions, our researchers, our benefactors and our future leaders. They are our greatest strength, and are of inestimable value to our university.

Over 65,000 students are enrolled and working toward their academic goals across our three campuses. Our growing enrollment on the Ann Arbor campus means we are now the largest and most sought-after public university in the state. The University of Michigan’s hospitals, which serve millions of patients each year, were named among the nation’s best in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023–24 Best Hospitals Honor Roll.

Every day, we are living out our public mission.

Vision 2034: Shaping Our Collective Future

U-M students outside on the U-M campus

Over the past year, the University of Michigan community has been engaged in a collective strategic visioning process to consider our shared future over the next decade, including who we are, what we stand for and where we are going as a great public research university.

Vision 2034 is a commitment to continue pushing the boundaries of knowledge, service and innovation. It is an ambitious journey to address the most pressing global challenges, accelerate breakthrough discoveries and create a positive impact on the lives of countless individuals worldwide. The process will be informed by the insights of other university priorities, including our pursuit of carbon neutrality; our ongoing DEI and well-being efforts; and strategic planning at UM-Dearborn, UM-Flint and Michigan Medicine.

The active participation of U-M students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners has been critical to the success of Vision 2034, and I appreciate the thousands of people who have contributed their ideas and opinions on U-M’s future.

As we journey toward 2034, we look forward to a future where the University of Michigan remains at the forefront of research, innovation and education, making profound contributions to society. You can learn more about this process and our timeline at Vision 2034.

From the Lab to the Marketplace

A U-M student prepares a lab experiment

The University of Michigan reported a record $1.86 billion in research expenditures during fiscal year 2023, positioning us among the nation’s leading public universities in terms of research volume.

For a university intent on contributing to the public good, it is imperative that our extensive research enterprise not only advances knowledge and develops new technologies, but does so to positively impact society.

One way we do this is through Innovation Partnerships, a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research. Innovation Partnerships serves as the central hub for U-M research commercialization efforts, and its team achieved a record-breaking year, generating 580 new invention reports and executing 311 commercialization agreements.

U-M research also helped launch 25 new startups that range in scope from developing innovative therapies for the treatment of fibrosis to designing technologies that aid in substance abuse monitoring. These startups further reflect the university’s commitment to translating research for broad societal impact.

Beyond generating knowledge and products, these efforts hold immense value, opening doors, uplifting communities and changing lives.

The University of Michigan was envisioned as America’s first true research university. Together, we aim to have a profound impact on the great challenges of our time.

Leaders and Best

As we look to the future, the University of Michigan is poised to carry out its public mission through a variety of bold and aspirational initiatives.

The D. Dan and Betty Kahn Health Care Pavilion, a 690,000-square-foot adult inpatient hospital in Ann Arbor, is scheduled to open for patient care in the fall of 2025. What was recently just a frame of steel girders is being transformed into a new facility that will house a state-of-the-art neurosciences center, advanced imaging and high-level, specialty care for cardiovascular and thoracic patients.

The Detroit skyline

In Detroit, where the University of Michigan was founded in 1817, we are breaking ground on the U-M Center for Innovation (UMCI). The world-class research, education and entrepreneurship center will advance innovation and talent-focused community development, stimulate economic development and drive job creation.

In addition to offering graduate programs that focus on technology, robotics, sustainability and computer science, UMCI will support additional academic and research activity in the city, spark more engagement with the city and its residents, support ongoing university programs for Detroit high school students and provide non-credit-based talent development programs that will cover in-demand skill areas.

None of this would be possible without the university’s solid financial footing, which I encourage you to read more about in the Chief Financial Officer’s Report.

Underpinning our financial strength is the generosity of the University of Michigan family, as detailed in the Report of the Vice President for Development. This support allows us to accomplish so much, in service to so many, in Michigan and beyond.

With our vital mission at the forefront, we are eager to reach new heights of excellence in service to our region, our world and a brighter future.


Santa J. Ono's signature

Santa J. Ono