Scale of inventions, innovations is ‘just phenomenal’

September 21, 2023

Our new academic year is already off to a memorable and accomplished start.

I’d like to begin by congratulating Donna Fry, our interim chancellor for UM-Flint. Donna will be serving until the selection of a permanent chancellor, and we’re so grateful for her leadership.

I’m also pleased for our community that the University’s negotiations with the Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO) have concluded. I hope it is a sign that we are always pleased to negotiate in good faith, and we will always persist in finding solutions.

In connection with our agreement with GEO, I want to state my support for an unarmed, non-police emergency response program that is available to members of the University community.

Our next steps will be informed by established and emerging national best practices, including those in higher education, municipalities, and a similar program that the city of Ann Arbor is putting into place.

Thank you in advance to everyone who will be involved in this very important work.

The University for Michigan

My highest priorities

Our research and scholarship continues to be nationally recognized. I was delighted to see that the University of Michigan was recently chosen by the National Science Foundation to lead a $30M center – the Center for Complex Particle Systems – which will be focused on bringing nature’s efficiency and flexibility to advanced materials and additive manufacturing.

In 2022, U-M ranked among the top 10 universities in the country for utility patents granted, according to the National Academy of Inventors.

Our output in high-quality published research placed us fourth in the nation in the Nature Index 2023 rankings – behind only Harvard, Stanford, and MIT.

U-M also ranked 10th in the world in the NTU Rankings, which evaluate research universities’ achievements in scientific research, and ranked fourth in the social sciences field.

Basic research, with innovation and economic impact, remains one of my highest priorities as President. I was grateful for the opportunity to join in our Celebrate Invention events, and honor our community of U-M innovators and the Innovation Partnerships team as they closed a record-breaking year.

I’d simply like to highlight that the scale of our inventions, the reach of our innovations, and the sum of our overall impact is just phenomenal … and we are just getting started. There is much more that we can, and will, do together and many more successes to come.


Santa J. Ono, PhD
(Culled from remarks prepared for delivery to the U-M Board of Regents on Sept. 21, 2023. Lead image: Sharon Glotzer and Nicholas Kotov drawing particle arrangements on the blackboard in Glotzer’s office. Credit: Brenda Ahearn, Michigan Engineering.)

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