Dean’s Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) Charter

College of Engineering Vision

Michigan Engineering aspires to be the world’s preeminent college of engineering serving the common good.

College of Engineering Mission

Michigan Engineering provides scientific and technological leadership to the people of the world. We seek to improve the quality of life by developing intellectually curious and socially conscious minds, creating collaborative solutions to societal problems, and promoting an inclusive and innovative community of service for the common good.

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve 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.

Leadership Advisory Board Mission

The University of Michigan College of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) serves the Dean of Engineering to provide strategic insight, guidance and assistance in the pursuit of the College of Engineering’s vision and mission.

Authority and Responsibilities

Review and comment on policies brought before the LAB either through board meetings or subcommittee assignments.

Oversight of Implementation
Develop guidelines, in partnership with the Dean, for assessing progress toward the annually stated LAB objectives, as defined through the subcommittee structure.

Actively participate in the pursuit of the College’s mission and vision by participation in board and subcommittee meetings and the pursuit of the stated annual objectives.

Evaluate Performance
Review overall performance of the College of Engineering relative to its stated vision and mission, along with a list of proposed annual actions as future guidance based upon the assessment.

Education of the Board
Define, as a body, a list of questions to be answered by the College in order for the LAB to best serve its stated mission. Execute other such duties as requested by the Dean of Engineering.

Execution of Mission and Responsibilities

The College of Engineering will achieve its Great to Best strategic vision by improving upon our excellence and leveraging the breadth of our academic programs, research enterprise, and alumni community. The LAB will help to achieve that vision by delivering impact beyond the traditional borders of the University. We are looking to innovate all aspects of what we do, and we expect the board will be a key driver of that innovation. We are excited to have your help, and we intend to align your talents and interests with the needs and priorities of our community.


Review of Charter
This charter shall be reviewed and reassessed annually, and any proposed changes shall be submitted to the LAB for approval.

The LAB comprises not more than 35 members.

Members shall be selected to represent the diversity of society at large and may or may not have a degree relationship with the University of Michigan.  Selection for membership is based upon demonstration of outstanding professional achievement, commitment to the long-term vitality of Michigan Engineering and enhancement of the LAB’s breadth and diversity.

The Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, with advice and recommendations provided by the existing membership, shall appoint members to serve on the LAB.  LAB representatives from other CoE boards, committees and councils will be determined by the Dean.  Members shall serve at the discretion of the Dean and LAB chair.

Members shall serve for three-year terms on a staggered basis.  Membership may be extended for additional terms at the discretion of the Dean.

The LAB, in partnership with the Dean, shall appoint a board chair, who will serve a two-year term. The chair will be responsible for planning and facilitating meetings, recruiting subcommittee chairs, and overseeing successful completion of the LAB’s stated objectives. The chair will exercise these responsibilities in close consultation with the Dean and in collaboration with the Dean’s staff designees.

The LAB, in partnership with the Dean, shall appoint a board vice chair, who will serve a two- year term. The vice chair shall perform such duties as are assigned by the chair and shall assume the duties of the chair in the chair’s absence or incapacity. Upon the completion of the chair’s term, the vice chair shall be considered by the LAB as a candidate to assume the chair position.

The LAB, in partnership with the Dean, shall establish both standing and ad hoc subcommittees.  Each member will serve on at least one subcommittee.  Standing subcommittees are:

  • Strategic Research Initiatives
  • Strategic Education Initiatives
  • Values and Culture

Ad hoc subcommittees will include:

  • Nominations (consists of board chair, vice chair, and subcommittee chairs)

In addition, the following other entities will work in partnership with the LAB:

  • Fundraising/Resource Access staff and volunteers (Campaign Committee)
  • DEI Advisory Council
  • Michigan Engineering Alumni Board

The Dean shall appoint subcommittee chairs who will serve a two-year term. Subcommittee chairs may be renewed for a second term at the discretion of the Dean. Subcommittee chairs shall be responsible for facilitating the identification and execution of annual objectives for their respective subcommittees, in consultation with the Dean and his staff designees.

Over time, entities outside of the Leadership Advisory Board that serve the Office of the Dean may be considered for integration into the Leadership Advisory Board subcommittee structure.

Staff Designee
The Dean’s chief of staff and executive director of advancement and/or their designee shall be staff to the board and its subcommittees.

The LAB shall convene at least once per year in-person, typically during the fall semester.

Subcommittees shall convene at least twice per year, once during the board meeting, either in-person or via remote means.

Agenda, Minutes, and Reports
The chair(s), in collaboration with the staff designee, shall be responsible for establishing the agendas for meetings/subcommittee meetings.  An agenda, together with relevant materials, shall be sent to committee members at least five days in advance of the meeting.  Minutes for all meetings shall be drafted by the staff designee, reviewed by the committee chair, and distributed to the board following each meeting.

The chair(s) will have the responsibility of defining, in partnership with the Dean, annual objectives for the board/committees.

Background and History

The LAB is the successor organization to a long-standing tradition of external advisory groups engaged in the advancement of the University of Michigan College of Engineering.  The LAB follows the Engineering Advisory Council (EAC) and National Advisory Committee (NAC), which existed from 1983 to 2016, and the Industry Committee (IC), which existed from the early 1950s to 1982.

The College originally established this council to bring leaders from industry, government, the non-profit sector and academia together to lend their time, expertise and counsel to help chart the future course of the College.  The College was especially interested in improving education programs, enhancing the quality and impact of our research, and contributing to the vitality of the economy.