Public Comments FAQ
What is the Public Comment session?
As a part of their regular monthly meeting agenda, the Regents set aside time for individuals to present comments to the board. The board does not generally respond to these comments during the public comments session.
Who can sign up to speak?
Students, staff, faculty, alumni and members of the community. For further information see the Public Comments Policy below.
How do I sign up?
Fill out the signup form. Requests will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis per the Public Comment Policy.
The deadline to sign up is 5:00 p.m. on the Monday the week of the meeting.
How will I know if I am a confirmed speaker?
You will receive an email from the Office of the Vice President and Secretary of the University stating whether or not you are a confirmed speaker. The auto-reply message you receive is not a confirmation that you are on the roster of speakers for the next Regents’ Meeting.
Individuals who have been issued trespass restrictions by the University will need to seek an exception to the trespass restrictions from the campus department of public safety that issued the trespass in order to be allowed to speak. Individuals subject to trespass restrictions should allow up to 48 hours prior to the deadline for submitting public comments requests for consideration of an exception.
When will I speak?
Public Comments on agenda-related topics will be heard near the beginning of the meeting, prior to consideration of the regular business agenda. Public Comments on non-agenda-related topics will begin immediately after the regular business agenda has ended. The regular business agenda generally starts at 4:00 p.m. The meeting schedule is posted online on the Monday before the meeting. You must be present when your name is called to speak. If you are not present you forgo your opportunity to address the board that month. You may not designate someone else to speak in your place.
Where is the meeting held?
Regents’ meetings are usually held on campus. From time to time, the meeting may be held at other locations. The location will be posted on the signup form and at the top of the meeting agenda.
Can I give my spot or part of my time to someone else?
What should I do if I need to cancel?
Please contact the Office of the Vice President and Secretary as soon as possible.
Can I use PowerPoint or other audio/visual equipment?
Are there any expectations for public comment speakers?
Yes. Board of Regents public meetings are formal events convened under Article 8, Section 4 of the Michigan Constitution. In keeping with reasonable and appropriate norms of decorum, all attendees, including speakers, should treat others with respect and civility.
Individuals who are confirmed to speak will be expected to speak to the topic that was submitted during the registration submission; truthfully disclose any relevant organizational ties during the registration submission; and promptly cease speaking after the allotted time allowed per speaker expires. Speakers who do not adhere to these procedural rules may be precluded from addressing the board during the public comment portion of future board meetings for a specified period of time.
This is in addition to the guidelines outlined in the Public Comment Policy.
Public Comments Policy*
As part of their regular meetings the Regents will set aside time to listen to individuals who wish to address the board.
Individuals who wish to speak can sign up on the website www.regents.umich.edu, providing the name of the speaker, the topic, the individual’s relationship to the university and any organization that the speaker is affiliated with or representing. The sign up period starts on the Thursday prior to the meeting (a week in advance) and runs through the Monday prior to the meeting (three days in advance). Individuals may also address the board by submitting written comments and videos at https://regents.umich.edu/meetings/email-public-comments/.
Up to 10 speakers will be confirmed and they will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis. Individuals will not be confirmed to speak more than once every six months in order to create opportunities for others. Speakers will have up to two minutes to address the board
When there is significant interest in a particular topic only the first person who signed up on that topic will be confirmed. That individual will be given up to five minutes to address the board. If that person opts out of speaking then the next person who signed up to speak on the same topic will be confirmed to speak. If that second person opts out then the next person who signed up to speak will be confirmed, etc. Anyone who opts out of speaking under this paragraph must notify the Office of the Vice President and Secretary no less than two days before the Board meeting so the speaker list can be modified.
Two additional speaker slots will be reserved for individuals who sign up to speak on an item on that month’s agenda.
All speakers are expected to maintain appropriate norms of decorum and should treat others with respect and civility. Speakers who disregard these expectations will not be confirmed to speak at future meetings.