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. A maximum of 18 speakers can be scheduled, with no more than five speakers on the same topic. 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 9:00 a.m. on the day before 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 3:00 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.
How much time do I have to speak?
Up to two minutes.
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 two minutes allowed per speaker. 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 a part of their regular monthly meeting agenda, the Regents will set aside time for the purpose of enabling individuals to address the board. It should be understood that the board will not necessarily respond to such comments, since they may require study and recommendations on the part of the others at the University.
- Requests to address the Board of Regents must be submitted to the vice president and secretary of the University prior to the Regents’ meeting. The requests must be in writing, preferably through the form provided on the website www.regents.umich.edu. Requests to speak must identify the individual making the presentation, the subject matter of the presentation, the individual’s relationship, if any, to the University, and the organization they are representing, if any. There shall be no substitutions of speakers without approval by the vice president and secretary, which may only be granted prior to the deadline for signing up to speak that is referenced at www.regents.umich.edu.
- All requests to address the regents must be received before the deadline posted on the website. Requests will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis until the available time is used up. No waiting list will be kept from month to month.
- Individuals who have addressed the board within the previous two regularly-scheduled monthly meetings will be allowed to speak only if there is an available speaker slot remaining after the signup deadline has passed.
- Speakers will have up to two minutes to address the board. There will be a limit of 18 speakers per session and five speakers on the same topic except as provided in paragraph 6.
- Two additional speaker slots will be available to individuals who sign up after the agenda is posted to the website to speak about an item on that month’s agenda. The other provisions of this policy are applicable to these two additional speaker slots.
*Supersedes “Formal Guidelines for Members of the Public Who Wish to Address a Meeting of the Regents,” revised May 2022.