The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.


Harley Harris Bartlett
Regents' Proceedings 1140

Harley Harris Bartlett became a member of the faculty of this University in 1915 as Acting Assistant Professor of Botany in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Six years later he became Professor.

From 1922 to 1947 he was head of the Botany Department. For thirty-six years, from 1919 to 1955, he was also Director of the Botanical Gardens. Professor Bartlett earned the A.B. degree, cue laude (in chemistry), from Harvard University in 1908 and spent the following year at the Harvard Graduate School of Applied Science.

Until 1915 he was chemical biologist for the Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department of Agriculture. In 1918 Professor Bartlett was botanist for the United States Rubber Company in Sumatra. In 1926 and 1927 he was a member of scientific expeditions, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, to Formosa and Sumatra; in 1930 to Mexico; in 1931 to Guatemala and British Honduras. He held the same position, botanist, at the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory at Panama for the summer of 1940.

As agent for the Office of Rubber Investigations, United States Department of Agriculture, from 1940 to 1944, he visited the Philippines, Haiti, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Mexico. Professor Bartlett's exchange professorship at the University of the Philippines in 1934-35 established a relationship between that university and the University of Michigan which has had far-reaching effects in rehabilitating the University of the Philippines after World War II and in marking Professor Bartlett as Educational Consultant in America to the University of the Philippines.

His colleagues at the University of Michigan and throughout the nation have voted him many honors. His abilities as administrator placed him on college and university committees where guiding policies are formulated. His interest in his fellow man has manifested itself at all levels but most spontaneously with his students, to whom he is known as "Uncle Harley." In 1955 students and friends established the Harley Harris Bartlett Plant Exploration Fund in his honor. Last summer the Fund sent a student to Alaska for exploratory work in botany; this summer another student has been sent to the Canary Islands.

The Regents hereby express to Professor Bartlett their deep appreciation for the distinguished services he has given the University, and hope that he may enjoy many years of continued activity in the fields in which he has made an outstanding reputation. They furthermore confer upon him the titles Professor Emeritus of Botany and Director Emeritus of the Botanical Gardens and invite him to avail himself of the courtesies that are shown to emeritus members of the faculty.

Regents’ Proceedings, July 1956, Page 1140