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.


Janet H. Lawrence
School of Education

Janet Lawrence received her BS, MS, and PhD degrees from Tufts University, Smith College, and the University of Michigan, respectively. She has been a faculty member in the School of Education since 1975 and has held joint appointments with the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching and the Institute of Gerontology. She served as associate dean of the School of Education from 1990-1995 and from 1996- 2000, she was director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.

Lawrence is an active member of several professional associations, serving on the Board of the Association for the Study of Higher Education and as vice president of AERA – Division J. She reviews manuscripts for the primary higher education publications, including: the Review of Higher Education, the Journal of Higher Education, American Educational Research Journal, and others related to college instruction. Her work appears in several volumes of the New Directions series, Research in Higher Education, the Review of Educational Research, and the Journal of Higher Education, as well as edited texts on aging and human development. Lawrence co-authored with Robert T. Blackburn Faculty at Work: Motivation, Expectation, Satisfaction, published in the summer of 1995 by Johns Hopkins Press.

Lawrence's program of research centers on faculty, teaching, and learning. She has received grants from the Michigan Department of Education and the Department of Labor to design, implement and evaluate adult literacy programs. However, her primary focus is on university- and college-level instruction. In the 1970s, she worked on National Project III, a FIPSE sponsored project that focused on the elevation of the importance of teaching among college and university faculty. Since 1980, her research has been directed at better understanding faculty career patterns and the processes by which professors are motivated to do research and teach. She was a member of the first National Center for Research to Improve Postsecondary Teaching and Learning sponsored by OERI and with Robert Blackburn, completed case studies of faculties on diverse campuses as well as a national survey of professors that culminated in Faculty at Work. Following NCRIPTAL, she completed a study supported by the National Center for Academic Transfer at the American Council of Education that evaluated the academic equivalence of courses taken at community colleges and their primary receiving baccalaureate institutions. With funding from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, Lawrence recently completed a national survey of faculty in NCAA Division 1A institutions regarding their views of intercollegiate athletics. In addition to the reports released by the Knight Commission, publications on faculty perceptions of the organizational politics surrounding campus athletics decision-making are forthcoming.

Over the last 10 years, Lawrence has engaged in the design and implementation of professional development programs for university administrators from Central Asia and China. With funding from the Department of State, she created a professional development program for administrators from Kyrgyz Universities, established a higher education resource office at the International University of Kyrgyzstan, and completed a study of the perceptions of administrators, professors, and students on the democratization of higher education in their country. In 2000, Lawrence designed an executive education program for higher educators from China that is ongoing and to date has included more than 100 university administrators.