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University of Michigan School of Information

Thomas Finholt

Thomas Finholt

Vice Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Information, School of Information Email: Phone: 734/647-3576
Office: Ofc Vice Prov Bdgt & Pln/1109 Geddes Ave, #4300 Faculty Role: Faculty Potential PhD Faculty Advisor: Yes


Thomas A. Finholt is a professor and Vice Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs. He joined the University of Michigan in 1991 as an assistant professor in the department of psychology. From 1997 to the present, his faculty appointments from assistant research scientist to professor have been in the School of Information. 

In addition to his teaching and research, he has held several administrative appointments in the School of Information, including: associate dean for research and innovation (2006-2010); senior associate dean for faculty (2010-2012); senior associate dean for academic affairs (2012-2015); acting dean (2013); and interim dean (2015-2016). He was appointed dean in April 2016.  His priorities as dean include expanding the number of online courses and degrees offered by UMSI, diversifying the pipeline for information technology employment, and applying research at UMSI to increase civic engagement and to improve the quality of online public discourse.

Finholt was a co-founder and then director of the Collaboratory for Research on Electronic Work (CREW).  Starting in the mid-1990s and continuing for twenty years, CREW pioneered the study of human-computer interaction in organizational settings, including research on many applications that are now commonplace, such as video conferencing and shared document editing.

His current research contributions include the organization of a network of faculty across thirteen units on campus to develop an augmented/virtual/mixed reality strategy for the university. He is also active in the sports analytics initiative, where students from various disciplines work with trainers and coaches in U-M Athletics to analyze athletes’ health, safety and performance using data gathered from wearable devices.

Finholt received a bachelor of arts degree in history from Swarthmore College and a doctorate in social and decision sciences from Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to completing his Ph.D., he held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.   

Areas of interest

My current research focuses on: the energy costs of forming and maintaining social ties; computational mediation of trust in virtual organizations; and use of ultra-resolution collaboration environments. 


B.A. in History, Swarthmore College

Ph.D. in Social and Decision Science, Carnegie Mellon University


The words UMSI News overlay a photo of the U-M North Quad courtyard.
Provost names search committee for next UMSI dean

University of Michigan Provost Laurie McCauley has announced the appointment of an advisory committee to assist in the search for the next dean of the School of Information (UMSI).  

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Donor Larry Leinweber speaks at a podium adorned with a Block M. Behind him are commemorative hardhats and a rendering of the Leinweber Computer Science and Information building. He is wearing glasses and a blue blazer.
U-M celebrates start of Leinweber Computer Science and Information Building

Computers, data and information science are quickly becoming the backbone of systems that connect society. The University of Michigan took a step toward accelerating its leadership in these critical areas today at a ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new $145M facility.

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