Office of University Audits (University of Michigan) Organizational Charts and Records

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Office of University Audits (University of Michigan) Organizational Charts and Records

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger Office of University Audits record group held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

The Office of University Audits University of Michigan Organizational Charts record group contains comprehensive sets of organizational charts on paper (FY 1970 – FY 2003) and digitally (FY 1997 – FY 2013) as well as a few scattered additional organizational charts including the Business Office (1918), the University (1933), the University Library (1968), and the College of Literature Science and the Arts (early 1970’s).

Early on, the financial duties of the University were split between the Treasurer and the Secretary and although the State Auditor General audited funds transferred to the University from the state, it was not until 1910 that external auditors were hired to evaluate the university’s annual financial statement. Prior to that date, a faculty member (such as mining engineering professor, W.H. Pettee) was commissioned to audit the statements annually.

Beginning in 1910, firms such as Price Waterhouse and Co., Ernst & Ernst and Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. were hired to evaluate the accuracy of the University’s financial statements and recommend financial control practices that would help prevent fraud and increase the reliability of reporting. Eventually, it became clear that the University needed in-house auditing expertise to ensure the responsible stewardship of public monies. In June 1952, the Regents amended Section 3.01 of their bylaws, concerning the Vice-President in Charge of Business and Finance, to hold that periodical internal audits of all University units would be part of the Vice-President’s duties. The Internal Audit program was placed under the direction Assistant Controller Byron Green, within the University’s Business Office. The office was to make periodic reports to the Board of Regents regarding the individual units examined.

In 1964 Harold Bell was named Director of the Office of Management Services and he supervised the Internal Audit Department. This office was responsible for testing compliance with established University policies and procedures and for determining whether the system of internal controls over financial transactions was adequate. After Harold Bell resigned to become Comptroller of the University of Chicago in 1966, A.B. Hicks was appointed Director of University Audits and the name of the unit was changed to University Audits, the name it holds in 2013. It is charged with coordinating responsibility for outside auditors – federal, state and professional – in addition to performing the internal audit function.

Another important function of University Audits is to maintain the Standard Practice Guide (SPG), the primary compilation of university policies and procedures. Originally, “Standard Practice Bulletins” were circulated only to university officials in the Business Office, such as the controller, chief accountant, purchasing agent, and cashier. These bulletins were numbered consecutively, beginning with number one on March 15, 1946 relating to the organization of the Fresh Air Camp. The 11th Bulletin on August 1, 1947 held that official notices distributed to all deans, directors and department heads affecting business and finance activities should be issued from the Office of the Vice President in Charge of Business and Finance. This was the birth of the distribution of memoranda to a circulation list which is sometimes known as the 3D’s (Deans, Directors and Department Heads).

In 1968, Director of University Audits A.B. Hicks proposed a University-wide policy and procedure guide that would draw together existing policy and procedure material from the Standard Practice Bulletins and 3D memoranda into a loose-leaf format which could be maintained and appropriately indexed. University Audits was tasked with maintaining, indexing and annually updating the manual.

As the university became more complex and more offices maintained copies of the growing SPG binders, the work of maintaining the binders became more difficult. The desire for a central authoritative policy source that could be inexpensively maintained led University Audits to push for the implementation of the SPG Online in 1996. It consisted of individual PDF files for each SPG section – an innovative approach for its time. The original URL for the SPG Online was, in 2013 it is located at

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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