University hires first ethics, integrity and compliance officer


Michelle Casey has been selected as the University of Michigan’s inaugural ethics, integrity and compliance officer, a new role created to examine trends, processes, areas of concern and overall ethics, integrity and compliance issues.

The position will help units coordinate ethics, integrity and compliance activities and respond to compliance guidance questions across the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, as well as Michigan Medicine.

A photo of Michelle Casey
Michelle Casey

Casey will start in January and comes to U-M from her current role as executive director of the state of Illinois’ Executive Ethics Commission. She started her career in the public sector as an attorney and also has worked for executive and legislative branches of government.

In an effort to take meaningful steps toward rebuilding trust among the U-M community, creating and filling the role was one of President Santa J. Ono’s initial pledges when he took office a year ago.

“Michelle is a well-respected leader in Illinois’ government, known for her strong ethical standards and high level of integrity,” Ono said.

“She is regarded as an expert in financial disclosures, conflicts of interest and policy. I look forward to her leadership and the support she will give to the efforts already underway, and to the staff who do this important work every day.”

Casey will advise the president, executive officers and Board of Regents on ethics, integrity and compliance issues, and will coordinate with key stakeholders to develop and track training to ensure all faculty and staff know about institutional policies and pertinent federal and state standards.

Casey will be responsible for developing an ongoing campaign to heighten awareness of U-M’s various compliance programs, chair the Ethics, Integrity and Compliance Committee, and will work with compliance officials across all three campuses to support their work and gain further insights on issues that impact the entire university.

“Every member of the U-M community plays an important role in creating a culture of integrity, and I am eager to join such a richly diverse and vibrant academic and research environment,” Casey said. “I look forward to helping the U-M community better understand expectations and why these expectations benefit all of us.”

The EICO will report directly to the president. If a complaint involves the president or members of the President’s Office, that reporting will bypass the office and go to both the regents and the general counsel, independently and directly.

As executive director of Illinois’ Executive Ethics Commission, Casey leads a team dedicated to ensuring the state’s business is conducted with efficiency, transparency, fairness and integrity.

She manages the day-to-day ethics, fiscal, budgetary, legislative, staffing, operational and educational functions of the organization. She also oversees the annual ethics training for 170,000 officers and employees of approximately 300 state agencies, boards, commissions, public institutions of higher education, regional transportation authorities and regional development authorities.

Prior to taking the EEC role in 2019, Casey was a senior policy adviser, member of leadership and a state purchasing officer for Illinois’ independent Chief Procurement Officer for General Services.

Casey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her law degree from The George Washington University School of Law and a Master of Laws in Taxation degree from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law.


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