U-M Slack FAQ

Overview

Who can access Slack at U-M?

U-M Slack accounts are available to all active faculty, staff, students, and Type-1 sponsored affiliates on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses and Michigan Medicine. For more information, refer to Eligibility for U-M Slack.

Who can create a U-M Slack workspace?

All active faculty, staff, and students on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses and Michigan Medicine can create a U-M Slack workspace. Refer to Creating U-M Slack Workspaces for more information.

Note: All U-M Slack workspaces must contain one Workspace Admin with an active affiliation/role at the university. Workspaces created by students are archived after graduation unless one Workspace Admin is an active faculty or staff member.
How do I create a U-M Slack workspace?

Refer to Creating U-M Slack Workspaces for more information on how to create a workspace. 

Do I need a workspace to collaborate in U-M Slack?

No, you don't need to create a new workspace to collaborate in U-M Slack. Not all groups, teams, projects, or units will need a full workspace. Instead, create a U-M Slack account and create private channels in the Maize & Blue workspace to collaborate with eligible U-M members or single-channel guests.

When should I use a private channel vs. direct message?

Private channels are focused on topics, projects, or groups and are used to share information broadly. Direct messages are useful for quick conversations with one or more people that aren't applicable to other channels. You can direct message anyone who has a U-M Slack account, even if they are not a part of your workspace.

Can I invite people from outside the University of Michigan to join a U-M Slack channel or workspace?

You can invite users without an @umich.edu (or other non-UMICH) email address into your workspace as single-channel guests. Multi-channel guests are currently unavailable.

However, full membership to U-M Slack is only available for active faculty, staff, students, and Type-1 sponsored affiliates on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses and Michigan Medicine. (Refer to Eligibility for U-M Slack for more information.) If there is an urgent business need for an external user to join your workspace as a Full Member, your department/unit will need to sponsor an account for them in our domain.

How will I manage membership of my U-M Slack workspace?

Depending on which option you chose when creating your U-M Slack workspace, you can either use an MCommunity group or add members individually to control access to your Slack workspace. For more information, refer to Creating U-M Slack Workspaces.

Who are the admins/owners of my U-M Slack workspace?

U-M Slack allows you to maintain the administration over your own workspace. You can add and remove users, install applications, create channels, and share channels. The U-M Slack team has the role of Primary Workspace Owner in every U-M Slack workspace to help maintain the overall U-M Slack Enterprise Grid.

Note: Org-wide settings take priority over workspace preferences.
How do I delete a Slack channel I created and no longer need?

Only Workspace Admins can delete a Slack channel that is no longer needed. Refer to the Slack Help Center for more information on how to delete a channel.

Note: In the public Maize & Blue Slack workspace, Slack channels are removed and deleted automatically after 60 days of inactivity.
Is there a cost to using Slack at U-M?

No. U-M Slack Enterprise Grid is being paid for by ITS and is free of charge for the university community (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Flint, and Michigan Medicine).

Are user groups available in U-M Slack?

Yes, user groups are available in U-M Slack. Please note that user groups are unique to each workspace and can’t be accessed across all workspaces in U-M Slack. For more information on user groups, visit the Slack Help Center.

Is Workflow Builder available in U-M Slack?

Yes, Workflow Builder is available in U-M Slack. At this time, only Workspace Admins can create and edit workflows.

Workspace Migrations

My unit has a Slack workspace that existed prior to U-M Slack. Will we be able to migrate our current workspace to the U-M Slack Enterprise Grid?

A small number of Slack workspaces were migrated into the U-M Slack Enterprise Grid based on eligibility criteria relating to the type of contract between your workspace and Slack. If you were not contacted by ITS about your workspace, your workspace is not eligible to migrate. No additional workspaces can be migrated - there are NO exceptions. You can continue to use your existing workspace in the same way you were prior to U-M Slack, or you can retain it as an archive and create a new workspace in U-M Slack to use going forward.

Data Privacy

Is Slack activity retained? To what extent is it monitored?

Yes, all Slack activity in private and public channels, including direct messages, file attachments, etc., is retained. None of it is monitored. As with other collaboration services (e.g., U-M Google), this data is only accessed in accordance with the university policy on Privacy and the Need to Monitor and Access Records (SPG 601.11)

Who has access to Slack activity data?

As is the case with other system administrators, ITS staff who manage the Slack service as Org Admins are the only ones with access to activity data. 

I see an ITS Slack Attendant app in my private channel. What does this app do?

The ITS Slack Attendant app is installed in all U-M Slack workspaces and is responsible for automating administrative tasks, such as installing apps and connecting to other workspaces. It does not record channel activity. 

Can I remove the ITS Slack Attendant app from my workspace?

Although workspace administrators can remove the ITS Slack Attendant app from their workspaces, they are strongly advised against it. If you remove the app from your workspace, you will no longer be able to perform basic functions like installing new Slack apps or connecting channels to other workspaces. 

If you unintentionally remove the app from your workspace and would like to add it back, please contact the ITS Service Center for help.