U-M Slack FAQ

New Slack UI

Can I switch back to the old interface?

It's not possible to revert to the previous Slack interface.

To share your feedback on the new design, open the Slack desktop app and click the question mark icon in the top right. Then, click Give feedback on the new design below the search field.

I have too many channels in my sidebar now, and some I want to hide so I’m not distracted. What do I do?

We recommend organizing channels in custom sections. Custom sections can be collapsed or set to have unique sorting and view preferences.

You can also filter your sidebar to view specific U-M workspaces and their channels as needed.

How do I filter channels by a specific U-M workspace?

You can also filter your sidebar to view specific U-M workspaces and their channels as needed.

How do I find and view my external (non-UM) workspaces?

To switch to external (non-UM) Slack workspaces of which you’re a member, click the U-M logo in the top left corner to find and navigate to the one you’d like to open. You can also open and use the new workspace switcher to keep them persistent on the left side of your app (as they were before the change).

Will I have to rename my channels with the same name in different workspaces? (e.g., #general)

No, for any duplicates, Slack will always show the workspace name after the channel name.

How do I know which workspace I am working in?

You can find a channel’s workspace easily in the channel details.

You’ll also encounter workspace information when taking an action that requires you to choose which workspace it occurs in (e.g., creating a channel, inviting a person, etc.).

Where did my profile and status go?

Your profile, status, and preferences menu are located in the bottom left corner of the Slack desktop app and Slack in a browser. They are no longer shown in the top right corner.

My Slack theme changed with the new interface. How can I get it back?

Slack has removed a significant portion of their granular customization options that were previously available for themes. If you had customized your theme prior to the rollout, you may have noticed that the theme is now gone. Moving forward, you can only choose from a selection of color swatches or custom, pre-made themes.

Additionally, you can no longer customize a different theme for each U-M Slack workspace of which you’re a member. You can choose only one theme to use across all of your U-M workspaces. However, you can still customize different themes for external (non-UM) workspaces.

To choose a new theme, click your profile picture in the bottom left corner, select Preferences, and click Themes. Learn more about customizing your Slack theme.

Will my apps installed in specific workspaces still work as expected?

All of your apps should still work without any changes. In some cases, Slack may ask you which workspace you would like to take an action in when using an app.

I’m not seeing all of the views I should. Where are they?

When you resize your Slack desktop app, Slack collapses the DMs, Activity, and Later views into More. You can always access them from More or make your window bigger to find them.


Who can access U-M Slack?

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 with a U-M Slack account, even if they are not a member 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 not available in U-M Slack.

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 regular member, your department/unit will need to sponsor an account for them.

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 apps, and create channels. The ITS 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-to-UM Maize & Blue workspace, channels are removed and deleted automatically after 60 days of inactivity.
Is there a cost to using U-M Slack?

No. U-M Slack Enterprise Grid is 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.

How do I delete a Slack workspace?

While deletion of workspaces is not currently available in U-M Slack, ITS can deactivate a workspace (i.e., remove all members and render it dormant). Contact the ITS Service Center for assistance with deactivating your workspace.

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 was 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 Owners/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 Admins 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.