William Merrill had child porn on his hard drive at the Mount Pleasant school. He had access to computers because his specialty was studying Internet censorship.
The 58-year-old was sentenced Tuesday in Bay City federal court.
Authorities seized 106,000 images and 1,600 videos of child porn from Merrill last year.
Merrill worked at CMU for nearly 30 years. He told the judge on Tuesday that he takes full responsibility for his actions and that a portion of his childhood in Germany put context into what he did.