James Cavalcoli, 51, an assistant professor at the university's department of computational medicine and bioinformatics, reportedly started chatting with the father, 'Jim', on a child p*ornography website.
He arranged to meet Jim - whom he believed to be a fellow 'boy lover' - and Jim's 14-year-old son for se*x and traveled from his Ann Arbor home to Florida, armed with condoms and lubricant, it is said.
But after making the 1,350-mile trip to Broward County, Cavalcoli discovered the father he had been speaking to was actually an undercover officer working with the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force.
Cavalcoli, who also allegedly sent n*aked photographs to Jim ahead of the trip, was arrested and booked into Broward County Jail, pending transportation to a federal court in Fort Lauderdale.
He immediately confessed to his actions and said he 'regretted' his trip, police said. He is now facing a federal charge of traveling across states to have s8ex with a minor.
Cavalcoli, who has never been married and has no children, first met Jim in November 2013 via a website that allows men to discuss child po*rnography, fetishes and s*ex with young boys, it is alleged.
Over a 20-month period, he apparently established that the officer was a fellow 'bi' (boy lover) with a then-13-year-old son, and frequently discussed his fetish for boys aged 'tween' or 'teen with older'.
He also sent se*xually explicit messages to Jim - who works for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement - and eventually asked him if he and his son wished to meet him for s*ex, it is said.
In response, Jim agreed to meet him, but warned him that there would have to be 'no pain' if he had se*x with the young boy. Cavalcoli allegedly told the man: 'I'm glad you're looking out for your boy!'
The former Pfizer employee then packed condoms and lubricant for his illicit trip to Weston, it is alleged. He also took along several digital devices, including a laptop,said.
Shortly before he arrived at his destination, Cavalcoli allegedly sent Jim a panicked text message saying he was 'nervous' and asking for reassurance that the man was not 'police or FBI affiliated'.
However, he also said he was 'excited' and decided to make the trip despite the risk.
The pair had arranged to meet at Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston last Friday evening before traveling to Jim's home, where Cavalcoli would engage in sex with the young boy, it is alleged.
However, when Cavalcoli arrived at the spa, FBI agents, officers and deputies were waiting.
During his arrest, Cavalcoli's digital devices were confiscated from him to be used as evidence.
They are now subject to a forensic examination, it is reported.
Cavalcoli had worked for the University of Michigan for around 13 years at the time of his arrest.
According to a bio on the university's website - which has now been deleted - the professor is an 'enthusiastic teacher' who has 'broad experience' in computational medicine and bioinformatics.