February 13, 2018

You are invited to attend this important session and share their ideas to help UM-Flint create its strategic plan!

Your Strategic Planning Phase 2 Core Team is inviting all stakeholders who would like to attend a brainstorming session on February 23, 2018 from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Facilitators will ask participants to provide ideas and activities which will help the University enact the 5 Key Priorities over the next 3-5 years. If you would like to see a visual representation of the 5 Key Priorities, click on the following link:


Attendees will be asked to focus on these four questions in regards to the 5 Key Priorities:

  • What are things we are already do?
  • What are things we do, but could do more of?
  • What things we don’t do, but could do?
  • What things should we stop doing?

Since this will be a fast-paced, high energy session, we will be providing light refreshments.Hopefully, we will have enough space in the Happenings Room in the UCENbut please be aware that seating will be first-come, first-served. Questions can be directed to any Core Team Member or emailed to terrywisner@umflint.edu.

Thank you,

Your SP Phase 2 Core Team Members

Amy Yorke-SHPS

Dan Lair-CAS

Sapna Thwaite-SEHS

James Alsup-CAS

Yener Kandogan-SOM

Margie Murray-Wright-SON

Linda Blakey-CAS

Terry Wisner-Consultant/Facilitator

December 1, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

As indicated last month, I would like to update you on the continued work of the Strategic Planning process.  Since August our team has been working to finalize essential next steps in our planning which will ultimately lead to implementation campus wide next year.

In order to facilitate the implementation process, we have enlisted Terry Wisner, MSA, Founder and President of Partnering To Success, LLC to help facilitate Phase II of the strategic planning process. Many of you met Terry during the Phase I campus input sessions, when he was deeply involved as an alumni representative to the planning process.

Terry is a dedicated alum and has traveled the world helping individuals and organizations through planning and improvement processes. Terry will be working with a Core Team to move forward through Phase II. The Core Team will interact broadly with departments, deans, and various campus constituencies as we develop the implementation plan. Additionally the CAC/BSP will be involved in the review and vetting process as plans are developed.  

In alignment with the success of Strategic Planning phase one, under the leadership of Dr. Hiba Wehbe-Alamah and her team, we will continue our commitment to continuity and transparency.  Many Core Team members served on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and expressed a desire to continue serving the campus during phase two.  The Team will partner with Cabinet and the Council of Deans and interact broadly with all campus constituencies as we develop the implementation plan. Additionally the CAC/BSP will be involved in the review and vetting process as plans are developed. 

The Core Team members include:

Dan Lair, Associate Professor & Program Director of MA in Applied Communication, CAS

Sapna Thwaite, Associate Dean, SEHS

Linda Blakey, Program Manager & Adjunct Lecturer, CAS

Yener Kandogan, Associate Dean, SOM

Margie Murray-Wright, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing, SON

Amy Yorke, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, SHPS

James Alsup, Associate Professor of Physics, Computer Science, Engineering & Physics, CAS

Below is a brief overview of our planned work from now until June 2018 and beyond. This work is an extension of the tremendous effort from last year and, as has been previously discussed, will include the climate study results as part of this next phase.

November 2017

Communicate progress to all stakeholders

Onboard facilitator for Phase 2 process

Select and assemble Core Team

Identify key success factors in the planning process

Create a roadmap for Phase 2

Determine process to collect current and future goals and objectives

Begin gathering input for goals, objectives, and tactics or strategies

December 2017-January 2018

Communicate progress to all stakeholders

Collect current and future goals, objectives and tactics

Integrate climate study key findings and other research

Identify and rank strategies which will address Key Priorities

Create multi-year plans for each priority that considers: implementation; integration and collaboration across functions/divisions; implications for resources, structures, practices; impact; and accountability

February-April 2018

Communicate progress to all stakeholders

Create detailed plan

Acquire conceptual approvals

Promote ways to align with FY19 Budget and map priorities to resources

Identify key implementation success factors

May 2018

Communicate progress to all stakeholders

Final approval

Identify and execute rollout strategy

Fiscal year 2019

Full implementation of strategic plan

We will be sure to post this information along with future updates to the Strategic Planning web page in efforts to keep our campus community informed on all progress.  Thank you again to all who have contributed your valued time and efforts to this most important collaborative initiative. 


Susan E. Borrego, Ph.D.           Doug Knerr, Ph.D.

Chancellor                                   Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

May 17, 2017

Dear UM-Flint Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Although many of you have dispersed for the summer, I wanted to write to congratulate you on a successful year and to share the results of our first phase of strategic planning.

After months of hard work, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee brought a revised version of the high-level strategic priorities to the governing faculty on May 5. With a quorum in attendance, the priorities were adopted. This is a huge accomplishment and I want to extend my thanks and gratitude to all those who shared your ideas as part of this process, to the Steering Committee and especially to Dr. Hiba Wehbe-Alamah.

The priorities you have collectively identified are important, inspiring, and the right set of work to focus our attention and resources for the next several years. They also position us for the work of reaccreditation, which will pick up steam over the next two years as we lead up to site visit of the Higher Learning Commission in 2019.

Provost Knerr and I will work over the next few weeks to outline a process for the next phase of strategic planning, creating implementation groups to plan specific tasks and accountability to achieve our priorities. We expect these groups to consult across campus as they conduct their work. The strategic planning website will continue to serve as an information resource with periodic updates.

I wish you all great success and enjoyment in your summer pursuits!



Susan E. Borrego, Ph.D.


April 28, 2017

Dear UM-Flint Students, Staff, and Faculty,

After a semester of very hard work and more than 90 meetings aimed at reaching far and wide to listen to ideas across campus, we are now ready to deliver on our charge as a Strategic Planning Steering Committee!

Our final set of high-level priorities is posted at https://its-secure.umflint.edu/protected-assets/Proposed%20High-Level%20Strategic%20Priorities%20with%20appendices%204-26-17%20with%20visual%20for%20web.pdf. Since we distributed the first draft to you on April 10, we met with Faculty Council, CACBSP, AAAC, Staff Council, Student Government, Council of Deans, and the Cabinet to solicit their input. We also received suggestions from faculty, staff, and students by email via future@umflint.edu. Overall, we heard broad support for the five priorities along with some very good feedback, which helped to make our language stronger. We made a number of edits to our materials to reflect these discussions and the input received from all across campus.

One suggestion that we adopted was to develop a visual representation of the five priorities highlighting that they are all equally important. You can find our visual map at https://its-secure.umflint.edu/protected-assets/Strategic%20priorities%20visual%20updated%204-26-17.pdf.

We believe these five high-level priorities are faithful to the ideas and topics you expressed through the open forums, the survey, and many other campus discussions and communications with the committee throughout the semester. We hope you agree that these five priorities provide the right direction and inspiration for the University of Michigan-Flint for the next five years.

Of course, that was just the first phase of planning. As noted in our charge, there will be a second phase in the 2017-18 academic year to develop detailed implementation plans. Chancellor Borrego and Provost Knerr will work over the summer to outline this process, with a continued commitment to inclusiveness, transparency, and open communication. Faculty, staff and students will contribute to this work and will be able to provide input into implementation plans as they develop.

The first draft of high-level priorities was presented to Staff Council and Student Government, and both organizations endorsed them with suggestions for revision. As part of our system of shared governance, the governing faculty will be asked to approve the revised and final five priorities, along with the accompanying bullets, in their meeting on May 5. I am hoping for very strong participation in that meeting—faculty input (as well as staff and student input) has been important since day one, and we want you to continue to participate in what we hope you agree was a transparent and inclusive process.

Take care!

Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, PhD

Associate Professor

School of Nursing

Office: 810-766-6760


April 10, 2017

Dear UM-Flint Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I am delighted to present to you, on behalf of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, our proposed high-level strategic priorities to guide the University of Michigan-Flint for the next five years. The five high-level priorities are listed below; to view them online including an expanded version with more detail and rationale for each priority, please go to https://www.umflint.edu/strategicplanning2017. You will need to login with your LAN password to view the strategic priorities. You will also find a set of reports and background materials that we used to inform our deliberations, which will also require login to view.

We have strived to make these a faithful representation of what you expressed in your many interactions with our committee. We spent significant time considering the output of the environmental scan, survey, open forums, school and college priorities, vision statements from campus units, feedback shared in outreach meetings, and email and suggestions sent directly to the committee.

We invite you to consider these proposed priorities and let us know if you have additional feedback before we bring them for formal consideration by the governing faculty. In order to leave enough time to consider your feedback, we must hear from you by 5 pm Friday, April 14. Please submit your thoughts by writing to future@umflint.edu.

Proposed UM-Flint High-Level Strategic Priorities

Note: These priorities are NOT listed in order of importance; we consider all five to be equally important.

Priority #1: A Distinctive Identity that Builds Campus Pride

The University of Michigan-Flint will develop and promote a distinctive identity that unites and inspires faculty, staff, students, and alumni—energizing a proud UM-Flint campus community that is inclusive and supports everyone in doing their best work.

Priority #2: Recruitment through Strong Programs and Campus Life

The University of Michigan-Flint will become a destination of choice for students, staff, and faculty by offering a vibrant campus life and strong, flexibly-delivered programs that respond to student, employer, and community needs—preparing students to make an impact and achieve their educational, career, and life goals.

Priority #3: A Student-Centered Culture Focused on Student Retention and Success

The University of Michigan-Flint will foster a student-centered culture that is committed, first and foremost, to the success and achievement of students—understanding students’ individual needs and goals, ensuring that they are prepared to succeed academically, and collaborating across departments to support and retain them throughout their college experience and through graduation.

Priority #4: Outstanding Education and Scholarship at Every Level

The University of Michigan-Flint will embody U-M academic excellence by delivering the highest quality of teaching, facilitating direct student access to faculty, and increasing support for original research, scholarship, and creative endeavors that advance knowledge and improve the quality of life.

Priority #5: A Vital Partner to a Thriving, Resilient Community

The University of Michigan-Flint will contribute to the vitality and economic growth of the City of Flint and the region by attracting and developing talent, partnering to address community needs, undertaking research of direct benefit to the community, and empowering students to learn while making a difference.

We are very excited about these high level priorities and we hope you are equally enthusiastic!

Take care!

Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, PhD

Associate Professor

School of Nursing

Office: 810-766-6760



March 27, 2017

Dear UM-Flint Faculty, Staff, and Students,

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee is making great progress toward a draft of high-level goals to share with you in April. We have one more very important opportunity for input: today’s Faculty Open Forum from 1:30-3 pm in the UCEN Michigan Room C/D.  Faculty, we hope you will join us to share your ideas for the future of our university… Your opinions matter and we want you to be heard!!!

This past week our work groups submitted drafts of several reports: environmental scan, SWOT analysis, and survey results. After today’s open forum we will finalize and share a report summarizing the content of all open forums. Within the next few days our goal is to post these and other reports on our strategic planning website behind a UM-Flint log-in so our campus community can see the collected data and synthesis of feedback and priorities proposed by alumni, students, faculty, and staff. We are very pleased with the level of participation and the quality of ideas being submitted and would like to thank all those who contributed to the process.

Once our last open forum is completed (this afternoon), we will begin to turn all ideas received and data collected into a set of 4-6 high-level goals, along with the rationale for each, to share with the campus community via email and to solicit input.  Your feedback and recommendations received from meetings with governance groups will help us refine the goals in the second half of April in preparation for a final presentation and discussion at the May 5th governing faculty meeting. We look forward to providing you with an update on our progress at the March 30th governing faculty meeting. 

An updated timeline is on our website. We welcome you to write us at future@umflint.edu with ideas and questions, and thank those of you who have taken the time to communicate with us.

Take care!

Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, PhD

Associate Professor

School of Nursing

Office: 810-766-6760

March 14, 2017

Dear UM-Flint Faculty, Staff, and Students:

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee has been hard at work, and we are now rounding the turn and entering the home stretch! Over the next 4 weeks we will analyze all the data we have collected from the environmental scan, open forums, survey, and other meetings as well as the input that campus units and individuals have provided directly to our committee.

Last week the Strategic Planning Steering Committee met jointly with the committee leading the reaccreditation process for the Higher Learning Commission. Together we conducted a workshop to outline the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the university. The results of this structured environmental scan will be posted on our website.

We also held a second staff open forum last week, and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) conducted two open forums for CAS faculty and staff. The college and schools will each share with us the output of their unit-level discussions.

I am grateful to those of you who took the time to complete the survey and/or attend an open forum. Congratulations to the following survey participants who are the winners in the second drawing for a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card:

Bonnie Hyten

Kevin Edwards

Jami Caulkins

Andrea Eveslage

Hassan Khalife

Sheri Hawkins

Crystal Griffin

Micah Jones

Laura Staudacher

Cortney LaBrie

Winners should stop by the Chancellor's Office (221 University Pavilion) to pick up their gift certificates.

If you have not yet shared your thoughts with us, it’s not too late! We have one more open forum for faculty on March 27, 1:30-3 pm in Michigan Rooms C/D. You may also write to us directly at future@umflint.edu. We are seriously considering all of your ideas and feedback in developing our goals.

Take care everyone!

Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, PhD

Associate Professor

School of Nursing

Office: 810-766-6760

March 8, 2017

Congratulations to the following Strategic Planning Survey participants for winning a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card:

Alexis Harvey

Amber Shewalter

Damien Siwik

Delandra Boone

Dennese Bandyk

Heather McDonald

Jennifer LaPointe

Kristine Goschka

Lacey Faulkner

Tiffany Bishop

Winners may drop by the Chancellor's Office (221 University Pavilion) to pick up their gift certificates. There are still ten additional $25 Barnes and Noble gift certificates to win. The Strategic Planning Survey deadline has been extended to end of day Sunday March 12, 2017. Ten other winners will be announced next week. 

Your input is extremely important to us as we draft high level strategic goals that will direct the future of the university. If you did not take the survey yet, you may access it via http://umflint.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0DjnSDa8aTowU6 Please contact Andre Louis (alouis@umflint.edu) if you encounter any technical difficulty. 

Also a reminder that faculty and staff are invited to attend one of our two remaining open forums:

Staff Open Forum: Wednesday, March 8, 10-11:30 a.m., Michigan Rooms A/B

Faculty Open Forum: Monday, March 27, 1:30-3 p.m., Michigan Rooms C/D

Take care everyone!

Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, PhD
Associate Professor

School of Nursing
Phone (810) 766-6760
E-mail: hiba@umflint.edu

March 6, 2017

Dear UM-Flint Faculty, Staff and Students,

I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable break! All of us on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee enjoyed a brief respite, but we are now forging ahead with our remaining work in order to present you with a draft of high-level priorities in April.

Most importantly, we strongly encourage you to complete the Strategic Planning Survey by end of day March 8 if you have not already done so. The survey link is at http://umflint.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0DjnSDa8aTowU6h. The survey can also be accessed directly from the Strategic Planning 2017 website, which can now be accessed via My UM-Flint. Those who take the survey will be eligible to win one of twenty $25 Barnes & Noble gift cards. Your input is very important to us and will guide our future work.

Faculty and staff are invited to attend one of our two remaining open forums:

Staff Open Forum: Wednesday, March 8, 10-11:30 a.m., Michigan Rooms A/B
Faculty Open Forum: Monday, March 27, 1:30-3 p.m., Michigan Rooms C/D

An overview of the Open Forums format, agenda, discussion questions, and snapshots of generated feedback are available on https://www.umflint.edu/strategicplanning2017/calendar-events. We received terrific and thoughtful input at our first three open forums, although the student open forums were not as well attended as we would have liked. That makes it even more important that students fill out our survey!

We have also posted, based on recommendations received via campus outreach efforts, sample questions to guide strategic planning discussions across campus on https://www.umflint.edu/strategicplanning2017/resources. We ask units who engage in strategic planning discussion to share their executive summary with the Strategic Planning Committee via future@umflint.edu.

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee will next conduct a SWOT analysis (strengths-weakness-opportunities-threats) in collaboration with the HLC group, finalize the first draft of the environmental scan executive summary, and begin analysis of data gathered from all of the above as well as survey results and open forum feedback. 

Take care everyone!

Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, PhD

Associate Professor

School of Nursing

Office: 810-766-6760

February 22, 2017

Dear UM-Flint Faculty, Staff, and Students,

The Strategic Planning Survey designed in collaboration with the Office of Research is now open through Wednesday March 8, end of day (midnight). Your feedback is extremely important and will help to shape the future of the University. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete.

Please click on http://umflint.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0DjnSDa8aTowU6h to take the survey. Note that the login screen looks different from our typical authentication interface.

Please be assured that all survey responses will be confidential. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will maintain the raw survey data, and the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and University leadership will only see aggregated data and analyses. To thank you for your participation, at the end of the survey you will have an opportunity to enter a drawing for one of twenty $25 Barnes and Noble gift cards. Your entry in the drawing will not be connected to your survey responses.

Your voice truly matters!  Participate and be heard!

Thank you and take care!
Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, PhD
Strategic Planning Committee Chair
Associate Professor
School of Nursing

February 15, 2017

Esteemed Faculty, Staff, and Students,

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee has been working hard preparing for the upcoming Open Forums and Survey, in addition to continuing to hold outreach meetings across campus. You should have received an email last Friday with a flyer identifying the dates for the Open Forums:

Faculty/Staff Open Forum - Friday, February 17, 10 - 11:30 a.m., Michigan Rooms C/D {This week! Please join us and be heard!}

Student Open Forums - Monday, February 20, 12 - 1:30, Michigan Rooms C/D (https://bluejeans.com/122855068) & Thursday, February 23, 4 - 5:30, Michigan Rooms C/D (https://bluejeans.com/668896419)

Staff Open Forum - Wednesday, March 8, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., Michigan Rooms A/B

Faculty Open Forum - Monday, March 27, 1:30 - 3 p.m., Michigan Rooms C/D

The committee wishes to recognize and thank Faculty Council, Staff Council, and Student Government for supporting and co-hosting these open forums. Refreshments will be served at all forums, and lunch will be provided at the student open forum on February 20th.  Your feedback is valued and needed. This campus belongs to all of us and we, as a committee, want you to have a role in shaping the future of our university. Please join us and be heard and encourage your colleagues, peers, and students, to participate as well.

Preliminary environmental scan material has been added to our website under the resources tab (https://www.umflint.edu/strategicplanning2017/resources). Everyone is encouraged to review the uploaded documents in preparation for upcoming open forums. A bibliography of all reviewed material and an executive report are being developed and will be shared upon completion. Please note that additional items will continue to be added and the bibliography will be updated as we receive additional reports and data. You are therefore encouraged to frequently refer back to the resources tab.

The Strategic Planning Survey is currently being finalized, and was designed in collaboration with the Office of Research. It will be sent to you as soon as IRB review is completed, sometime next week, and will be open for 2 weeks. Please note that raw data will not be seen by committee members, who will only have access to data aggregates. Survey questions will be separated from demographic information to protect anonymity of participants. All personal identifiers, if any, will not be shared with committee. We are planning on providing gift cards as incentives for participation and all survey participants will be eligible to submit their emails to a separate pool for prize drawings.

The minutes from our February 9th steering committee meeting are now on the website and contain the summary of feedback received at meetings across campus, as well as a description of all the tasks completed by the Survey, Open forums, Environmental Scan, and Community Outreach work groups. Since the February 9th meeting, the steering committee met with representatives from CAPS, Veteran’s Resource Center, Recreational Services, DPS, Student Housing and Residential Life, and the Thompson Library Staff, to explore their vision for the future of UM-Flint and ways to achieve it and collaborate with the steering committee. In addition, the committee met with HLC process leaders and we are happy to report that the two committees will now be working closely and collaboratively together, as the two charges have a lot in common.

Finally, I want to express my thanks to all the groups who met with us so far and shared meaningful feedback and insight, and to the steering committee members who have been serving the university with unparalleled passion and dedication.

Hoping to see many of you this Friday and at other upcoming open forums!

Take care!

Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, PhD

Associate Professor

School of Nursing

Office: 810-766-6760

February 1, 2017


Esteemed Faculty, Staff and Students,

As congruent with the tenets of our charge which call for open and ongoing communication, transparency, evidence-based approach, and inclusive process, this email serves to apprise the entire campus community of the progress of the work of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC).

First, I want to thank and acknowledge the esteemed alumni and community members who have joined our Steering Committee: Nicholas Evans, Vice President of Business Development & CDO, Genesys Health System; Melany Gavulic, President & CEO, Hurley Medical Center; John Henry, Executive Director, Flint Institute of Arts; JaNel Jamerson, Executive Director, Flint & Genesee Literacy Network; and Terry Wisner, University of Michigan-Flint Alumni and Owner of Partnering to Success LLC. A complete list of committee members can be found on our website (https://www.umflint.edu/strategicplanning2017/steering-committee).

During the month of January, the SPSC held two meetings to discuss, explore, and prepare for addressing the committee’s charge. SPSC representatives participated in 16 campus meetings including but not limited to Student Government, Staff Council, Faculty Council, Office of Research, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Budget and Planning, Academic Affairs Advisory Committee, Cabinet, Citizen’s Advisory Committee, and the governing faculties of the College and schools. A complete list of previous and six additional upcoming meetings is available on the Strategic Planning website (https://www.umflint.edu/strategicplanning2017/calendar-events#accordion-calendar-of-campus-meetings-2017).

During these meetings, the charge, process and timeline were explained and clarified and input was sought for ways to better fulfill our assigned charge, identify and address concerns, and investigate how identified needs or requests can be accommodated. Means for optimal and ongoing collaboration and communication were explored. The committee wishes to express their thanks and appreciation for being provided agenda time and for being trusted with valuable and insightful feedback that has already resulted in restructuring our initial process and timeline.

The Steering Committee is now working twice as hard! We have formed four work groups and those groups are holding additional meetings to carry out their assignments. The complete descriptions of the groups and a list of their members is on our website (https://www.umflint.edu/strategicplanning2017/steering-committee). Here is a quick summary:

  • Open Forum Work Group: Scheduling dates for open forums and determining format, outreach, and best ways to encourage participation.
  • Survey Work Group: Identifying expert help, navigating IRB process, determining timing, and developing survey instrument.
  • Environmental Scan Work Group: Reviewing readings, trends and data to create a concise summary for the committee and as foundation for open forums.
  • Community Outreach Work Group: Developing a plan for seeking input from residents of Flint and surrounding communities.

The minutes of our January 25th meeting [uploaded to website] contain a complete list of collected feedback from diverse groups and committees across campus. One of the suggestions was to proactively share as much information as possible via campus wide emails in addition to the website. Below are select highlights and brief depiction of how feedback was incorporated in our revised process:

  • Better incorporate the Office of Research (they are now closely connected and advising us on several aspects of planning)
  • Allow more time for sharing drafts of goals with campus and inviting feedback before submitting revised version for a faculty vote (schedule has been adjusted to allow for this)
  • Allow people to submit anonymous input and attachments via the website (website revision complete)
  • Post environmental scan material and data on the website (the environmental scan working group will gather and identify materials to post)
  • Put physical suggestion boxes in high-traffic areas so students and others can easily submit their ideas in hand-written format (in process)

Very soon we will be sharing dates for the open forums, and we look forward to your enthusiastic participation! Your voice matters, so please spread the word to your peers and colleagues and encourage active and proactive participation. In the meantime, please continue to share your thoughts with the committee by writing to future@umflint.edu or using the suggestions tab on the website https://www.umflint.edu/strategicplanning2017/strategic-planning-suggestions


Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

School of Nursing
The University of Michigan-Flint
Phone (810) 766-6760
E-mail: hiba@umflint.edu

January 18, 2017

Esteemed Faculty, Staff and Students,

I am honored to be asked to chair the Steering Committee for UM-Flint’s 2017 Strategic Planning Process. We have a lot of work to do together, and we are off to a blazing start! The Steering Committee was carefully selected in an inclusive process to be representative of a range of campus units and perspectives. We held our first meeting on January 10, and the committee has since been dubbed “The Dream Team!”

In our first meeting Chancellor Sue Borrego and Provost Doug Knerr joined us to officially present the committee’s charge. I would summarize the key points of our charge in four concepts: evidence-based, transparent, inclusive, and with open and ongoing communication. During our first meeting we also discussed and finalized an ambitious timeline for our work. This is a two-part process, with 4 to 6 high-level goals to be identified by the end of this semester, and project teams formed to develop more detailed implementation plans with a focus on accountability in the 2017-18 academic year.

In January we will finalize our process, hold a number of introductory meetings across campus to explain our process, generate feedback and ideas, identify optimal ways of collaboration, and gather background materials. I have already gotten on the agenda of several committees and units to discuss our process and encourage participation and planning for other meetings across diverse campus academic units and committees. We plan on hosting five open forums and dialogues during the month of February to gather input and share evidence-based data that would contribute to the making of informed decisions. We are currently preparing to develop surveys that will be launched in March. By April we will be sharing the proposed goals we have developed for your consideration, culminating in a vote of the governing faculty in early May. Additional information will be shared at the February governing faculty meeting.

You are encouraged to visit the Strategic Planning website (currently under development) at https://www.umflint.edu/strategicplanning2017 where we will post our charge, list of committee members, schedule of meetings, planning timeline, and meeting agenda and minutes. We will continue to add information and resources, so please consider this an open channel for you to see what we are doing. We also plan to share regular updates via email and by getting on the agenda of many meetings across campus.

You are also invited to share your ideas and questions at any time by writing to future@umflint.edu. I will have direct access to your comments, and they will be incredibly valuable as we carry out this important work. On behalf of the entire strategic planning committee, I invite you to actively participate in this process, which can only succeed with your support, your meaningful feedback, and collaboration. We are committed to serving UM-Flint and all of you in a transparent and inclusive manner, as indicated in our charge.


Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, School of Nursing
The University of Michigan-Flint
Phone (810) 766-6760
E-mail: hiba@umflint.edu

Reminder: Seeking nominations for Strategic Planning Steering Committee | November 8

November 8, 2016

To: UM-Flint Faculty, Staff and Students

Sue Borrego, Chancellor
Doug Knerr, Provost
Cathy Miller, Chair, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Budget and Strategic Planning
Greg Laurence, Chair, Academic Affairs Advisory Committee
Chris Douglas, Chair, Faculty Council
Date: November 8, 2016
Subject: Reminder: Seeking nominations for Strategic Planning Steering Committee
If you have not already done so, we are writing to remind you to nominate participants for the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. This committee will guide UM-Flint’s strategic planning efforts over the next year and will seek input from members of the faculty and staff, students, alumni, and the Flint community. We invite you to nominate yourself or other individuals to serve on this committee by writing to future@umflint.edu. The deadline for nomination is November 14.
We hope to finalize the membership, appoint co-chairs, and announce the Steering Committee shortly before Thanksgiving. The Steering Committee will be responsible for hosting a broad set of discussions early in 2017, with plentiful opportunities for you to provide ideas and feedback. Further details about the planning process will be determined and communicated by the Steering Committee.
We will continue to post regular updates on the strategic planning website, and we invite you to share your thoughts with us at any time by writing to future@umflint.edu.

Nominations for Strategic Planning Steering Committee | November 1

November 1, 2016

To: UM-Flint Faculty, Staff and Students

Susan E. Borrego, Chancellor
Doug Knerr, Provost
Cathy Miller, Chair, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Budget and Strategic Planning
Greg Laurence, Chair, Academic Affairs Advisory Committee
Chris Douglas, Chair, Faculty Council

Date: November 1st, 2016

Subject: Nominations for Strategic Planning Steering Committee
We are writing to announce the creation of a Steering Committee to guide UM-Flint’s strategic planning efforts over the next year. The committee will lead an inclusive and transparent process that incorporates broad input from members of the faculty and staff, students, alumni, and the Flint community. We invite you to nominate yourself or other individuals to serve on this committee by writing to future@umflint.edu. The deadline for nomination is November 14.
The Steering Committee will be advisory to the Chancellor and Provost. Three faculty governing groups – the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Budget and Strategic Planning, the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee, and the Faculty Council – will play an important role in recommending the makeup of the committee. We also will ask Staff Council, Student Government, Citizen’s Advisory Board, and alumni groups to help us solicit nominations from their respective communities.
In consultation with these committees and with the Deans and Cabinet, we hope to finalize the membership, appoint co-chairs, and announce the Steering Committee shortly before Thanksgiving. The Steering Committee will be responsible for hosting a broad set of discussions early in 2017, with plentiful opportunities for you to provide ideas and feedback. Further details about the planning process will be determined and communicated by the Steering Committee.
We will continue to post regular updates on the strategic planning website, and we invite you to share your thoughts with us at any time by writing to future@umflint.edu.

October 7, 2016

During the week of September 19, Lisa Rudgers and Julie Peterson came to campus for a first round of meetings with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community leaders. The purpose of the meetings was to gather early ideas that could inform the strategic planning process. In total they participated in 27 meetings and phone calls with groups and individuals, including the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Budget and Strategic Planning, Academic Affairs Advisory Committee, Faculty Council, Staff Council, Student Government, Deans, Cabinet, Citizen’s Advisory Committee, and multiple groups of Department Chairs and Directors.

All the group meetings began with Tess Barker, Chief of Staff in the Chancellor’s Office, sharing a brief Powerpoint with background on the 2011-2016 Strategic Plan and planning process. Julie and Lisa then led discussion around three key questions:

  1. What strengths and accomplishments would you identify for UM-Flint that can be the foundation for future goals and priorities?
  2. What early ideas do you have for priorities or opportunities that a new strategic plan might include?
  3. How should the strategic planning process be structured to incorporate a broad level of engagement and input across the campus and community?

Below is a report of what was said in the meetings. We have attempted to include all the ideas shared, combining and synthesizing related ideas wherever possible.

I. Strengths and Accomplishments

Faculty-Student Mentoring and Teaching

  • Faculty relationships with students
    • Students and alumni all say this is what they value
  • Professors who teach classes and care about teaching
    • Teaching is central to our mission
    • Multiple measures of teaching effectivess
  • Smaller class size with opportunity for students to get individual attention
  • Staff are also attentive to student needs
    • Many students come from a tough background, without advantages
  • Focused on retention, although we have more work to do in this area

Academic Programs

  • Many strong academic programs
  • Many new academic programs
  • Lot of energy for developing new graduate programs
  • CAS thinking about how graduate programs can be most effective
  • Many programs are delivered with combo of scholar/theoretician and practitioner
  • Areas of excellence in health professions, entrepreneurship
  • New Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation with significant donor support
  • New majors in supply chain management, entrepreneurship
  • Launched master’s in applied communication
  • Many new programs in SHPS
  • Physical therapy has two new doctoral programs as well as clinical residencies
  • Only PhD program in physical therapy in the state and one of a handful in the nation
  • New Doctor of Education degree
  • Nursing becoming a school
  • Mechanical engineering now accredited
  • Center for Cognition and Neural Ethics
  • Dual master’s degree in SOM
  • Dual MBA programs in SHPS and Nursing
    • Enrollment is growing
    • Masking losses in regular MBA enrollment
  • Developing an MS in organizational leadership
  • Literature program is outstanding
  • Anthropology last 2 years has sent students to Princeton and MIT for PhDs
  • Educational administration/MPA program strong
  • Engineering 3+2 program
  • Computer science master’s degree is great flexible program for students
  • New joint program with CAS and Nursing


  • Excellent students, especially at the top end
  • Strengthened merit scholarships
  • Student academic preparation and profile getting stronger
  • Diverse, motivated, persistent and engaged students
    • They are determined to get an education as a way to a better life
  • Leading in nontraditional students
    • Great focus on veterans
  • Building a stronger culture of caring for students and delivering an excellent experience across-the-board
  • Employers really want our graduates

Community Engagement

  • Carnegie classification as community-engaged campus
  • Flint community has pride in the University
  • Real focus on community engagement
    • Marked increase in engagement in past two years
    • Essential part of our mission
    • University and community need each other
    • Why it’s a great place to work
  • Early Childhood Development Center
    • Major contribution to Flint’s recovery from the water crisis
    • Winning support from funders and community partners
  • Decision to locate downtown
    • Magnet for education corridor with Kettering, MSU, UM-Flint
    • Expanded visibility downtown is great for economic growth
  • SHPS partnerships, urban wellness clinic, service to health care institutions
  • Partnerships with Mott African American art collection, Arab American Heritage Council
  • Latino Collaborative, Women’s Group active in the community
  • SOM programs such as income tax assistance—great for community and the students who teach in it
  • Physical Therapy, Nursing, Public Health have great community programs
  • CRIM Fitness Foundation partnerships
  • Opening the ice rink
  • CAS has numerous programs: Curiosity Academy, family math night, astro night, etc.
  • Music Dept does community-focused concerts
  • Campus housing has brought more students into local businesses
    • Students are a big part of the local economy
  • University has made a strong investment in local schools
    • Office of K-12 Partnerships
    • Early College and DEEP
    • Close to 500 dual-enrolled students
    • Pipeline programs such as CEO and Invest in Your Success
    • Supporting kids from “cradle to college”
    • Help students understand they should aspire to college
  • Critical Issues Forum is terrific—positions UM-Flint as a leader, bringing intellectual horsepower to Flint that otherwise wouldn’t be here
  • University had an effective response to the water crisis
    • Water class for community
    • Great research/mapping of lead pipes


  • Tremendous growth in international students
    • Helps to enrich the student experience and diversify the campus
  • Relationship with Woopertal University in Germany—faculty and student exchanges
  • Development of the International Center
  • Increased opportunities for travel, study abroad, service learning and practice abroad
  • Relationships with nursing schools in Cambodia, Kenya, Peru, India, China, Taiwan
  • Increased scholarships to support study abroad


  • Physical footprint of campus has grown
  • Murchie Science renovation
  • Approved for $39m capital outlay to expand
  • North Tower Building
  • Campus is beautiful
  • New space is potentially transformative
    • Bursting at the seams in some departments
    • Planning process was great—very inclusive
    • People were invited to dream big
    • We know who’s making decisions—more transparent than in the past

Campus Housing

  • Creation of housing/residential life
  • Corresponding improvements in student social life and campus life
  • No longer a commuter campus


  • Grew enrollment from 6K to 8K in prior strategic plan
  • Current SEM plan has been inclusive
  • Strong and growing dual enrollment
  • Increasing success attracting students from outside Genesee County

Online Learning

  • Leading in online instruction and mixed-mode delivery
    • Leader in the state
    • Have more experience and doing it longer than others
  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies went completely online, creating the second such program
  • Technology support for our online classes is incredible
  • Brings a diversity of students from around the world


  • Great education at a lower cost

Scholarship and Research

  • Most of time is spent on teaching, but it’s discipline-dependent
  • Faculty research in pockets
    • Scholarship is uneven—mystery how people make time for it
  • Provost has increased internal funds to support research by almost 40%
  • SOM has emphasized research
  • Much faculty research is connected to the community
  • First research scientist hired with Pfizer funding to research vaccination
  • Library that is the intellectual crossroads of the campus
    • Library has great relationship with Ann Arbor
    • Parity with A2 in digital research journals
    • Library working closely with Student Govt to support student needs

Leadership, Governance and Culture

  • Stable leadership after period of turnover
  • Deans who now work together effectively
  • Breaking down organizational silos across campus
  • Starting to have tough conversations about governance
  • Growth in institutional commitment to diversity
    • Created Women’s Center and Intercultural Center
    • Following through on climate study
  • We’ve been welcoming and inclusive
    • Students are quite diverse and value that experience
  • Common Read has been a great vehicle for examining tough topics
  • Safety Department does a great job


  • Fundraising success overall
  • Early success fundraising with German American companies

II.  Early Ideas for Future Opportunities and Priorities


  • Articulate a distinctive identity for UM-Flint: what are we going to be?
    • What does it mean to be a regional comprehensive?
    • What does it mean to be an urban university?
  • Caught between the “M” and the “Flint” – can we have a more strategic relationship with Ann Arbor?
    • Opportunity for increased engagement with Ann Arbor
    • But still a distinctive identity for this campus
  • Need a sharp, crisp signature that is centralized but applicable to us all
    • Must be differentiating
  • Decide how big we want to be—what enrollment target is reasonable in light of demographic trends?
    • Should pick our size and then be really good at it
    • Growing more may have negative impact—can only grow faculty in quantum steps
  • Need a business and programmatic model that builds stability—in enrollment, teaching, research
  • Strategies and structures that enable the campus as a whole to have a unified mission
  • Develop institutional pride

Curriculum and Programs

  • Revamp general education
  • Increase capacity in existing programs so they can serve more students
  • Goal to develop more professional doctoral degrees and PhDs
  • Opportunity for more programs in health area
  • Master of Social Work program would be good fit for Flint community
  • Improved culture around curricular innovation
    • Shortened and more nimble processes
    • Better identify and fill market need—rely on research
    • “Beta test” environment where we can more easily start and stop programs that are responsive to the market
    • Look at other institutions, such as in Australia—they have more flexibility in the way they offer courses
    • Could pilot more innovative course structures
  • More systematic approach to analyzing and expanding online learning
    • Opportunity to rethink and broaden online learning at undergraduate level
    • Eliminate structural obstacles to online learning for undergraduates
    • Should have been able to attract ITT students after closure, but were not positioned to do that—missed opportunity
  • What undergraduate programs can we develop that are new and innovative?
    • They’ve been largely unchanged for 20-30 years
  • More programs that create international experiences for students
  • More opportunities for dual degree programs with SOM
  • Expand entrepreneurship
  • Could do more to maximize STEAM
  • Opportunity to develop summer programs in STEM, health, other areas
    • Precollege, college, and professional
  • More work to support interdisciplinarity and integrative learning
    • Opportunity for more joint appointments

Leadership, Governance and Climate

  • Need deeper integration between academic and other units across campus
    • Extend approach to space conversations to budget, advising, outreach, etc.
    • Need to overcome silos and increase collaboration
  • Governance is fragmented
  • Need to improve trust among faculty
    • Climate survey will be important
  • Faculty feel overloaded by administrative duties that aren’t central
  • Need to take a look at the culture for junior faculty—needs to be friendlier and more supportive
    • Pair them up with mentors
  • Think carefully and broadly about diversity and inclusion
    • Culture, climate, representation, support
    • Microaggressions and implicit bias in the classroom
    • Hiring practices
    • Be more welcoming of all: “we expect you to be here”
  • Opportunity to be more of a leader in diversity, given national conversation about this
  • Policies that support work-life balance

Community Engagement

  • Flint is on the map now—translate that into benefit
    • Leverage the big-name people who come to town
  • Reinforcing community-facing work is in our DNA
  • Contribute to Flint community, economy and jobs
    • Where do we want the city to be in a few years?
  • Continue supporting the development of downtown
    • Use the University’s bully pulpit and create stronger collaborations
    • Partner to expand Flint and downtown amenities that will attract faculty, staff, students
    • New development should not have its back to the community
    • Flint is becoming a food desert; downtown restaurants not priced for students
  • This should be ground zero for how do we solve the country’s urban infrastructure problems. Could have a Center for Urban Renewal.
  • Could do more to capitalize on Flint’s arts community
  • Stronger partnerships with other universities, health care entities, business and cultural organizations
    • Collaborate rather than compete with MSU
    • Hurley, McLaren, Genesys
  • Grow participation in innovation hub
  • Increased vehicles for student engagement in community
    • Alternative Break could grow
  • We will need massive investment in children of Flint—University has expertise to contribute
  • Public school system is fragile—could do more to partner
  • Talent incubator for local schools—producing teachers who stay in Flint
    • Especially minority teachers
  • Pipeline programs to help with transition from high school to college
    • Discussions about Flint Promise program
    • Attention to local schools so UM-Flint can accept more kids from Flint
  • Support for foster-care students
  • University as convenor and catalyst for collaborative efforts
    • Build on Critical Issues Forum and thought leadership role
  • Address issues of race in Flint
  • Better internal communication about water and what the University is doing


  • Need to examine and clarify faculty roles
    • Figure out a better balance
  • Opportunity to support faculty research at a more ambitious level
    • Stronger emphasis on and incentives for research
  • Opportunity for research efforts that advance community engagement and wellbeing
  • Would like a research center for the early childhood work
  • Tie more closely to research needs of industry
  • We don’t want to have to chase grant support
  • How ensure research continues after tenure?
    • Create university-wide incentive structures for research, beyond tenure and promotion
    • Need release time for faculty to do research
  • Want more chances to collaborate in our research
  • Intersection of research and community engagement
    • Better organize and communicate
  • Also roles for faculty who love to teach


  • Opportunity to better understand, serve and celebrate the students we really have
    • Both quantitative and qualitative
    • Better support students’ individual goals
  • Better support first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students, international students, veterans
  • More robust student life
    • Students need more social life and gathering spaces
    • Need better student center
    • Proper dining, moving past all-you-can-eat
    • Better student access to technology
  • Be more intentional about high-impact experiences for students
    • Create hands-on engagement experiences for every student
    • This is a generation that wants to make a difference
  • Additional resources for mental health
  • What is athletics going to be here?

Enrollment and Retention

  • Become a place people want to enroll
  • Overcome water issues and perception of Flint
  • Be able to market to students out of state
  • Significantly improve retention
    • Trending in the wrong direction
    • Better support struggling students
  • Implement the SEM plan

Career Preparation

  • Greater focus on careers and employability of our students
  • Better promote the value of liberal arts and what that creates in terms of job and skills and life benefits
  • More intentional career paths and faculty mentoring about careers
  • Strengthen ties to industry
  • Increase opportunities for internships, in Flint, nationally and internationally
  • Better use of alumni network so students can leverage those connections for jobs
  • Address barriers that prevent international students from working


  • Examine tuition structure
    • Perceived penalty for students who take online courses
    • Competitors are leaving us behind in pricing online programs
  • Identify textbooks that are free or low-cost
  • Possible scholarship program for high-achieving international students
  • More scholarship support overall\

Facilities and Campus Planning

  • Improve our facilities, especially classrooms and student areas
    • Modern classrooms designed by instructors who teach
  • More interactive spaces
  • Areas for gathering and socializing
  • Need a new master plan for campus
  • Connections between buildings need to be strengthened
  • Close Kearsley and make it pedestrian
  • Connect across the river
  • “Own the river”
  • Redesign the Library


  • Set priorities for campaign
  • Improve fundraising for our highest priorities
  • Find donors who want to make a difference with their giving


  • Pay attention to the foundation of support, service and facilities staff
    • Growing campus and shrinking staff makes people feel overtaxed
  • Revised budgeting process that rewards innovation, cooperation, and productivity
    • Dissatisfaction with current budgeting model
  • Better institutional data
    • More evidence-based decision-making
  • Look at opportunities for new revenue streams
  • Need a functional, centralized events calendar
  • Electronic kiosks and information desk
  • Address parking shortage

III. Thoughts about Process

High-Level Priorities

  • Last strategic planning process (2011-2016) was regarded as generally positive.
  • Got too tactical and too many priorities and initiatives. Need to rein it in.
  • Someone has to make decisions about what’s important.
  • Task forces were on their own last time, and no one had authority to create strategic direction
  • Goals need to be authentic, achievable and sustainable
  • High-level goals should be inspiring and motivating, getting people working together toward common aspirations
  • Need fewer priorities than last time and they actually need to be strategic
  • Smaller number of bigger ideas seems more doable and allows for more creativity.
  • Then schools, departments, etc. can define measurable outcomes within this plan.

Steering Committee

  • Create some mechanism for thinking about initiatives that cut across departments.
  • Steering committee could create structure, authority and decision-making
  • Representative steering committee could do thematic analysis
  • Strategic planning committee should be chaired or co-chaired by a faculty member who generates a lot of trust among peers.
  • Steering committee should have robust faculty representation
  • Have an open call for nominations
  • Give the deans a significant role in choosing faculty members of the committee

Faculty Engagement

  • Really important for faculty buy-in that the plan gets developed and owned by the faculty
  • Won’t fly if there’s a perception it’s not a faculty-driven initiative
  • Connect up to existing faculty governance structures and get their feedback at various points along the way
  • Existing faculty committees don’t do enough to disseminate information—needs to be broader than that


  • Better explain purpose of strategic planning
  • What’s going to happen and how will this be used?
  • What are the roles of the consultants?
  • Create context through readings, presentations, speakers
  • SWOT analysis would be helpful


  • Sense of urgency about timeline; need results to influence budgeting
  • Need to take enough time for meaningful engagement with campus
  • At the same time need to avoid “service fatigue”
  • Process is just as or more important than outcomes
  • Possibility for it to be phased
  • Some timing issues with this occurring at same time as HLC accreditation process, climate study, etc.
  • Be sure to incorporate goals and input from related processes (SEM, HLC, space planning, branding, unit strategic plans)
  • Differing opinions about what time frame it should cover: 3 years? 5? 10? Maybe high-level goals that cover a longer time period, but concrete operational plans for the next 1-3 years.

Transparency and Inclusion

  • Process needs to be transparent and visible, with lots of updates and open information-sharing
  • Summarize the forums so people who can’t attend can catch up
  • Share information directly—doesn’t trickle down
  • Process needs to be broadly inclusive with “overabundant” opportunities for input
  • Include all groups: faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members •    Get to groups we don’t always hear from: for example junior faculty, part-time faculty, emeritus faculty, students with families, custodial workers who are on third shift
  • Engagement needs to feel authentic and meaningful—really listen to people and show them how their ideas are incorporated in the plan
  • Strategic planning can be a vehicle for increasing collaboration and trust by getting people in a room who are not usually together
  • Thank you for including staff—we were not asked before=

Outreach Mechanisms

  • Communication is hard here—decentralized and many people commuting
  • Use every possible mechanism to gather input
  • Launch one or more surveys
    • If survey students, use Blackboard where they go for course support
    • Surveys should not be lengthy
  • Have open forums at different days and times because people are busy
    • We usually keep groups separate (faculty, staff, students) but it can also be enriching to have everyone in the room together
  • Create an electronic platform so people can weigh in when it’s convenient for them
    • Can we use “Blue Jeans” or other interactive technology to engage people from multiple locations?
    • Get help from Deb White in Distance Education
  • Build discussions into pre-existing meetings in departments, etc.
    • People may pay more attention at the local level than University-wide
    • Have both department-specific meetings and then some broader events
  • Some forums could be on specific topics
  • Identify people with negative perceptions and bring them into the fold
  • Create ways for the introverts to engage
  • The same 25 people are always involved—need to get the rest
  • Food helps—maybe a series of lunches, dinners, happy hours with alcohol
  • Go where students naturally are
    • Can we use classroom time for students?
  • Engage at grass-roots level in community with small-group discussions


  • Need to create action steps with measurable goals and accountability
  • Operationalizing the goals will be the hardest part—campus lacks capacity and organizational structure
  • Create task forces on specific topics

Powerpoint Overview: September 2016 Meetings