A Request for Ideas — Think BIG!

Dear Colleagues,

For over six decades, University of Michigan-Dearborn has pursued innovative ways to serve both our students and the broader community.  Our university has succeeded by being creative and flexible in how we provide higher education to southeast Michigan and beyond.  Shortly after my arrival as chancellor, we launched a heavily consultative and transparent strategic planning initiative to consider and plan for our next sixty years.  The strategic plan was, in part, a vehicle to realize the promise I made in my inaugural address to wrap our students in all the resources and support services they need to succeed.  Many faculty and staff members, as well as students, have contributed exciting ideas that will help us build on our past successes.  Our strategic plan will allow us to be confident that the future of UM-Dearborn will see us continue to fulfill our primary mission—student success.

We recently received news that will help us realize our goals more quickly.  The Board of Regents approved a $20 million investment, recommended by President Schlissel, to support student recruitment, retention and graduation at the Dearborn and Flint campuses.  This offers us an exciting opportunity to launch many of the recommendations developed during the strategic planning process, helping our students succeed while also creating a more welcoming, diverse, equitable and inclusive campus.  The success of all of our students is dependent on ensuring a campus culture of awareness, diversity, equity and inclusion, so our students are best prepared to make a difference upon graduation.

Among some of our initial investments, we will pilot novel financial aid strategies to help keep a UM-Dearborn education accessible and affordable, spearhead a target re-enrollment effort that encourages those near completion of their degree to finish and pursue a vision to create an unsurpassed student experience. 

Today I am issuing a request for ideas.  We have created a form that will allow you to provide your ideas regarding meaningful and measurable impacts on student success and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.  Please take a few moments to share your thoughts

As we consider further options for investment, I want to ensure we have elicited all of the most creative and impactful ideas from our community to help support student recruitment, retention, graduation and placement.  Building on the terrific work that has already been achieved during our strategic planning process, we are asking for additional ideas not identified or represented in our strategic planning process.  I request that you frame your ideas using the strategic plan’s guiding principles.  If you recall, we held town halls to engage the campus with working group reports and further develop specific ideas just prior to the pandemic.  Also included on the website are the working group reports and February town hall summaries. 

This available investment for our campus provides us with a unique moment to implement exciting strategic initiatives more quickly than would have otherwise been possible.  

Our university has a great future.  Together, we will always strive to be leaders and best.  Thank you for being part of our exciting academic community.  I look forward to receiving your additional ideas and contributions. 

All ideas are welcomed and remember to think big!

Domenico Grasso

Office of the Chancellor

1070 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5500
Fax: 313-593-5204