2015 President’s Convocation

Convocation Remarks
by UDM President Antoine M. Garibaldi
 Aug. 17, 2015

Good morning, UDM faculty and staff colleagues. Welcome to the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year! I know that many of you were busy working on one or more of our three campuses this summer, but I hope you were able to get some rest and relaxation.

As I have done in the past, this morning I will share information about the following four areas: (1) some notable accomplishments of the University over the past four years; (2) specific progress we are making on key strategic goals such as advancing academic and institutional excellence; increasing undergraduate and graduate enrollment; heightening the distinction of the University; managing our fiscal resources efficiently and effectively; fundraising and the Comprehensive Campaign; and our engagement with the community; (3) significant accomplishments of the Schools and Colleges and divisions of the University last year; and (4) a preview of a few University initiatives and events that will begin or occur in 2015-2016. There is not enough time to mention all of the major activities of the school year, but you will find the other events in the weekly Campus Connection newsletter and on the UDM website during the year.

Before highlighting some of our progress over the last few years, I want to quickly flash back to the summer of 2011 when organizational theorist Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, How the Mighty Fall, was the keynote speaker at the Mackinac Policy Conference and also the annual conference of the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officers. Supported by his empirical research and data, Jim Collins conveyed his straightforward message that corporate and non-profit institutions must be "great" if they expect to succeed. Moreover, he writes in the opening sentence of his bestseller Good to Great that "Good is the enemy of great." For Collins and all who want to be great, pursuing achievable aspirational goals serves as a useful motivational tool. And so you may recall that as we began our strategic planning process in 2011, I asked the University Community to adopt the motto of "Advancing UDM from Good to Great." UDM, fortunately, is already "good" in many ways – excellent faculty and staff like you, very talented students, outstanding alumni, a national and regional reputation, a strong Jesuit and Mercy Mission, and more. And I recommended that we work to become even better and advance from good to great with some prospective thinking and aggressive work to accomplish several bold goals over the next three to five years, specifically by prioritizing the following important items:

  • increasing enrollment, retention and graduation rates;
  • increasing fundraising and building the endowment;
  • expanding our engagement and partnerships with the community; and
  • continuing to strengthen UDM's Mission and Identity.

The primary purpose of our annual Strategic Planning reports is to document the year-to-year progress or lack of progress on each of our five strategic goals; and those results serve as a catalyst to do more than merely meeting our goals but to excel on each and every one of them.

Notable Accomplishments at University of Detroit Mercy since June 2011

Four years later, we have not yet achieved the goal of being "Great," but we have indeed made progress. For example, through much work in schools, the community and on our own campus, we are beginning to increase our first-year enrollment, which you will hear about shortly. We have increased our small endowment by 76% from $25 million to $43 million; and we are on a pace to raising almost half of private donor funding towards one of the University's largest ever campaigns. We have implemented and staying the course on an ambitious strategic plan that includes five major goals that I have just finished mentioning. And, of particular importance, during the largest municipal bankruptcy, we have strengthened partnerships between the University and local and state government, businesses, and philanthropic, neighborhood and other non-profit organizations to improve our surrounding neighborhoods, specifically the Livernois – McNichols Corridor. You will hear more about that in a few minutes also. And we have made extensive renovations to and added facilities on each of our three campuses, including the 40,000 sq. ft. Student Fitness Center, the first newly constructed, free-standing building on the McNichols campus in 42 years; the Anthony Asher Law Clinic; and the New Dental Clinic and Simulation Lab. And more renovations and potential new facilities are likely to occur in 2015-16, though all the details are not finalized at this time.

Since 2011, the University has also received more than $36 million in foundation and government support. A few of these grants include:

  • a $1.5 million grant from the Ford Foundation to the University's Detroit Collaborative Design Center in the School of Architecture. This grant supported a civic engagement process that was used in the Detroit Future City study to develop a long-term land-use vision for the revitalization and growth of the City of Detroit, in July 2011;
  • a $1 million challenge grant from the Mary G. Stange Charitable Trust. The University raised a $2 million match in less than two years and a year earlier than the deadline to establish the Michigan Scholars Endowment Fund to increase the enrollment of academically talented Michigan students at UDM. More than 20 new endowed scholarships were established and many existing scholarships were added to as a result of this challenge grant;
  • a $750,000 three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in June 2013 to support students in the final year of the Master of Community Development Program to strengthen their leadership skills and promote urban community sustainability by working with Detroit-area non-profit organizations;
  • a five-year, $21.2 million consortium grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to increase the number of undergraduate students from underrepresented groups who seek degrees in the biomedical sciences, in October 2014; and
  • a first-time ever, five-year $1.1 million Student Support Services Program grant from the United States Department of Education. This grant will assist our Student Success Center in providing academic support to low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities. More than 1,900 institutions applied and less than a thousand received these very competitive grants!

Our success in obtaining more than $36 million in grants from foundations and government is due to both our aggressive pursuit of these funds and our ability to involve so many of you – faculty, staff and administrators – in the process of writing the proposals and case statements and developing innovative ideas that appeal to prospective funders. Some of these grants were not awarded on the first submission; but we were determined to learn from our initial weaknesses to submit a stronger proposal that had a better chance of being funded. We will be seeking similar opportunities during the year, and I thank you in advance for helping in these collaborative grant writing projects.

Noteworthy Recent Rankings and Designations - Over the last few years, the University has also received many noteworthy rankings and designations, which have played a role in fulfilling the third goal of the University's Strategic Plan, to "Heighten the Distinction of the University." And I want to highlight a few of the more recent designations and rankings, such as:

  • On August 3, UDM was designated as a Gold-certified Michigan Veteran-Friendly School by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. The Michigan Veteran-Friendly School program is designed to formally recognize academic institutions of higher learning committed to supporting the needs of student veterans and dependents. The program promotes best practices by awarding Gold-, Silver- and Bronze-level status to institutions that offer veteran-centric services and programs.
  • Additionally, the University was awarded the 2015 Military Friendly Schools Designation by Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The list honored the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America's military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.
  • UDM also ranked 17th out of 50 Catholic colleges and universities in the U.S. according to College Choice's "2015 Rankings of National Catholic Colleges and Universities."
  • And, for the fourteenth consecutive year, UDM has ranked in the top tier of universities in the Midwest Region in the 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges." In addition to the University's overall ranking, six UDM programs were also recognized. The Nurse Anesthesia program ranked #11; the Nursing program ranked #265; the Physician Assistant program ranked #54; the Clinical Psychology program ranked #171; the Engineering program ranked #104; and the College of Business Administration's Management program ranked 14th in the nation. The 2016 rankings will be coming in September.

Accomplishments such as these are a compliment you, our faculty and staff, who provide an excellent undergraduate and graduate education and experiences to our students here at UDM.

Ad Hoc Committee on Fiscal Management and Efficiency

As a result of the eight member Ad Hoc Committee on Fiscal Management and Efficiency's work last school year, three central themes have been identified: Make a Great First Impression; Streamline and Enhance the Core Business; and Create Lean and Effective Business Practices. And, within these three themes, the Committee proposes focusing on the following fifteen key initiatives:

  • Marketing and Recruiting;
  • Strategic Tuition Model;
  • The Face of UDM;
  • Academic Program Structure;
  • Faculty Productivity and Academic Program Structure;
  • Faculty Productivity and Academic Culture;
  • Academic Support Functions;
  • Retention & Student Life;
  • Enhanced Learning Spaces;
  • Morale and Retention;
  • IT Systems & Analysis;
  • Business Collaboration;
  • Corporate, Foundation, and Grant Support;
  • Quality Improvement;
  • Streamlined Athletics; and
  • Facility Management.

The First Impressions Task Force, which will be co-chaired by Elizabeth Patterson, Associate Vice President, Marketing & Public Affairs, and Debbie Stieffel, Vice President, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, will review what can be done to enhance first impressions of the University on both the website and the physical campuses. The Academic Task Force, which will be co-chaired by Provost Pamela Zarkowski and Dean Will Wittig, will work with the Deans of the Schools and Colleges as well as other stakeholders to assess program closings and streamline programs to be more effective and efficient. Lastly, the Fiscal Task Force, co-chaired by Diane Praet, Associate Vice President, University Registrar and Jim Priskey, Associate Vice President, Finance, will explore how we can be more fiscally efficient. It is anticipated that recommendations from the three Task Forces will be made in the next nine months. However, three items have been approved by the President's Council for implementation this year: Web Redevelopment, Brand Analysis and the McNichols Entrance Expansion.

Web Redevelopment, Brand Analysis and McNichols Entrance Expansion – The First Impressions Task Force, which was established to review proposed initiatives to strengthen how the University presents itself, has received approval from the President's Council for two major investments: the redevelopment of UDM's website and a University brand analysis study.

A firm has been selected to assist UDM with developing a user-friendly, "responsive" website to attract, engage and serve our key constituents, especially prospective students. The development of the new website will include:

  • new site organization and navigation;
  • new graphic and "responsive" design (readable on any mobile device);
  • an updated content management system that will have new features and functionality; and
  • enhanced social media connections.

The process will include gathering input from stakeholders and users as well as a review of all current web pages to update or delete content with a primary focus on attracting prospective students.

The Brand Analysis Study will be conducted by another firm that specializes in higher education branding to examine UDM's current brand position and perceptions among UDM's key constituents. The process will utilize extensive research with focus groups, surveys and interviews. Based on research findings, a brand strategy will be developed to strengthen UDM's brand identity position.

More information will be available as both projects begin very soon. We want you to be involved in these initiatives so please provide your input and support when asked as part of the research and website review phases of these projects. Both projects will be critical to advancing the University's student recruitment and fundraising priorities.

McNichols Entrance Expansion – I am also pleased to announce another initiative that will help strengthen how the University presents itself, the expansion of the McNichols entrance. This expansion will include a large welcoming archway displaying the University's name. A double-lane entryway for incoming vehicles, which will allow visitors to enter in one lane with a continuous flow for students, faculty and staff in the other lane. We are in the preliminary stages of receiving bids for the architectural/engineering and design components of the project, which could begin in late fall.

Enrollment Projections for 2015-2016

First-Year and Summer Enrollment Update – One of the most important areas where major changes have been made is in our Enrollment processes. You may recall that in 2011-2012, I contacted many of the local and suburban school districts. These contacts were followed up by personal visits of admissions, faculty, Deans, other staff and me. That relationship building with the schools' administrators, teachers, counselors and others has helped us obtain a much larger number of applications than in previous years.

In 2013-14, the Enrollment Management and Student Affairs department developed new and enhanced strategies for enrollment by:

  • Building Prospective Student Pools;
  • Implementing External Models to Expand Applications and Revive the UDM Applications;
  • Revising UDM's Strategic Financial Aid Awarding and Enhancing the Monitoring of Financial Aid Awards;
  • Using National Research to better understand external market drivers that affect enrollment;
  • Expanding Secondary and Tertiary Recruitment Markets based on alumni presence and larger Catholic populations;
  • Enhancing the focus on retention;
  • Using Technology/Data for more efficient and effective use of resources and to support a data-based decision making process;
  • Enhancing relationships, communications, programs and outreach;
  • Realigning staff and providing professional training; and
  • Implementing the Catholic Education University Grant.

As of August 10, 530 first-year students have confirmed for Fall compared with 480 last year at this time. This is a 10.4% increase. Confirmations of graduates from Catholic high schools total 112, which is a 36.5% increase, compared with 82 last year; and 85 of the confirmed students are from the Detroit Archdiocesan high schools compared with 66 last year, which is a 28.7% increase.

Our Student Orientation, Advising and Registration program (SOAR) participation rate for this summer was 99.8% compared with 92.4% at this time last year for Fall 2014.

The new first-year students have an ACT composite score average of 24 and a high school grade point average of 3.49, both of which are similar to last year's first-year students. Deposits from students who attended UDM's second annual Accepted Students Day in March are trending similar to last year's pace; 172, or 82%, of the 211 students who attended the program have deposited so far, compared with 150, or 82%, last year. The discount rate for first-time students is 61% compared with 59% last year on this date.

As of Monday, August 10, 134 new transfer students were registered for the Fall compared with 163 in Fall 2014; and 197 new graduate students registered compared with 214 last year.

There are 20 confirmed students for the new NIH REBUILD Detroit. The inaugural program began this summer with a month-long program for the students. And, ended with a closing ceremony, which was held on July 31. Thank you to everyone who assisted with this new program.

With respect to registration for Fall 2015, as of August 10, 2,446 undergraduate students are registered for Fall 2015 compared with 2,497 in Fall 2014, a 2.1% decrease; and 881 graduate students are registered compared with 857 in 2014, which is a 2.8% increase. The professional school enrollment is at 1,100, compared with 1,058 last year, which is a 3.9% increase.

The overall preliminary registration total as of today is 4,553 compared with 4,412 at this same time last year, which is a 3.2% increase. With Term I beginning in two weeks, there is still time for us to increase the enrollment of new students and returning students, especially in those areas where we are observing a decline from last year. Therefore, I encourage you to refer students to the Admissions, Financial Aid or College/School offices if they are having any difficulty registering.

Our first-year housing registration numbers are 22% higher than last year by 53 students: 296 vs. 243. The total housing registration for Fall 2015 has increased by is 2.4% from 705 last year to 722 this year.

UDM Fiscal Briefings

During the summer, a few days after our Board of Trustees' meetings, about 80 of you attended the first of our UDM Fiscal Briefings. The forum highlighted the Fiscal Year 2015 operating results as well as the status of the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. Vince Abatemarco, Vice President for Business and Finance, shared the budget details that were presented to the Board of Trustees at our June Finance Committee and Board of Trustees meeting. We will have more of these periodic fiscal briefings after the October, January, March and June Board meetings. The goal is to keep you informed of the fiscal status of the University during the year.

University Advancement and Comprehensive Campaign Activities Update

The Campaign for University of Detroit Mercy has raised over $45 million as of July 31, 2015 and we have another $4.5 million of verbal commitments that are currently being finalized. The campaign is entering the second year of its leadership gift phase and next June, in anticipation of the public launch of the campaign, the Board of Trustees will approve the campaign goal.

The campaign has four primary areas of support: Student Financial Aid; Academic Programs and Faculty; Facility Renovations; and Operating Budget. Of these, Student Financial Aid has been the most attractive to donors. Forty percent of the $45 million raised thus far has been raised for student scholarships and grants. Also worth noting is that the campaign has raised $14.5 million in gifts and pledges for the endowment.

It is important to note that donors are increasingly designating and restricting their gifts. Ninety percent of gifts and pledges we receive are restricted and, therefore, do not have a direct impact on the University's operating budget.

FY 2015 Gift Revenue – In FY 2015, the University received $10.6 million in cash from private gifts and grants. This is a 35% increase compared with the 10-year annual average of $7.8 million. Despite the higher than average proceeds from gifts and grants, the number of alumni donors declined by 2% in FY2015 and the University Advancement staff is focused on reversing this trend.

Neighborhood Initiatives

Livernois-McNichols Corridor Initiative - In the Spring of this year, the first phase of the Livernois Streetscape Enhancement Plan continued and is almost completed. Now we are ready to publicly launch a new but long-planned Live6 Alliance. "Live6" is a play on words for Livernois Avenue and Six Mile Road. The press conference will be held on Monday, August 31, at 1:00 p.m. on the west side grounds of the School of Architecture. We have invited many city, state, community and philanthropic leaders. With the generous financial support from the Kresge Foundation and our institutional contribution, this initiative will focus on four key goals: place making, business attraction and retention, public safety and neighborhood stabilization. This initiative will: create a new entity that serves the Livernois/McNichols area and adjacent neighborhoods; stimulate the interest and an increase in institutional investment in capital projects and programs that will improve the quality of life in surrounding neighborhoods; provide better communication and coordination between anchor institutions and surrounding communities; and attract new businesses to the Livernois/McNichols district. Philadelphia-based U3 Advisors will continue to work with us on this initiative, as they have for the last three years.

Other Important 2015-16 Initiatives

Strategic Plan: 2012-2017 Third-Year Report – As we have done the previous two years, the UDM Strategic Plan: 2012-2017 Third-Year Report will be distributed electronically over the next couple of weeks. As mentioned earlier, significant progress has been made on each of the goals; but more intensive work is needed to increase our enrollment, retention and graduation of students. With only two more years remaining in the current five-year strategic plan, the Strategic Planning Team will begin the process of developing the next five-year plan soon.

Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Review - Finally, and most importantly, we will have our accreditation review on September 26 and September 27, 2016. Provost Zarkowski and Dr. Nancy Calleja, Chair of the 2016 Steering Committee, will share more about that shortly.

Academic Accomplishments

During the 2014-2015 academic year, we achieved many noteworthy academic accomplishments as well. With the help of the members of the Academic Leadership Team, I will share a few of their most important accomplishments.

School of Architecture

  • The Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) has forged a much stronger relationship with the City of Detroit's Mayor's Office and Planning Department this year. Among other initiatives, DCDC is developing a strategy to assist the city in opening three to five design, planning and community development resource centers, and they are also assisting in developing a comprehensive approach to green infrastructure throughout the city.
  • The Master of Community Development Program awarded five twelve-month paid fellowships this year as a result of the $750,000 grant received last year from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Five recent MCD graduates are now working with the Michigan Department of Transportation, Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, Green Skills Alliance, The Guidance Center, and Southwest Housing Solutions.
  • Graduates of the architecture program are enjoying great success in their transition to professional life. Ninety percent (90%) of this year's graduating class from the Master of Architecture program received at least one job offer prior to graduation.

College of Business Administration

  • Management Program ranked 14th in U.S. - The College's undergraduate Management program was ranked 14th in the country by US News & World Report, tied with Penn State, the University of Maryland and the University of Washington, and ahead of many prominent institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, Boston College, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Case Western Reserve University, and Ohio State University.
  • CBA Receives City Council Recognition - For the second year in a row, the College of Business Administration received an Award of Recognition from Detroit's City Council for its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Accounting majors passed rigorous IRS training to be certified as tax preparers, and provided free income tax assistance to community residents.
  • MBA Offered Downtown - In partnership with the Law School, the College of Business Administration recently initiated the launch of its Downtown MBA program. Beginning this month, those working in Detroit's central business district will be able to earn the MBA degree from the Riverfront Campus on Jefferson Avenue.

School of Dentistry

  • Delta Dental Grant - In June of this year, UDM School of Dentistry announced the "Titans for Teeth" Mobile Dental Program, which is a school-based mobile program that will provide comprehensive dental services to children in Detroit and Wayne County. Ninety percent or more of the children in the free or reduced lunch programs suffer from disparities in oral health. Eight dental chairs will be used for the program.
  • Faculty, Staff, and Students Resuscitate Collapsed Patient in Clinic - A medical emergency occurred in the School of Dentistry's patient waiting room in April. EMS was called while students and faculty began to administer CPR and applied an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator to the patient. After 7 attempts to defribulate and almost 30 -35 minutes of resuscitation effort with CPR and assisted breathing, the patient's pulse and breathing were restored. The patient was transported to the DMC and survived.
  • Final year of class expansion - The School of Dentistry will have the largest enrollment in its history as a result of the expansion of the size of the pre-doctoral class size from 98 to 144.

College of Engineering & Science

  • Center for Automotive Systems Engineering Education (CASEE) ($1.2 M) - We are currently developing the equipment needs for the Center with support from a number of our close industry partners: Ford, GM, Denso and others have offered support on the conceptual framework and physical equipment packages that will provide our students with cutting edge education and experience in a very dynamic environment. The Center will be a stunning, visually appealing addition to the High Bay that will attract students, new industry partners and serve as a conduit for expanding and enriching our ties to this very dynamic and exciting industry.
  • The iNSPIRE (Innovative Space for Research and Exploration) Laboratory ($850,000) - We are currently buying casework, equipment and supplies to kick off the laboratory for the Winter term. This new undergraduate research facility will host teaching laboratories that include research project elements, serve as a 'open space' for students to carry out research projects whenever it is open, and host interactive meetings and sessions with students and faculty mentors. Funded in part by the NIH BUILD grant, this laboratory will also be the "home" of the freshman year BUILD scholar research activities.
  • Sustainability Initiative (Development Phase) - Pope Francis's encyclical challenge to heed climate change and its impact on future generations resonates with the Catholic, Jesuit, and Mercy traditions of UDM, and the mission of the College. We are in the beginning phase of planning the implementation of a new Sustainability Initiative in the College which places concern for the environment at the forefront of undergraduate and graduate engineering and science education and will prepare our students to be responsible stewards of the Earth as professionals and citizens. Elements of the initiative are already underway and a full plan will be available later in the Fall.

College of Health Professions/McAuley School of Nursing

  • The 2015-16 academic year represents the 15th anniversary of our partnership with Aquinas College in offering the traditional baccalaureate nursing program on that campus.
  • The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program acquired over $800,000 in grants/awards to support student enrollment and progression in the program.
  • The FNP program has a 97% certification pass rate over the past five years. This compares with 86% at the national level.

School of Law

  • Late last summer, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted certification to the School's Intellectual Property Clinic. In this clinic, students prepare patent applications for needy inventors while working under the supervision of registered patent attorneys. Through its work with potential entrepreneurs, the Intellectual Property Clinic contributes to the revitalization of the City of Detroit and also provides important practical training to law students with science and engineering backgrounds.
  • The School of Law received two grants to continue the work of its Solo and Small Firm Incubator Program, now in its second year. The program assists new graduates, through mentoring and practical training, in establishing their law practices. Recognizing the value of the incubator program, the Michigan State Bar Foundation awarded a grant for the participants to work with senior citizens in metropolitan Detroit and the Dewitt C. Holbrook Memorial Fund awarded a grant to offer workshops that focus on key building blocks of successful solo and small firm practice. The workshops will be open to all current and recent UDM Law graduates.
  • The School of Law received three endowed scholarships this year: the Judith V. Ford Endowed Memorial Scholarship for a law student pursuing a second career path in life, the Judge Roy L. Roulhac Endowed Scholarship for a student from a historically underrepresented population including African American, and the Hon. Lawrence Paul Zatkoff Endowed Scholarship for a student externing or interning with a federal court or state supreme court judge. The Zatkoff Scholarship is the law school's first one million dollar endowed scholarship.

College of Liberal Arts & Education

  • CLAE faculty and staff have recently learned of several new awards, including:
  • The National Institutes of Health have awarded UDM a $417,827 Academic Research Enhancement Award for the three-year research project "Social Determinants of Primary Care Utilization Among Urban Community Mental Health Center Patients." Prof. Kristen Abraham is the principal investigator.
  • The U.S. Department of Education has awarded UDM a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad grant that funds a five-week program of study in Brazil for Detroit-area educators. Lara Wasner is PI.
  • The Department of Education has entered into a contract with the Archdiocese of Detroit to provide professional development for its teachers.

Libraries/Instructional Design Studio

  • Over the course of the academic year, the McNichols Campus Library hosted an average of three student-sponsored events per week—including fundraisers, information tables and blood and bone marrow sign-ups—in the library lobby.
  • Electronic resources grew substantially with the addition of the New York Times digital collection, and new ebooks and ejournals raising the collection to 166,000 books and nearly 59,000 journals—a 20% increase for the year
  • The Instructional Design Studio produced online video introductions to the Blackboard course management system and its tools and continued to present new online class development workshops for faculty members.

Career Education Center

  • Through the generosity of the Fitch, Fernandez, Barbour and Berkowski families, a second interview room in the Career Education Center has been renovated. The interview room will be dedicated during the fall semester.
  • Graduation career outcomes are an important measure for most accrediting agencies, including the Higher Learning Commission. The UDM Outcomes Survey collects data that strengthens our "Great Outcomes" promise. Data collection for the Outcomes Survey for Class of July 2014 - June 2015 is currently underway. The Outcomes Survey is being conducted on UDM's behalf by CSO Research in collaboration with our Career Education Center. The best case scenario is for our graduates to self-report their own outcomes. In case they do not, faculty and staff are encouraged to report any knowledge they may have about graduates to their school/college offices and/or to the Career Education Center.

The Institute for Learning and Service

  • ILS is celebrating its 20th Anniversary and will be sponsoring the Celebrate Spirit event this year.
  • Ninety students from four secondary schools (Loyola, University of Detroit Jesuit, Bishop Foley Catholic, and Hamtramck High Schools) participated in nine-week sessions on leadership development, social skill building (reducing substance abuse, aggression and prejudice), and transition to college. These sessions were facilitated and organized by student volunteers in the Emerging Leaders Program.


  • In 2014-15, seventeen student-athletes earned All-Horizon League Academic Honors and 257 student-athletes were named to the UDM A.D. Honor Roll with a 3.0 G.P.A., which is an increase from 237 student-athletes during the previous academic year. Four athletic programs were placed among the top 10 percent of their respective sports with perfect scores of 1,000 in the latest NCAA Academic Progress Report (Men's Fencing, Women's Fencing, Women's Cross Country, and Women's Golf).
  • A new scoreboard and sound system will be installed for 2015-16 season. The scoreboard will include a four-sided, high-definition main video board that will hang directly above Dick Vitale Court, with full LED video capabilities, including video and instant replay.

Facility Updates

There have been many significant renovations to all three campuses over the past year. And many of those renovations have contributed to our ability to attract outstanding students and faculty. Even more, those campus improvements are being used to encourage alumni to come back and visit and provide convenient space for outside guests to host their events.

McNichols Campus

  • Women's Basketball Locker Room Renovation
  • Softball Locker Room Renovation
  • iINSPIRE Lab Chemistry
  • Exterior Water Proofing, Chemistry
  • Chemistry / Library Roadway
  • Shiple Hall Renovations
  • CES Auto Manufacturing Lab
  • Reno Roadway Paving Project
  • Quad Commons Computer Lab
  • Financial Markets Lab
  • Student Center Elevator Project
  • Calihan Hall Barrel Roof Replacement
  • Elastomeric Coating to Skylights in High Bay
  • Grounds Coffeehaus Renovation

Corktown Campus (Dental)

  • Mobile Dental Clinic Storage Facility
  • Dental Clinic Lab 2060
  • Dental Campus Seal Coating of West Parking Lots and New Paving of East Parking
  • Parking Lot Expansion
  • Amalgam Separators for Dental Clinic
  • Furnish AHU #8 to Mechanical Room

Riverfront Campus (Law)

  • Tuckpointing and Masonry Repairs

GM Student Corps Closing Event on Campus

On Wednesday, we will again host the closing activities and ceremony of the GM Student Corps program. More than 100 high school students who have been working during the summer on designated projects will attend a day of activities on campus that will serve as the capstone of their 10-week program. Joining the students and many university colleagues will be: several UDM students who worked as mentors to the students; high school administrators; and senior executives from GM, including Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, who is one of the founders of the three-year old program. Please join us for some of the activities.

Celebrate Spirit!

On Thursday, September 10, the UDM community will come together at Celebrate Spirit! to officially welcome the new school year for UDM faculty, staff and students. This year's Celebrate Spirit! speaker is Kerry Weber, Managing Editor of "America" Magazine. The service is co-sponsored by University Ministry and the Institute for Leadership and Service. I hope you all of you will be able to join us.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and for all you do for UDM!