A Strategy for Growth
For the past six years, University of Detroit Mercy has been engaged in a detailed and rigorous process for evaluating and planning for its future. This evaluation has taken many forms—the Prioritization Process, the Highest and Best Use Study—to look at administrative and academic programming and to assess the use of existing physical space and the need for future development on all of the campuses. All of this planning and evaluation has paved the way for the University to develop a strategic plan for the University’s future—“A Strategy for UDM: the University for the Future.”
A significant part of the strategic planning process was to develop a clear identity for the University, defining who the University is and what it hopes to become. This identity includes three unyielding elements that will drive all future planning.
First, UDM is a Catholic university. A UDM education is a spiritual as well as intellectual enterprise, founded on the bedrock values of justice and mercy, leadership and service. This education, in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions, also stresses the development of the whole person.
Second, the University remains committed to the city of Detroit and to this region. More than a geographic location, the University’s urban setting provides students with a living laboratory where they can put what they learn into practice and test what they have been taught in theory against their actual experience. It’s also a place where education and formation come together because students learn while serving the underserved.
Third, UDM is a comprehensive University with a Liberal Arts core. UDM has a humanistic, liberal arts core that integrates professional preparation within a broader search for truth and education for a life well lived.
With this identity in mind, three primary objectives have surfaced to help transition UDM into a successful future:
• Create and enhance programs that distinguish UDM
• Provide campuses and facilities that enable a full and vibrant student experience
• Engage students in a multi-cultural experience that teaches service and facilitates professional success in the real world
To achieve its objectives, UDM’s priority is clear: grow our student population. Increasing enrollment entails attracting students. Through a concerted effort, UDM is already experiencing a record trend in increased enrollment, as the cover story illustrates. Even more exciting is that these students are bright and engaged future leaders. This means great things for the future of UDM, its students and its community.