One University responds to the Strategic Transformation Plan

Members of the One University movement hold up signs reading The humanities are vital to our lives no more cuts! as well as one reading Three Campuses. One University.

Eleni Batsios

Members of the One University movement hold up signs at the regents meeting at Riverfront on October 20th, 2022.

Eleni Batsios, Editor-in-chief

Daniel Birchok, associate professor of anthropology and founding member of One Univesity, says he has some skepticism about the University of Michigan-Flint’s Strategic Transformation Plan.


Birchok does not doubt the sincerity of the regents and administration when they say they care about UM-Flint. “I think they mean it,” says Birchok. “Sometimes they’re good at listening, sometimes they’re not.”


OneU, an organization on campus dedicated to equality for all three university campuses, is not “anti-transformation”: “There’s this way in which some folks choose to read what OneU is saying as anti-transformation, anti-change, anti-investment in professional schools,” says Birchok. “That’s not it at all.”


In their fight for equality, OneU believes that there can be a solution to the STP that benefits everybody, one that includes a “both-and”. 


“If professional schools are where we can increase enrollments and grow, we should be investing in those areas, but that doesn’t preclude investing in other areas,” says Birchok.


He adds that schools like the College of Innovation and Technology and the School of Management should evolve and be a primary focus, but we also need to focus on a school like the College of Arts and Sciences – we need that both-and.  


“If we are successful in funding the professional schools, we should use the fruits of that to support as many programs as possible for our students,” said Birchok


Above all, Birchok is getting frustrated with being kept in the dark. “This is not the most collaborative process in the history of higher education – the hyperbole there should be a clue that’s a problem.”


Nothing is over until it is over for Birchok and OneU. “If you want us not to be anxious and you want us to feel like this is an authentic process, make it clear you’re invested in us.”


The Strategic Transformation Plan announced by Dutta aims at maximizing “the opportunities for survival and long-term financial viability,” says President Mary Sue Coleman. To learn more about the STP, visit their website at


OneU is a University of Michigan campus-wide cause that started in 2018 to increase funding and introduce policies of equitable long-term support for the University of Michigan-Flint and Dearborn campuses. OneU consists of students, staff, and faculty across all three University of Michigan campuses. For additional information about OneU, visit their google drive here.