The process behind UM-Flint’s Strategic Transformation plan


Santiago Ochoa

The seal of UM-Flint lies in McKinnon Plaza on campus.

Eleni Batsios, Editor-in-chief

FLINT, MI – The Strategic Transformation Plan will consist of three phases: information gathering, program analysis, and execution.


Phase 1: Information Gathering and Market Analysis


Information gathering consists of a couple of different tools, such as focus groups, open office hours of the chancellor, the Steering Committee, the Innovation & Transformation Advisory Council (ITAC), town halls, and the STP website


Focus groups have been conducted with Huron Consulting Group, and Chancellor Dutta in collaboration with Student Government and Dean of Students Julie Snyder is working on putting together more. 


Dutta also has open office hours which are available here. On four days in the month of December, you can meet with Dutta and ask whatever questions you may have about the STP. The office hours are available here


ITAC’s members are UM-Flint faculty from each college, school and libraries, Faculty Senate Council and Staff Council and Student Government. According to the STP website, their role is to “provide input and feedback to the Steering Committee and leadership to assist in the development of options for strategic transformation that support UM-Flint’s academic mission.”


The Steering Committee consists of UM-Flint cabinet and deans, meaning people like Sonja Feist-Price, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Shari Schrader, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, and the deans of all of the colleges and schools. Their role is to “provide guidance on UM-Flint’s strategic transformation.”


Based on the qualitative and quantitative information, UM-Flint will move into market analysis, asking questions such as: “Do market and employer demands align with the programs that we are offering?” According to Dutta, “The goal of the project is to assess what the market is saying, what are the degrees, and what area is there a demand for graduates – that analysis is being done.”


UM-Flint is currently finishing up this phase, and next, we will go into phase two, program analysis.


Phase 2: Program Analysis

After the quantitative and qualitative data from Huron have been collected and market analysis is complete, UM-Flint will move into program analysis. 


This means that UM-Flint will be looking at the current academic programs, what kinds of programs are currently being offered, and their financial situations. This will open up opportunities to create new programs and expand existing programs.


“This does not mean that if certain programs are not financially viable you close them down,” says Dutta. “It means that as a university you have a portfolio of programs, one or two might be profitable and three or four might not be, but overall the program is viable.”


Once the analysis is complete, the university has to move into implementation.


Phase 3: Investment

From the information gathered in phases one and two, UM-Flint will move into phase 3, deciding where the investment should go. 


“It is clear there will be a significant investment,” says Dutta. “Programmatic changes will happen, more than likely, yes. But there will be new opportunities for people that they can embrace.”


As information gathering has yet to be completed, this phase has not been fully fleshed out. Be sure to stay tuned for updates from the office of the Chancellor as the campus progresses through its transformation.