University Strategic Plan

Boundlessly Forward: Detroit Mercy 2019 - 2024

Student walking on campus

Plan Development

The Detroit Mercy 2019-2024 Strategic Plan: Boundlessly Forward — builds on our recent accomplishments and serves as a framework to empower all stakeholders to work together to create the best possible future for the University. The plan was written by the Detroit Mercy community, through numerous workshops and forums. More than 435 staff members, administrators, faculty and students, from all three campuses, contributed to the creation of this shared vision.

Plan Purpose

Boundlessly Forward is a living document that serves as a touchstone for Detroit Mercy’s ongoing quest to fulfill its mission. It also supports and reinforces major elements of the Detroit Mercy Brand: academic excellence, a values-based education, excellent future outcomes and a thriving urban setting.

This strategic plan emphasizes enrollment growth, greater efficiency, return on investment and prosperity for the institution by:

  • Focusing university efforts on building a more vibrant campus that attracts, engages and transforms students
  • Offering dynamic and relevant academic programs that are mission-focused
  • Enhancing the pride and loyalty felt by the Detroit Mercy community through excellent customer service and a discerning corporate culture.

These efforts are aimed at ensuring financial sustainability of the institution. The plan serves as a guidepost for resource allocation, fundraising efforts and alternative revenue sources.

Mission Alignment

The three primary goals, along with the 10 supporting strategies, reinforce the University’s mission and the heritage of our founding sponsors, the Society of Jesus and the Religious Sisters of Mercy, in order to maintain our commitment to the cura personalis for each student who chooses to pursue his or her educational goals at Detroit Mercy.

Goal 1

Students take a selfie.

Create Detroit's "College Town"

  • Enhance student engagement.
  • Improve student-centered facilities.
  • Connect to and enhance the surrounding community.

More on Goal 1

Goal 2

Students conduct an experiment.

Deliver Relevant and Dynamic Academics

  • Establish a process for ongoing and comprehensive academic program evaluation.
  • Support the academic enterprise with alternative revenue streams.
  • Coordinate marketing and recruitment with academic goals.
  • Invest in effective and high-quality teaching, advising and mentorship.

More on Goal 2

Goal 3

A student meets with a professor.

Passionately Serve Students and Each Other

  • Create a culture of exceptional customer service to students.
  • Ensure that every student knows they are cared for.
  • Create a culture of respect and collaboration among employees.

More on Goal 3

Key Performance Indicators for All Three Goals

Student Enrollment Measures

  • Number of accepted students.
  • Number of newly enrolled students.
  • Full-time equivalent headcount of all enrolled students.

Student Retention Rate Measure

  • First-to-second year retention rate (target more than 84%).

Student Graduation Rate Measure

  • Five-year graduation rate (target more than 70%).
Venn Diagram: Circle 1 - deliver relevant dynamic academics. Circle 2 - Create Detroit's College Town. Circle 3 - Passionately Serve Students and Each Other

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    2019-20 Strategic Planning and Budget, Facilities and Safety Team

    Amy Smith* — Associate Dean for Operations, Law School
    Anthony Neely — Associate Professor, School of Dentistry
    Arnold D'Ambrosio — Vice President, University Advancement
    Dan Pitera — Dean, School of Architecture
    Dave Vandelinder — Director, Facilities Operations & Construction Management, Construction Planning
    Don DiPaolo — Professor & Coordinator for the Leadership Minor Program, College of Liberal Arts & Education
    Gnanada Joshi — Professor of Biology, College of Engineering and Science, and MFA Representative
    John Hitchings — Athletics Administration
    Karen Lee Associate —Vice President for Academic Administration
    Kimberly Koelb — Associate Vice President for Finance & Controller
    Megan Novell — Head of Circulation, McNichols Library
    Pamela Zarkowski — Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
    Robert Vowels — Athletic Director, Athletics Administration

    Note: *Fall 2019 only

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    2018-19 Strategic Planning and Budget, Facilities, and Safety Team

    Amy Smith — Associate Dean for Operations, Law School
    Anita Klueg — Director, University Ministry
    Anthony Neely — Associate Professor, School of Dentistry
    Arnold D'Ambrosio — Vice President, University Advancement
    Barraka Baber — Systems Administration, Network
    Dave Vandelinder — Director, Facilities Operations & Construction Management, Construction Planning
    Debbie Stieffel — Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Affairs
    Don DiPaolo — Professor & Coordinator for the Leadership Minor Program, College of Liberal Arts & Education
    Gregory Grabowski — Professor of Biology, College of Liberal Arts & Education, and MFA Representative
    Kim Koelb Associate — Vice President for Finance & Controller
    Pamela Zarkowski — Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
    Robert Vowels — Athletic Director, Athletics Administration
    Will Wittig — Dean, School of Architecture

For questions about the strategic plan, please contact us at strategicplan@udmercy.edu.