Strategic plan

Vision statement

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) offers a legacy-cities focused, Detroit community committed curriculum, scholarship, and service. By 2021, DUSP will be the premier destination for legacy cities scholarship and teaching.

Goal 1

Attract and successfully graduate a highly qualified, diverse undergraduate and graduate student body who will be able to work with diverse constituencies in rapidly changing urban environments, especially in the complex environments of legacy cities.

Near-term implementation steps:

  • Emphasize AGRADE program in every undergraduate class, including and especially US 2000 and GPH 3600
  • Reach out to Alternative Spring Break
  • Use alumni connections to identify practitioners wanting to obtain MUP (such as DEGC)

Long-term implementation steps:

  • Build relationships with community college advisors
  • Build relationships with select high school advisors
  • Build relationships with Michigan universities without graduate programs in planning, such as Grand Valley State and Western.
  • Increase donations to scholarship funds to attract highly qualified students
  • Identify and highlight legacy city content in existing courses
  • Highlight current student and alum accomplishments in all media
  • Increase FTF teaching in Urban Studies to make it more effective and develop a greater pipeline to MUP
  • Strategically develop attractive new courses with integrative, multi- and trans-disciplinary content for undergraduates and capitalize in other ways on Gen Ed reform to attract qualified students to the BA in Urban Studies and Master of Urban Planning Programs

Goal 2

Attract and retain a highly qualified, diverse full and part-time faculty who will be able to foster local connections and conduct national-caliber research on legacy cities.

Near-term implementation steps:

  • Retain Hilberry chair within department
  • Replace up to two retiring faculty with new junior faculty members at the assistant professor level
  • Prioritize legacy cities/Detroit research for new faculty hires
  • Existing faculty will seek out opportunities to conduct legacy cities/Detroit research

Long-term implementation steps

  • Formally mentor new junior faculty in research and teaching to ensure their success
  • Replace some part-time faculty teaching service courses (ie, US 2000) with full-time lecturer
  • Leverage social media to create a bigger "megaphone" for department activities and faculty research, specifically highlighting faculty impacts on urban policy and planning

Goal 3

At the graduate level, prepare planning professionals to perform effectively in the public, private and non-profit sectors with a strong education in general planning, as well as specialized training in planning sub-fields, with an emphasis on sustainability and revitalization in legacy cities.

Near-term implementation steps

  • Revise concentrations to reflect emphasis on planning for legacy cities and urban sustainability
  • Replace Master's Essay with Master's Professional Report
  • Add hands-on course (Jim Carr) on urban systems
  • Add course on legacy cities
  • (near and middle term) Revise course offerings to reflect department values, market/professional opportunities, and student interests

Long-term implementation steps

  • Increase number of courses that provide hands-on opportunities for student involvement in Detroit
  • Continue to evaluate Master's Professional Report

Goal 4

Prepare undergraduates with a strong education in urban structure, systems, and issues, for employment in the public, private and non-profit sectors, or to pursue future study, including specialized training in urban planning.

Near-term implementation steps

  • Soft launch focus areas using existing course offerings
  • Convert Capstone to hands-on project (completed, winter 2016) Long-term implementation steps
  • Continue to consider undergraduate concentrations
  • Strive for mix of undergraduate and graduate teaching for all faculty
  • Exploit possibilities created by Gen Ed reform to offer more attractive thematic, integrative courses to attract students from across campus to individual courses as well as to URST and MUP programs