Community engagement opportunities set for planning initiatives


Faculty, staff and students will have the opportunity this fall to provide input on two presidential efforts — Vision 2034 and Campus Plan 2050 — that together aim to build a shared future for the university.

“I am incredibly proud of this university and excited about where we’re headed together,” President Santa J. Ono wrote in a Sept. 20 email to the Ann Arbor campus about the initiatives.

Vision 2034, which launched in March, is Ono’s strategic visioning process to outline U-M’s focus for the next 10 years — which he said will sharpen U-M’s impact and create new opportunities that challenge the present and enrich the future. The process incorporates thousands of ideas from faculty, staff and students gathered during the spring.

Campus Plan 2050 is a comprehensive, long-term campus planning effort that is closely related to Vision 2034. It seeks broad campus engagement to craft the blueprint for how the physical Ann Arbor campus should evolve to support the university’s mission and vision.

The campus plan will include five- and 10-year development planning horizons, as well as a long-term, 25-year plan that will serve as a catalyst to advance ongoing initiatives and establish clear priorities for capital investments.

The plans for Vision 2034 and Campus Plan 2050 are expected to be completed in winter 2024.

“As we enter the next critical phase of this planning journey, I’d like to ask for your continued engagement,” Ono wrote. “There are a number of opportunities available this fall.”

Open houses, where attendees can interact with organizers for both initiatives and respond to early-stage elements of the plans, are scheduled in October. In addition, three campus planning scenarios will allow attendees to respond to tangible examples of how the physical campus could change.

Other campus plan engagement opportunities for the U-M community include surveys and an interactive campus map that allows users to record their personal experiences while navigating campus.

Faculty and staff will have the opportunity to learn more about the priorities for Vision 2034 and Campus Plan 2050, including a review of preliminary planning scenarios, which present a range of potential changes to campus.

Participants will be able to share feedback. Representatives from both initiatives will be on hand to answer questions. Registration is required to participate in the open houses. They will be:

  • Oct. 10, 4-8 p.m., at the North Campus Research Complex, Building 18 Dining Hall.
  • Oct. 11, 4-8 p.m., at the Michigan Union, Rogel Ballroom.
  • Oct. 12, 4-8 p.m., at Pierpont Commons, East Room.
  • Oct. 19, 4-8 p.m., at Pierpont Commons, Fireside Café.

An online, interactive map survey will allow the campus community to share how people use and move through campus today, and how those experiences could be improved in the future. The survey will be open until Sept. 30.

The vision project team is continuing to refine the community input collected earlier this year alongside other university initiatives — such as the work of the Well-Being Collective, Culture Journey, Bold Ideas, DEI 2.0 strategic planning and carbon neutrality planning — to develop U-M’s draft 10-year strategic vision.

More than 5,000 faculty, staff, students and alumni have engaged in the Vision 2034 process so far, either by attending an information-gathering session or by submitting ideas online.

A draft of the U-M vision framework is expected to be shared with the community later this fall.



  1. Donald Duquette
    on October 31, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Dear President Ono and Planning Staff:

    The University of Michigan has not been a good neighbor for the residents of Ann Arbor. The University addition of 10,000 students in a short period of time, plus additional staff, irresponsibly burdens the city and its infrastructure. The University’s spectacular growth comes in the context of declining college enrollment in the US and in Michigan. The last data I saw was that of the 15 public universities in Michigan, 13 had declining student enrollment. At least one, Central Michigan, had to close a residence hall. Michigan State added some students, but not nearly at the growth rate of UM. This growth has myriad implications for AA residents. It burdens our streets, increases traffic, consumes our scarce housing stock, and contributes to high housing costs, which in turn decreases the chances of an economically diverse city. I do not wish to live in a city demographically unbalanced between college age at one end and wealthy upper middle class, mostly white, residents on the other.
    I am active in various environmental activities. I believe that the UM is managing its growth irresponsibly by making the environmental sustainability goals of the UM and Ann Arbor way more difficult to achieve. I appreciate the technical research and scholarship that will help with climate change challenges, but UM must also control its own carbon footprint. You have failed in that.

    I make these criticisms with a heart that swells with pride at the contributions the UM makes to our society and to our city. I am a proud law school graduate. I am an emeritus professor of law. I am a nearly 50 year resident of Ann Arbor. Currently my wife and I live downtown. I am looking at the “Big House” as I type this. I overlook the beautiful N. Quad and central campus. We are “cultural junkies” in that we frequent Hill Auditorium (a five minute walk), Power Center, Mendelssohn Theatre etc. So we take great pride in the university and its contributions to the community. However, my criticisms are still very valid.

    I serve on the Downtown Area Citizens Advisory Council, meant to advise DDA and the City Council on downtown matters, particularly in livability. As much as we appreciate the excitement of downtown and especially of our students (I just LOVE UM students), the UM growth has been irresponsible. It impacts negatively the quality of life we aspire to. It also inhibits our goals of adding affordable housing to our city.

    I appreciate that your projected plans include housing for students — and for workforce. Currently there is a huge carbon footprint from the students and the staff that commute into AA. When I was an Ass’t Professor at MSU, we lived in faculty housing. I have professional colleagues at other universities who enjoy faculty or staff housing. UM should do likewise.
    I also appreciate the focus on mobility in your draft plans. The days of a car-centric transportation system are over. I hope your plans also discourage moving the train station away from downtown. When an expansion is needed I hope you will support a main station on Depot street, with rapid rail, auto-bus, or a gondola that feeds the station from the hospitals.

    Thanks you for the opportunity to share my concerns. I consider being civically engaged one of my responsibilities in life. I would be pleased to help, to participate, in this challenge of maintain UM’s status as an elite institution — that contributes mightily to the betterment of our world, while minimizing our negative impact on the human and natural environment.

    All the best,

    Donald N. Duquette
    Clinical Professor Emeritus of Law
    Founding Director, Child Advocacy Law Clinic
    UM Law School

Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.