The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.

1963-71: The Dearborn Campus

Enrollment at Dearborn grew modestly during the decade of the 1960s, with 624 students registered in the fall 1964 semester. The campus continued to offer only junior and senior level courses, with its first graduate program, a master of science in mechanical engineering, instituted in 1964. The name Dearborn Center was changed to Dearborn Campus in 1963. All of the undergraduate students transferred to the Dearborn Campus from community colleges and other four-year institutions, mostly within the State of Michigan. About one-third of the enrollment transferred from neighboring Henry Ford Community College. Others came from nearby community colleges in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. The University's Ann Arbor campus provided the largest number of transfers from four-year institutions.

State appropriations also grew during the 1960s, from an initial $320,985 in 1959-60 to $966,960 in 1963-64. A total of ten concentration programs were offered in the Division of Literature, Science, and the Arts, including biophysical science, chemistry, economics, English, experimental biology, history, mathematics, psychology, sociology, and political science. Three concentration programs leading to a bachelor of science in engineering were offered in the Division of Engineering: electrical, mechanical, and industrial. In addition, the Division of Engineering added Dearborn's first graduate program in 1964, a master's in mechanical engineering, offered through the Rackham Graduate School. The Division of Business Administration offered a bachelor of business administration program.

In 1964, the first addition to the campus' physical plant, a 30-unit student apartment building, was completed at a cost of $734,734. This marked the first attempt Page  90by the campus to provide "residential" status for its student body.

Throughout the 1960s, at a time when many campuses were expanding rapidly, Dearborn's growth was modest. Enrollment stood at 777 in the fall of 1968. Although its graduates were readily accepted by employers and graduate schools, the number of Dearborn graduates remained small and the scale of operation was a dissapointment to many.

Two administrative changes in 1968, however, signaled the beginning of a new status for the Dearborn Campus. In January of 1968, Robben W. Fleming succeeded Dr. Harlan Hatcher as University President. Later that same year, Dr. William Stirton retired as University Vice-President and Director of the Dearborn Campus. In May 1968, Dr. Norman R. Scott, a professor of electrical engineering at the University's Ann Arbor campus, was named Dean at Dearborn.

On November 27, 1968, Arthur Ross, University Vice-President for State Relations and Planning, appointed an eight-member Dearborn Planning Study Committee to "evaluate the operation of the Dearborn Campus since its establishment and to chart its future development." Members of the Committee included Dean Scott; Paul Carter, Professor of Education at Dearborn; Thomas Baggott, a Dearborn Campus student; Stephen Spurr, Dean of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies; William Porter, Professor and Chairman of the University's Department of Journalism; James Ford, a Ford Motor Company executive; and Leonard Sain, assistant superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools. The Committee was chaired by Richard Balzhiser, Professor of Metallurgical Engineering.

The Committee met as a committee-of-the-whole on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to consider information on the past, present, and future operations of the Dearborn Campus. A number of outside resource people met with the Committee. Individual committee members, by virtue of their involvement with other University units and committees, or their participation in the urban affairs of the Detroit area, were able to provide a broad base of informational input into the four-and one-half month deliberations of the Committee.

The Committee's discussions followed a path of studying the higher educational needs of the area, and formulating a plan whereby the Dearborn Campus could best contribute Page  91to meeting those needs. In the Committee's judgment, "increased autonomy in programming and adequate funding are the two most vital components in implementing a plan" for Dearborn's growth.

In May 1969 the Committee's report was released. The report made nine specific recommendations to the Board of Regents. These included:

  • 1. Academic programs at Dearborn should be directed toward the needs of the western Detroit metropolitan area and should consider specifically the needs of urban youth, local public service agencies, and institutions and local industry. Special attention should be given to innovation in developing programs to meet these needs.
  • 2. Dearborn Campus should offer four-year academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, business administration, and engineering. It should continue its present cooperative programs but on an optional basis rather than as a requirement, and it should create additional areas for cooperative programs within the Literature, Science, and the Arts Division.
  • 3. Master's-level programs should be initiated where faculty strengths and resources permit without distracting from the development of undergraduate options. Graduate programs should be given under the general supervision of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies and the direct supervision of a director of graduate studies on the Dearborn Campus. The director should also serve as Associate Dean of the Rackham School and be a voting member of the Executive Board. A Dearborn Graduate Board should be established to plan the orderly development of graduate programs on the Campus. Initial composition should include three members of the Dearborn faculty and three members of the Ann Arbor graduate faculty with the Ann Arbor members phased out over a three-year period.
  • 4. The name of the Campus should be chosen to connote the autonomy of the Campus and facilitate its future transition to independent status. Yet it should indicate that, like the Ann Arbor Campus, it is presently governed by the Regents of The University of Michigan through the President and Executive Officers. The present designation "The University of Michigan Dearborn Campus" could be continued during the developmental period.
  • 5. The chief executive officer of the Campus should Page  92report to the President and other executive officers of the University. He should carry a title other than "Dean" (perhaps Provost or Chancellor) to allow him flexibility in internally structuring the Campus.
  • 6. The Dearborn Campus should be advised by a citizens' committee appointed by the Board of Regents and broadly representative of the metropolitan area.
  • 7. The Campus should plan for growth to 5,000 full-time students by 1980. The five-year development phase should bring the Campus to a level of 2,200 students.
  • 8. A capital building program should be initiated at once. The most urgent needs are:
    • a) A new library building,
    • b) Student activities facilities,
    • c) Additional campus housing.
  • 9. A long-range plan for campus physical development should be undertaken that will provide for the projected enrollment.