Position Description

The University of Michigan invites nominations, applications and confidential expressions of interest in the position of chancellor of the University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint). Reporting to the president of the University of Michigan, Mark Schlissel, the chancellor exercises broad responsibility for and leadership of all aspects of the academic, student, financial and administrative dimensions of the Flint campus. The University of Michigan-Flint seeks an energetic, accomplished and visionary individual to lead and to engage its faculty, staff, students and community.

The University

UM-Flint is one of two regional campuses of the University of Michigan. UM-Flint is a comprehensive urban university of diverse learners and scholars committed to advancing local and global communities through education, research and service. The university values excellence in teaching, learning and scholarship; is focused on student success; and embodies the importance of engaged citizenship. Through personal attention from dedicated faculty and staff, UM-Flint students become leaders and best in their fields, professions and communities.

UM-Flint serves about 7,500 students of whom 85% are undergraduate and 15% are graduate. More than two thirds of all students receive financial aid. About half of all students live in Genesee County, and the campus has a small but growing population of residential students and an increasingly vibrant campus life. UM-Flint takes an innovative approach to enrollment through its diverse student body, which features many non-traditional, online and dual-enrollment students.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through five schools or colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education and Human Services, the College of Health Sciences, the School of Nursing and the School of Management. The university offers 138 bachelor programs, 28 master degrees, four professional doctoral degrees and two PhD programs across the five units. UM-Flint is pioneering new programs such as the Green Chemistry program, which is the first BS of its kind in the nation. The university also offers many other innovative interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs on campus and abroad.

There are a total of 1,173 faculty and staff at UM-Flint. This includes 299 full-time and 269 part-time faculty resulting in about a 15 to 1 student/faculty ratio. Forty percent of the faculty are tenured or on the tenure track. The staff workforce numbers around 600 including full- and part-time positions. Approximately 350 of these positions are represented by a collective bargaining partner, including lecturers, graduate student instructors, police, operating engineers, trades workers and service maintenance staff.

In 2010, UM-Flint was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement, and has gained national recognition as a highly engaged campus with a commitment to “the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” UM-Flint has a long tradition of community-engaged and applied research, funded largely by professional foundations. In fiscal year 2018, sponsored grants and contracts exceeded $6.2 million across 99 new and active projects. In addition to many other topics, UM-Flint research has been able to respond to the local water crisis with critical research on public water infrastructure, early childhood education and public health resilience initiatives.

In the fall of 2016, a campus-wide committee developed a five-year strategic plan for UM-Flint. After a year of broad consultation, the university adopted five high-level strategic priorities:

  • A distinctive identity that builds campus pride
  • Excellent education and scholarship across the institution
  • A student-centered culture focused on retention and success
  • Recruitment through high-quality programs and campus life
  • A vital partnership with an engaged community

UM-Flint’s FY 2019 general fund budget is $115.5 million, which includes a state appropriation of $23.6 million. The budget continues to provide significant financial aid for students, with an 8.4 percent increase in aid funding from the previous year. Annual in-state tuition and fees for UM-Flint for the 2018-2019 academic year are $11,820. UM-Flint students, faculty and staff benefit from shared services across the three UM campuses, including library, legal and financial services. However, the budgets for UM-Flint, UM-Dearborn and UM-Ann Arbor are separate and independent, allowing autonomy for each campus to best serve its constituency.

The University of Michigan-Flint operates in a highly competitive market place. The next chancellor will be expected to determine an appropriate strategy to further enhance programs and continue to raise the profile and reputation of the university regionally and nationally. Particular attention must be paid to enrollment growth, graduation rate, academic quality and shared governance.

Flint and The Region

The city of Flint has experienced growth, revitalization and development and continues to attract new investments that fuse the region’s strong heritage in industrial technology with its future as an R & D center for autonomous vehicles, hub for fresh foods and an evolving college town. The area is home to five institutions of higher education, resulting in an expanding student population which has encouraged building renovations, modern housing and amenities and an entrepreneurial culture. Among the recent improvements has been the $37 million repurposing of the historic Capitol Theatre.

The University of Michigan-Flint plays a prominent role as one of the largest employers in the community, contributing to economic stability and anchoring ongoing redevelopment of the town. The university has formed strong partnerships with both public and private entities that have resulted in innovative projects and shared success. One example of this partnership is the Riverfront Center. Donated to the university by the Uptown Reinvestment Corp., the 340,000-square-foot Riverfront Residence Hall & Banquet Center, contiguous with the campus, features academic space, student housing and a conference center. Among many programs, the building houses the state-of-the-art School of Management, which features technology-based classrooms and a finance lab. There are other similar partnerships such as the UM-Flint Philosophy Department’s involvement with the Insight Institute for Neurosurgery and Neuroscience. It is Michigan’s only center charged with exploring the intersections of mind, medicine and morality.

Another example is the Flint Riverfront Restoration Project, which has garnered widespread support from public, private and foundation partners, and is transforming the artery running through the city. Through actions such as removing the Hamilton Dam and cleaning up a former industrial site, the plan has rejuvenated the river through recreation improvements, kayak and canoe access, greater access to hiking along the statewide Iron Belle Trail, improved fisheries and fishing access, enhanced community connectivity and ecosystem restoration.

The state of Michigan offers abundant recreational opportunities during all seasons. The nearby Genesee Recreation Area encompasses 4,540 acres including Richfield Park and the 600-acre C.S. Mott Lake. The local parks and recreation commission offers 1,000 programs, more than 80 percent of which are free. With 11,000 acres of woods, water, trails and beaches, the county provides year-round outdoor adventure—camping, fishing, hiking, cycling, paddling and more.

The Flint area hosts numerous city events drawing huge crowds from across the state. Two such annual events are the Back to the Bricks Car Show and the Crim Festival of Races. Both the city of Flint and Genesee County have become active agricultural showcases, drawing visitors to the region where farm-to-table restaurants and markets feature locally grown foods. The Flint Farmer’s Market is home to 50 year-round vendors—restaurants, meat markets, farmers, grocers and boutiques—increasing to 70 during the summer months. Regional wineries and breweries are also popular destinations.

Adjacent to the campus, the Flint Cultural Center is a key educational and entertainment resource. The center is home to eight nationally recognized institutions:

  • Flint Institute of the Arts—the second-largest art museum in Michigan and one of the largest museum art schools in the country
  • Flint Institute of Musicthe largest community school of the arts in the state and home to the Flint Symphony Orchestra and the Flint School of the Performing Arts
  • Flint Repertory Theatre—a professional, non-profit regional theatre serving all ages of the community with theatrical productions and educational classes and outreach
  • Longway Planetarium—the largest planetarium in Michigan
  • Sloan Museum and Buick Gallery—a showcase of regional history and hands-on science exhibits
  • The Whiting—a 2,043-seat professional performing arts venue which attracts the best regional, national and international talent
  • Applewood Estate—Flint family home of Charles Stewart Mott, one of the founding partners of General Motors
  • Buick Gallery & Research Center—an annex gallery of the Sloan Museum featuring rotating exhibits of classic and concept cars

A key ally for UM-Flint is the C.S. Mott Foundation, established by one of the founders of General Motors and a long-standing contributor to the city’s institutions, including the university. With an endowment currently valued at over $3 billion, the foundation continues to be an active partner with UM-Flint. The Mott Foundation helped to launch the Flint campus and has continued to partner on downtown real estate projects, UM-Flint strategic initiatives and shared work that aims at a thriving downtown.

The Position

The chancellor reports to the president of the University of Michigan. Reporting directly to the chancellor are the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, a vice chancellor for business and finance, a vice chancellor for student affairs, a vice chancellor for enrollment management, a vice chancellor for institutional advancement, an executive director of university communications and marketing and a chief of staff.

The chancellor has a high level of autonomy with respect to leadership and oversight of the Flint campus and serves as an executive officer of the University of Michigan and member of the president’s cabinet.  The president is strongly committed to the academic mission of the University of Michigan’s regional campuses, and has a collaborative approach to institutional leadership that includes the UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn chancellors in deliberations and decisions on matters of common interest and university-wide concern.

The Board of Regents of the University of Michigan oversee Flint and Dearborn as well as Ann Arbor and has fiduciary responsibility for each of the campuses. The state of Michigan does not have a state board of higher education. The chancellor is responsible for developing UM-Flint’s campus budget, including the revenue sources which primarily include direct state appropriation and tuition. Campus budget plans are approved by the regents, and the chancellor engages directly with the legislature in support of its state budget request.

The state’s 15 public universities—including each of the three University of Michigan campuses—coordinate efforts on a range of policy matters through the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU). The chancellor of the University of Michigan-Flint is a member of the board of this association.

Key Responsibilities

The chancellor serves as the chief executive officer of the campus, providing vision and leadership to focus the intellectual vitality of the university and to maintain and foster a positive environment for its educational, research, cultural and service goals. The chancellor acts as the university’s primary representative to its many constituencies, including the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses and their administration, Flint alumni and friends of the university, state and federal agencies and private and corporate foundations. Engagement with local communities, most especially in the greater Flint area, is central to the mission of the University of Michigan-Flint. The chancellor will:

Maintain the tradition of excellence in all aspects at the University of Michigan-Flint:

  • Actively support the strong commitment to a high quality of academic instruction and standards, vibrant faculty research activities and robust metropolitan engagement
  • Continue and enhance the university’s strong commitment to inclusion and diversity
  • Direct the formulation and implementation of strategic plans and policies
  • Cooperate with the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor and Dearborn, and strengthen UM-Flint’s key regional role in these partnerships

Supervise the administration and fiscal management of the university:

  • Oversee the development and administration of annual and long-term operating, facilities and research budgets
  • Actively support the recruitment of talented individuals to the university to serve as professors, researchers and administrators, and build a strong staff and delegate authority as appropriate
  • Take an active role in collaborating with state legislators, other government and community leaders and other Michigan college and university executive officers
  • Establish priorities, supervise and participate in the fundraising efforts of the Office of Institutional Advancement and campus-based economic development efforts for the region and state
  • Ensure timeliness and accuracy of operating and academic reporting

Continue strong leadership of the university:

  • Articulate a clear vision for the university, which will inspire faculty, students and administrators to work toward common goals; advocate on behalf of the interests, needs and accomplishments of the university community, particularly its students, both internally and externally; promote the university as a force of change and progress in the community and region; and act as a spokesperson for UM-Flint
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships among the units of the campus and serve as an executive officer of University of Michigan
  • Communicate persuasively the university’s mission, goals and needs to all constituents; demonstrate flexibility in dealing with all persons affiliated with the university; and preserve and encourage vital university/community partnerships
  • Foster a culture of civility and professionalism through collaboration, transparency and open communication
  • Respect and learn from diversity, disseminate its teachings and incorporate an inclusive climate throughout the campus community

Professional Experience/Qualifications

The new chancellor will demonstrate:

  • An outstanding profile of intellectual leadership and of distinguished scholarship and teaching, suitable for a tenured appointment as full professor at University of Michigan-Flint and an earned doctorate or other terminal degree
  • Significant experience in higher-education leadership and a strong track record of academic administrative accomplishment
  • Strong advocacy for academic values, student success and community impact
  • A capacity to identify and capture sources for external funding and support for university initiatives and growth
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and superb communication skills
  • Ethical integrity
  • An ability to lead within UM-Flint’s unique culture, enabling it to make significant contributions to the continued success of the campus as an integral part of the greater Flint region
  • A commitment to the goals of UM-Flint and the University of Michigan


The University of Michigan has retained Park Square Executive Search to assist in the search for the next Chancellor of UM-Flint. Nominations, inquiries and applications may be sent in confidence to:

Jonathan Fortescue, Managing Partner or
Laurel Duggan, Senior Associate
+1 617 401 2824


The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.