Friday, July 17, 2009

UM-Flint Worthy of MSU Scorn?

The concept of Flint as a college town must be getting some traction. The evidence? Spartan fans are debating if they should hate UM-Flint as much as UM-Ann Arbor.


  1. This is the same thing I see with many MSU graduates. Many started at UM-Flint and transferred, leaving off the fact that they started at UM-Flint. For many years at least, many programs at UM-Flint were quite rigorous, probably more rigorous than MSU.

    In all fairness there are many who graduated from both MSU and UM-Flint who are fine people and graduates.

    There was a time before I-475 and I-69 that you could commute to MSU from many areas of Genesee County almost as quickly as to UM-Flint.

  2. I am a proud dash Flint grad. After a few years in the working world, where you went to college becomes less important. When people ask me where I went to college I tell them UM-F and living in North Carolina the first thing they say is "Time OUT". They don't hear Flint they hear the University of Michigan and remember Chris Weber's Time Out.

  3. In 1990, soon after I began teaching (EMU grad) in Flint, I wanted to get a Masters degree as close to home as possible. MSU was the only university that offered its entire MA program in
    Flint, sending full professors from its College of Education in East Lansing to teach the courses in Flint school buildings. UM-Flint offered nothing, despite having 25 local school districts, and countless teachers, in Genesee County. I don't understand why it took so long for UM-Flint to get its act together and offer MA degrees in education......Thank you MSU and Go Green!

  4. From the same school that decided that if they couldn't beat up on some basketball team in the NCAAs, they might as well beat up on the police.

    (Yes, I'm an MSU grad and lived there for a while after that; so I got a good look at these kids.)

  5. Würstside WarlørdJuly 18, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    UM-F offers few, if any outstanding programs that can draw significant numbers of students from the Midwest, let alone the nation as a whole. Until they improve individual departments and raise standards (19 on ACT for admission?) UM-F will remain second tier.

    It is below MSU alum to ridicule UM-F. Heck, UM-F is below GVSU and UM-D. Truthfully it is most comparable to Ferris State and SVSU.

  6. Würstside WarlørdJuly 18, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    The quotes from the links are all true:

    High school with ashtrays.

    Like I tell out-of-staters; if you go to Michigan your freshman roommate will be from London and your neighbor down the hall will be from Hong Kong. If you go to UM-Flint your roommate will be from Swartz Creek and your neighbor will be from Goodrich.

  7. thats funny,

    I went to UM-F and one roomate was from The U.P. One from the Philly area, and the other was from India.

    My neighbors WERE from hong Kong, as well as Nigeria, South Korea, and Vietnam.

    The First street residence hall was, statistically, amoung the most racially diverse living facilities in the nation. Tell me "Anonymous" did you ever pay the building a visit? Or is this just suburbanite-esque speculation.

    Don't knock it 'till you know it

  8. I apologize "Anonymous" it was "Würstside Warlørd" who made the incorrect assumptions

  9. Würstside WarlørdJuly 18, 2009 at 6:47 PM

    Baloney. You're telling me that the residence hall that hasn't been open for even a year has already been determined to be one of the most racially diverse in the nation. Who determined that? You mean it is more diverse than dorms at UM, UCLA, Cal Berkeley, etc etc? Provide some proof, cuz that sounds completely made up.

    While you're at it I'd like to know what percentage of UMF students are from outside of Genesee, Lapeer, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Livingston, and Oakland counties. I'm going to say less than 5%.

  10. Würstside WarlørdJuly 18, 2009 at 7:13 PM

    Honestly I haven't spent too much time lurking around the UMF Dorm. I don't plan to either.

    According to this website-

    1% of UMFers are out-of-state. If this is true you personally know many of them. Nevertheless if it is over 5% I'd be amazed and if it is over 10% I'll buy a pony keg of Blatz for the legions of international dorm dwellers.

  11. Having one more college in Genesee County is somewhat good for the local economy, in that the students' expenditures stay here for a few more years.

    Having a few more degrees around here isn't going to make a big difference to economic growth, though. The key in that regard is new business formation, and commensurate job creation.

    And, those new businesses have to create goods or services here that they sell elsewhere in the US or the world. We need revenue from outside Genesee County.

    New bachelors' degrees rarely lead to those kinds of technical-service and manufacturing businesses. History amply shows that such businesses most often are started up by professors and Ph.D. students, most often in engineering fields and the hard sciences.

    What Genesee County needs to aid its economic future, and what UM-F needs in order to establish its own reputation, is for Flint to offer one or more world-class technical Ph.D.s that *aren't* offered in Ann Arbor or East Lansing.

    ACT admission standards, student diversity and even intercollegiate rivalries are interesting discussion topics, but they really don't matter much compared to job creation by technical startups.

  12. Like many, as pointed out, I started for two years at UMF and transferred for the last two to MSU. Two of my favorite and most influential profs were at Flint, William Lockwood and visiting prof Mary Lawlor. UMF serves a valuable purpose and without it, Flint would be in much worse shape than it is already. When asked, I'm proud to tell people I went to UMFlint and would give anything to say hi to Dr. Lockwood after the 20 years that's passed since I took my last class with him in '89.

  13. the information on "" is outdated. I used that site to research schools with my daughter. They don't even have a "room and board" price for U of M Flint.

    Anyway, my daughter spent her first two semesters in the dorms in Flint and loved it. One of her roomates was from Africa and she stayed with us over Christmas break. We all learned a lot from her. I am glad she chose to attend the University of Michigan Flint.

  14. I took a couple courses at UM-F... since when I got my degree from UM-A there were no jobs availble. It was nice to be able to take decent courses while living at home.

  15. Würstside WarlørdJuly 19, 2009 at 3:51 PM said pretty much the same thing as the College Board site:

    The College Board site, besides being pretty authoritative, includes on campus room and board. Maybe the perception that there are large numbers of international students is because the vast majority live in the dorm? When I lived by UMF I NEVER ran into any international students. A few lived in the old motel on Court St., but otherwise the numbers were and are low.

  16. Okay, this info isn't very helpful because it seems to apply only to the 1,059 students enrolled in the fall of 2007. (I could not find anything than just listed the number of international students in total.) It seems to indicate the there aren't a huge number of international students, but UM-Flint is succeeding in bringing more international students to campus.

    Here's where I got th einfo:

    In the past year, the university has focused on internationalizing the campus. Five years ago there were fewer than 25 international students. Last fall, the university added a director of the International Student Center. In addition, the School of Management leadership and faculty established many overseas partnerships with other universities. For fall 2007, the number of international students reached nearly 2% of the student body and come from 36 countries including:

    - Canada: 31
    - South Korea: 5
    - China: 4
    - India: 30
    - Taiwan: 11

    Locally, Genesee County continues to be the strongest recruiting area, with 69 additional students enrolling. However, gains have been made in surrounding counties:

    - Shiawassee County – increase of 17 students over Fall 2006
    - Tri- Counties (Saginaw, Bay and Midland) – increase of 14 students over Fall 2006

    In addition, the University of Michigan-Flint continues to have a diverse student population with substantial increases among virtually all ethnic groups. The African-American population is up almost 10%, our Asian population is up by almost 33%, and the Latino/Hispanic population is up 24% over fall 2006 totals.

  17. Why is it "good" to have local colleges?

    Most parents want their kids to do well in life, of course. Education is one way to tilt those odds in your favor.

    Does the "good" depend on what percentage of graduates choose to leave the area to find good employment?

    Can a college that serves individual student needs very well, nonetheless be "bad" for the community in which it's located, because it prepares the community's kids for jobs that exist only elsewhere and thus helps to strategically strip the community of talent?

    Beyond a college's obvious educational function, should it have a responsibility regarding strategic business/jobs *creation* in its locale?

    Perhaps whether a college is effective at local business/jobs creation should be a factor in how that college is supported by local foundations and governments...

  18. Würstside WarlørdJuly 19, 2009 at 8:52 PM

    JWilly is right on with both posts.

    What can UMF offer that other universities don't? Theres gotta be tons of high tech stuff out there that is not taught in Ann Arbor, EL, etc.

    It seems like expanding the School of Education in a region with shrinking school enrollment is a disservice to students.

  19. As someone with degrees from both schools, I found both schools to help with my career development.
    There are only two schools worthy of MSU scorn, the dump in Ann Arbor and Notre Dame.

  20. I'm an international student looking at attending UMF for graduate studies in Comp Sci & Info Sys. I'm told the program I'm considering has around a 40% international enrollment. I've taken classes at MSU previously so I'm familar with the state of Michigan experience.

    UMF is strong in the things that matter to me such as the quality of the faculty,course content and resources available. Not considering the administrative body differences, the divide between the AA/Dearborn campuses appears to be mostly the result of the relatively high acceptance rate at UMF, not due to a signifigant disparity in the quality of teaching. (But that's not to say that there is none).

    The high acceptance rate is based on supply and demand. IE: Assume UMF were to suddenly accept 50% less students this year. If the same people applied from last year, the acceptance rate would drop and admission requirements would increase because UMF could become more selective. There are many factors (the economy being one) which cause a high acceptance rate - these are factors I don't care much for as long as there is a strong faculty.

    I've read a lot of the reviews on although I wouldn't consider them scientific, but it sounds like there are quite a few satisfied students. University is what you make it and I think there are enough tools available at UMF to have a good experience, but you have to want it.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at