Is Detroit in the midst of a comeback?
Wayne State University believes it so much that it’s offering the nation’s first class on the city’s “historic comeback” as Detroit wends its way through bankruptcy court.
The course, Detroit: Metropolis in Transition, will run from May 7 to July 2. The open-enrollment class is available to all Wayne State students, guests and non-degree-seeking professionals.
Instead of having a permanent professor, the class will be taught as a guest-lecture series featuring Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, former Councilman Kenneth Cockerel Jr., Detroit Free Press writer John Gallagher, the executive director of the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority and experts on urban issues.
The class will include field trips and classic textbooks.
“This unique course from our Department of Urban Studies and Planning is an opportunity for students to reap the benefits of Wayne State’s longstanding position as the state’s premier urban, public research university,” said Wayne State University Provost Margaret E. Winters. “Our location in the heart of Midtown, our world-class faculty, and our close relationship with the city allow Wayne State to offer an authentic educational experience unlike any other.”
The class will cover the city’s storied past, move to the present-day financial struggles and end with visions for Detroit’s future.
“History is being made almost every day here in Detroit,” said Robin Boyle, professor and chairman of WSU’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. “From urban economic development and housing to food planning and community development, there isn’t a more dynamic urban environment in the world. Detroit: Metropolis in Transition will give people a chance to be part of history instead of learning about it in a class years from now.”
The three-hour class will meet weekly on Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
Current Wayne State students may enroll at www.wayne.edu/register. Guest students may enroll at www.summer.wayne.edu. And non-degree-seeking visitors may call the university’s Educational Outreach department at 313-577-4682.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.