All posts by amkitalo

Michigan Tech Participating in Great Colleges to Work For Survey

Michigan Tech is participating in the Chronicle for Higher Education‘s 2017 Great Colleges to Work For survey.

The survey measures 15 workplace dimensions, including professional development, collaboration and fairness. The Chronicle for Higher Education will publish a list of recognized institutions in the fall.

A random sample of 600 Michigan Tech employees (both faculty and staff) will receive a survey invitation via email from Great Colleges (note that this email will not come from an @mtu.edu address).

The invitation will be sent to the randomly selected employees directly by the Great Colleges program, and will include details about the program and instructions on how to access the survey. The survey is voluntary and completely confidential — Michigan Tech is not interested in, nor will we be able to trace results back to individuals.

Employees can consider this as a follow-up to the University Senate’s 2017 evaluation of the president, focusing on workplace quality at Michigan Tech.

All survey responses will be processed by ModernThink, LLC, an independent management consulting firm working with the Chronicle for Higher Education to coordinate this annual program. If you receive the email invitation, you are asked to take a some time to complete the survey.

You will be representing not only yourself, but all your colleagues, so your feedback is invaluable. This is a chance to make your voice heard, and a high response rate helps ensure an accurate representation of the Michigan Tech community.

The survey opens on Monday (March 13) and closes on April 7th at the end of the business day.

If you have any questions, contact Ann Kitalong-Will, executive director of business operations-Vice President for Administration Office at 7-1809, or visit ChronicleGreatColleges.com.


New Donor Confidentiality Policy Issued

The University Policy Office and the Office of the President announce the issuance of University Administrative Policy 2.2017 Donor Confidentiality.

This policy establishes confidentiality guidelines for Michigan Tech and Michigan Tech Fund staff working with important and confidential donor information.

If you have questions about the policy, please feel free to contact the Office of the President at 7-2200.


Policy 2.5007 Announced

The University Policy Office, Public Safety and Police Services, and Facilities Management announce the issuance of new University Administrative Policy 2.5007 Chalking.

This policy provides guidelines having to do with use of sidewalk chalk for temporary advertising and messaging on Michigan Tech’s campus. The Chalking policy supports Board of Trustees Policy Chapter 9 and Enacted Ordinance Number 1 (Chapter 12).

If you have questions about the policy, please feel free to contact Public Safety and Police Service (487-2216) or Facilities Management (487-2303).


New University Policy Announced

The University Policy Office (UPO) and the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion (OIEI) announce the issuance of new University Administrative Policy 2.1014 Sex/Gender Discrimination, Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct.

This policy received final approval on December 16, 2016 with a retroactive effective date of July 1, 2015. This policy was issued to provide guidance for members of the Michigan Tech community in the event of sex/gender based discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual violence. It supports the University Board of Trustees Policy 5.3 Discrimination Based on Sex, as well as federal statutes Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy, the Violence Against Women Act, and the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the OIEI at 487-3310.


Andi Barajas Receives FourWinds Interactive Sign Builder 1 Certification

Andi Barajas, Communications and Media Specialist for the Business Operations Office in the Vice President for Administration division, recently completed her FourWinds Interactive Sign Builder 1 Certification. FourWinds is the system used by Michigan Tech to manage digital signage across campus; Andi is currently working with Auxiliary Services and related departments to manage their FourWinds Digital Signage in the Memorial Union building, as well as the Wadsworth and McNair dining halls and other dining outlets on campus. She is available for consultation with issues involving FourWinds Interactive digital signage creation and deployment, and to those groups on campus wishing to advertise on these digital signs. She can be reached at 487-2980 or by email at acbaraja@mtu.edu.


A Brief History of Michigan Tech’s University Policy Office: How Lean Methodologies Helped Pave the Way

 

lean
Sometimes continuous improvement results can take some time to materialize. But it’s important to remember to focus on the goals you’re trying to accomplish, and to trust that lean process improvement methods can and do result in reaching the tangible goals that we have in our work.

In 2012, as part of a grant Michigan Tech received through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service [http://www.fmcs.gov/internet/], we were able to bring consultants to campus to help us to continue on our lean journey as a University. Our grant application had proposed an innovative approach to enhancing relations between management and union-represented staff via a rigorous series of Lean training sessions. Lean as a management method is particulary well-suited to accomplishing such a goal, because it is an approach that focuses on the value of each employee, at all levels and within all units. We believed that our proposal would contribute to improving communication and relations between employees at all levels across campus.

I was a co-PI on this grant, and participated as a “student” in most of the training sessions. One of the exercises we were asked to do was to facilitate a kaizen (“improvement”) event to solve a challenging process issue in our work. Having recently taken on policy administration at the University, I had become aware of many areas within the policy development process that seemed to cause confusion for customers (policy developers) and for the campus community in general.

We assembled a small group of individuals that included me, and 3 or 4 additional people who served as facilitators, subject matter experts, and customers. From this single kaizen event, we were able to identify some key improvements that needed to happen:

We needed a dedicated staff member who was primarily responsible for overseeing policy at the University.

  1. We needed to critically review the current policy development process, and identify ways we could eliminate wasteful or unnecessary steps.
  2. We needed a new website, that included tools for policy developers as well as some “educational” pieces about what policy is (and isn’t).
  3. We needed to continually educate the university community on the policy development process, and provide some outreach and support to policy developers along the way.

Most of these goals hinged on the need to hire that staff member. I am now pleased to say that in 2014, after a lot of thought and planning, we were able to hire a University Policy Coordinator, Lori Weir, who has jumped right in to making these kaizen-originated goals a reality. She is also constantly looking for ways to continuously improve how we manage policies at Michigan Tech, and I’m looking forward to working with her to realize our vision of what a Policy Office should be.

Thank you for visiting our new website, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, suggestions, or would like help getting started on a new policy.