Incident Command Team – Successful Drill

KIMG0221The Incident Command Team at Michigan Tech coordinated a successful drill activation for the emergency call center last fall. Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, Associate Vice President for Administration, is part of the Logistics Section of the Incident Command Team. One of the responsibilities of the Logistics section is to activate a temporary call center at the request of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). In the event of a large University or community incident occurring, the EOC will determine the need for a call center and activate it if needed. There are multiple locations set for the call center and the specific location will be determined at that time of the emergency depending on the incident. The Logistics section coordinated an exercise, in October of 2016, where an “incident” occurred, requiring the call center to be activated. The call center staff was briefed on the “incident” by Public Safety and then had practice callers dial in with questions, comments, and concerns. The call center staff was able to practice setting up the call center, answering the phones, and responding to the caller’s concerns and questions. Additional ideas to further develop this call center were identified and were addressed with more training. The team received the additional training in January, it focused on a “shots fired” scenario. During this training, a Public Safety dispatcher was in attendance to answer questions and share stories of calls that have come into them. This training is taking place to establish a functioning team of respondents that will, in the event of a major University incident, be available to answer questions and address concerns from the general public and the campus community.

You can find more information on this and other Vice President for Administration Committees here: http://www.mtu.edu/administration/leadership/committee-task-force/


Lean Focus—Fishbone Diagrams

Fishbone Diagrams, or an Ishikawa diagram, is considered one of the Seven Basic Tools of Quality. They are used to breakdown, in increasing levels of detail, root causes that can potentially lead to a specific problem.

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The diagram above shows how to identify the factors of Equipment, Process, People, Materials, Environment and Management, all affecting the overall problem. Smaller arrows connect the sub-causes to major causes.


Safety Tip: If You See a Mountain Lion

Seem as Large as Possible
Make yourself appear larger by picking up children, leashing pets in, and standing close to other people. Open your jacket. Raise your arms. Wave your raised arms slowly.
Make Noise
Yell, shout, bang your walking stick or water bottle. Make any loud sound that cannot be confused by the lion as the sound of prey. Speak slowly and loudly.
Act Defiant, Not Afraid
Maintain eye contact. Never run past or away from a mountain lion. Don’t bend over or crouch down.
Slowly Create Distance
Assess the situation. Consider whether you may be between the lion and its kittens, prey or cache. Back away slowly to give the mountain lion a path to retreat, never turning your back.
Protect Yourself
If attacked, fight back. Protect your neck and throat. People have used rocks, jackets, garden tools, walking sticks, and even bare hands to turn away mountain lions.

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Facilities Management—Student Wage Matrix

The hiring team at Michigan Tech’s Facilities Management department has developed a Student Wage Matrix to improve the hiring of student employees consistently across the department.
There had been some disparity between student wages in Facilities with little documentation or standard guidelines regarding student employee wage rates based on the students’ skills, experience, and their job tasks within facilities management. There was no consistency within internal departments, and Facilities was unable to track student performance long term. With the problem identified, the hiring team looked to best practices being implemented by peers in other departments on campus and at other Universities. As a result, the process drew heavily from similar guidelines used by the University of Missouri and Western Michigan University.
facilities student workers
The benefits of having an established student wage matrix include:
Consistency: The wage matrix establishes standardized job descriptions for student employees that are intended to eliminate multiple job descriptions for the same employee classification which will improve record keeping as well as aid in decision making when hiring a student.
Accountability: The wage matrix provides a foundation for managers to determine wages depending on personality characteristics and employment competency levels. It’s also a tool for managers to use in maintaining decision documentation during the hiring and advancement processes.
Equity: The wage matrix ensures that student wages are consistent with that of other personnel, staff, or fellow students and improves the overall team dynamic.
Flexibility: The wage matrix takes into account changes in the State and Federal minimum wage rate, and pay ranges are rooted in a non-monetary minimum wage rate with only wage rate increases being monetized.
The hiring team also wanted to have a consistent and transparent set of guidelines for student employees. They created a student employment agreement that outlines minimum expectations for the student employees, specifically as related to the dress code, mobile electronic devices, tardiness/absences, and similar common workplace standards.
For more information, please visit the Facilities website here: mtu.edu/facilities/

Student Spotlight Series—Stephen Butina

Stephen Butina is a fourth-year student at Michigan Tech currently majoring in Management with a concentration in Supply Chain & Operations. Stephen is currently working as a Logistics co-op in the Logistics department at Greenheck Fan in Wausau, WI. While at school, Stephen works in the Office of Continuous Improvement as a Student Process Improvement Coordinator.

According to Stephen, “no day is typical” as far as his job in the Improvement Office is concerned. There are a multitude of tasks and projects that are a part of his job. In the mornings, Stephen checks the Improvement Office’s Kaizen event board to make sure he is up to speed with what he will be doing for the day as well as checking for different events on campus that people are working on to see if they need help coordinating their Lean event. He then goes on to check his emails and to check his personal Kanban board. Stephen’s personal Kanban board includes recurring tasks, various deadlines, and items that need to be checked at a later time. Using this tool helps Stephen organize his thoughts and spend more time doing “value-added” work for the Improvement Office, rather than wasting time trying to figure out what he is supposed to do. Lastly, he finishes up any blog post detailing the Improvement Office’s work that he publishes on the mtu.edu/improvement website.

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Originally from an area ten minutes south of Houghton, Stephen has had the opportunity to explore the Keweenaw a great deal before coming to Michigan Tech. Stephen enjoys golfing, snowboarding, hunting, walking his dog, and hanging out with his family. Stephen is also an active member of the Leaders of Continuous Improvement. Stephen’s favorite thing about Michigan Tech is that he has met so many new people and feels as though he has grown as a person. Finding “friends that will be around forever” and getting to see new faces every day and meet new people has made Tech the perfect place for him.

From his time working for the Improvement Office at Tech, Stephen has had the opportunity to meet a number of great people dedicated to Lean. Lean has “opened my eyes to a lot of good people.” Having heard about Lean through his classes, Stephen has been learning as much as he can about Lean processes and continuous improvement theory, going to as many Lean events and training sessions as he can participate in. Stephen has also been reading books about Lean such as Andy & Me: Crisis & Transformation on the Lean Journey by Pascal Dennis, a book where the reader learns that Lean is more than just a collection of tools; it entails a new way of thinking and behaving. Stephen has been using Lean methods to help improve his grades and reduce his stress levels along with helping him become more organized. He is currently using a personal Kanban board for everyday use as well as an occasional Affinity diagram and 5S for small fixes. From using these different tools, Stephen has been able to keep himself organized by focusing on what is “value-added” towards his studies rather than stressing about various menial tasks. He has been able to organize himself to the point where he is comfortable relying on his Google Calendar and personal planner to effectively perform in both his personal and professional life which has shown significant improvements in his academic performance.


Michigan Tech Safety Manual

Michigan Technological University’s mission is to “prepare students to create the future” this requires students to be involved in the use of a wide variety of hazardous materials and processes that require special training and control measures to protect students, employees, and the environment from harm. To oversee this mission, Michigan Tech has created their University Safety Manual. This manual is to be referenced for the university’s policy on responsibilities, action plans, committees, and safety procedures including electrical, equipment, laboratory, and in general. At Michigan Tech, all students, faculty, and staff are all responsible for their individual safety performance and for the protection of the environment, it is the responsibility of all to maintain and prevent damage to the environment and follow the guidelines laid down by the university to achieve that.

mtu safety manualThe Safety Manual includes ten chapters on various procedures and protocols that may arise while working or studying at Michigan Tech. The first chapter begins with the Responsibilities of each university employee, faculty, or student on campus in regards to their own safety and the safety of others; the manual then goes on to specify Emergency Action and Fire Prevention; Safety Health and Environmental Policies; Safety Committees; General Safety; Storage and Handling of Hazardous Materials; Environmental Protection; Electrical Safety; Equipment Safety; and, finally, Laboratory Safety.

To review the Safety Manual please visit: http://www.mtu.edu/ehs/documents/safety-manual/

If you have questions on safety protocols, situations, or procedures please contact the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at 906-487-2118 or email ehs@mtu.edu.


Heart Rate Monitor Lab

The Directors in the Vice President for Administration met with Glen Archer, Principal Lecturer and Associate Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Faculty Advisor, Blue Marble Security Enterprise, who led them through a heart rate monitor lab. The purpose of the lab was to introduce basic electrical engineering components and concepts, as well as function as a team building exercise. The group explored the basics of using a soldering iron to finish assembling a pre-designed circuit board. The participants plugged their amp into an adapter to finalize the board and confirm that all of the previous steps had been accomplished correctly, at the risk of damaging their adapter if they were not successful. After taking the final steps, and with the addition of a 9V battery at the end of the lab, each participant had a fully assembled heart-shaped circuit board with mounted LEDs that blink at their heart rate. If the circuit board assembly was unsuccessful and the LEDs did not blink at their heart rate, participants were given “debugging” tips to attempt to correct any mistaken steps.

The lab was successful and the Directors learned a great deal from Glen Archer and thank him for his time and energy with this lab.

Bob with a circuit board


Continuous Improvement Courses this Fall

Muda (waste), mura (unevenness), and muri (overburden); these are known as the “three Ms” that Lean works to eliminate. Originally developed by Toyota in an attempt to reduce waste and inefficiency in manufacturing operations, Lean principles are being adopted by organizations across countless fields in the name of continuous improvement. Lean principles are finding their way into our own university in the form of the Office of Continuous Improvement and—as of last year—a series of classes meant to introduce students to Lean concepts and to cultivate the Lean mindset. In the Fall semesters, ENT 3982 – Continuous Improvement Using Lean Principles, describes the evolution of the basic principles, methods, and tools Lean provides to continuously improve the workplace. The following spring semesters discuss a culture of continuous improvement based on humility and respect in ENT 3983 – The Culture of Continuous Improvement. After the first offering of these classes last year, students are already taking Lean methods and tools to other projects. About one such tool, the kanban board, team leader Kush Shah comments, “(the kanban board) brought collaboration, responsibility, and quality work back into our (Supermileage Systems Enterprise) team.”

Learn more about Lean at http://www.mtu.edu/improvement/ or register for a class on Banweb!

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Standing Committees Website Changeover

The Vice President for Administration’s Business Operations Office is changing the Standing Committees webpage from the HTML webpages that it lives on now to the new CMS that UMC is working to standardize across campus.

Currently found here: admin.mtu.edu/admin/committe/

If you or your department has any standing committees or task forces on this website, please review:

  1. Who the committee reports to
  2. The committee charge
  3. Membership requirements
  4. Currently listed members

If there are any edits that need to be made, please email Business Operations at business-ops@mtu.edu.


2017 Policy Number Updates

The University Policy Office announce the issuance of new Policy Numbers for all University Polices currently in effect. In correspondence with the transfer of policy page from HTML to CMS, the policy numbering convention was simplified. For example: “2.1000 General University” was renamed to “1.00 General University”. The changes have been noted in each of the policy’s “Revisions” sections.

Please review your website for the old policy numbering convention, for any broken hyperlinks, and to make the appropriate changes to the policy names, numbers, and URLs.

If you have questions about the new policy numbering convention, please feel free to contact the University Policy Office at 7-2148.