The PEAK Initiative

Positioned for Excellence, Alignment, and Knowledge

What is PEAK?

  • The purpose of the PEAK Initiative is to provide improved, consistent, equitable, and cost-effective administrative services across the University of Minnesota System; which in turn will help ensure the success of our teaching, research, and outreach mission.
  • In-Scope Function Areas: 
    • Human Resources
    • Finance
    • Procurement
    • Information Technology
    • Marketing & Communications
    • Chrome River

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Key Benefits

Service Delivery: The new model will provide greater service delivery transparency and better ways to manage those services to meet the needs of faculty, staff, and students. Project will measure service delivery with key performance indicators.

Compliance/Security: Clearer accountability and reduced fragmentation of activity enhances security, data integrity, and compliance. PEAK reduces institutional risks.

Resource Efficiency: Scalable staffing models can deliver services and fewer resources. Additional capacity can be deployed to mission-focused activity. 

Employee Engagement: Clearer roles and career paths provide employees opportunities to focus and grow within the institution. More equitable distribution of work reflects institutional values. 

Guiding Principles

Chart/diagram of the principles of the PEAK Initiative

 

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Defining Key Terms: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity

University of Minnesota Office for Equity and Diversity

We employ an expanded definition of diversity, recognizing the importance of ensuring that all members of our community have equitable access to the University and its resources. We center underrepresented populations who face systemic barriers that impact their experiences on campus. Our goal is to reduce or remove barriers for all members of our community. It is our responsibility as an institution—as part of our commitment to creating a welcoming and affirming climate—to serve and support the following individuals and groups at the University of Minnesota:

  • American Indians and other indigenous people
  • People who identify as women
  • People with both apparent and non-apparent disabilities
  • People of various gender and sexual identities and expressions
  • People of color, including underrepresented groups and new immigrant populations
  • First-generation students

"We also address issues of access and climate for individuals who might encounter barriers based on their religious expression, age, national origin, ethnicity, or veteran status. Furthermore, we recognize the importance of working with people who claim more than one of the above identities."

Equity

University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

"Equity refers to fair and just practices and policies that ensure all campus community members can thrive. Equity is different than equality in that equality implies treating everyone as if their experiences are exactly the same. Being equitable means acknowledging and addressing structural inequalities - historic and current - that advantage some and disadvantage others. Equal treatment results in equity only if everyone starts with equal access to opportunities."

Inclusion

University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

"Inclusion refers to a campus community where all members are and feel respected, have a sense of belonging, and are able to fully participate and achieve their potential. While diversity is essential, it is not sufficient. An institution can be both diverse and non-inclusive at the same time, thus a sustained practice of creating inclusive environments is necessary for success."

Assessment Phase

The PEAK Assessment Phase ran from April 2021 to December 2021. 

Contact Us

Faculty and staff involvement is critical to the PEAK Initiative's success and we look forward to continuing to engage with individuals from all five campuses throughout this effort. Please continue to ask questions, provide comments, and share feedback via our feedback form or email our project team at [email protected]

Executive Sponsors: 
Myron Frans, Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations 
Ken Horstman, Vice President for Human Resources

Function Sponsors:
Senior Director for HR Operations, Amy Kucera - Human Resources
Associate VP & Assistant CFO, Michael Volna - Finance 
Vice President & Budget Director, Julie Tonneson - Finance
Controller, Suzanne Paulson - Procurement & Finance
Vice President of University Relations, Matt Kramer - Marketing & Communications
Vice President and CIO, Bernard Gulachek - Information Technology

PEAK Success Office:
Program Director, Phil Klein
Director of Communications and Change Management, Angie Becker Kudelka
Senior Program Consultant, Brooke Weinberger Nesbitt
HR Program Manager, Josh Iniguez
HR Analyst, Merik Haile