Our people, their work and the services we collectively provide are at the forefront of the PEAK Initiative. The purpose of the PEAK Initiative is to provide improved, consistent, equitable and cost-effective administrative services across the University of Minnesota System to help ensure the success of our teaching, research and, outreach mission.

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People, Work & Services

People - The work of our staff varies daily. If a college or unit is small, there may be just one person or a small group of people performing a range of many different tasks. PEAK realigns people to the work being centralized and helps to ensure: Consistent responsibilities for staff across the institution who have the same title, communities of specialists who can work together, network with one another, have efficient back-up support, and have opportunities for training and developing expertise in a focus area. 

Work - People at the University who work within one of the main function areas of PEAK, currently perform a number of different tasks at various volumes and speeds. A number of factors including the number of staff trained, availability to do the work, work complexity, and needs of their campus/college/unit affect this work. It is common that staff only perform some particular types of Human Resource or finance activities at irregular intervals. By centralizing this work in PEAK-created roles, employees can specialize and become experts in specific areas of work enabling consistent, speedy, and enhanced services for all employees. With work realignment, the entire University system will be able to use and leverage the best practices of those skilled specialists to have work completed.

Services - Services in Human Resources, Finance, and Marketing and Communications can differ depending on the resources available to a campus/college/unit. PEAK will ensure these services are optimized and consistently delivered by dedicated specialists. All campuses/colleges/units systemwide will be able to access the expertise of the centralized functions, ensuring equal and consistent service delivery.

Guiding Principles

PEAK History

The PEAK Assessment Phase ran from April 2021 to December 2021. The assessment utilized extensive interviews, surveys, and work data as well as consultation with stakeholders from all five campuses.  Huron and KPMG consultants partnered with University staff to analyze where the University system could achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness, and service.

The PEAK Design Phase ran from January 2022 to mid-September 2022. Huron consultants partnered with University staff to draft service catalogs, business processes, and to outline key services and expectations during this phase to inform the implementation of the improved service-delivery model.

Benefits of PEAK

PEAK is about working better together to ensure a more efficient, compliant, and equitable service delivery at the University - for both employees delivering and the students, faculty and staff receiving those services in the future. 

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Benefits to Our People

  • Ensures a human-centered approach to how services are delivered on our campuses that prioritizes an equitable and inclusive employee experience.
  • Creates a place where our people are surrounded by a community of those with similar skills and work where there is opportunity for collaboration, career development and up-skilling.
  • Recognizes that our people are our greatest asset. We accomplish this by offering equitable and inclusive career opportunities for professional growth through the creation of clearly defined and consistent roles with pathways to advancement.
  • Ensures our guiding principles of workforce transition will be led from a standpoint of equity and inclusion.

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Benefits to Our Institution

  • Ensures a human-centered approach to how services are delivered on our campuses.
  • It eliminates the barriers to service delivery through a purposeful alignment of our people with the work that will move to a consolidated structure, as well as the work and staff that will remain at the campus/unit level.
  • Structure people and the work they do in a way that ensures services are delivered consistently, resolving how resources across different campus/units historically lacked full parity.
  • Long-term cost avoidance; this effort ensures that cost of these enhanced services doesn’t increase over time, which allows us to be good stewards of our resources and supports our ultimate mission.


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 the project.

Executive Sponsors: 

Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations, Myron Frans

Vice President for Human Resources, Ken Horstman

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, Mollie Viola - Procurement & Finance

Vice President of University Relations, Ann Aronson & Chuck Tomlinson - Marketing & Communications

Vice President and CIO, Bernard Gulachek - Information Technology

Transition Teams

The full list of Phase 1 transition team members can be viewed on the Implementation page and includes representatives from Finance, Human Resources (HR), Information Technology (IT), and Marketing and Communications (Marcom).

    Contact Us

    Please ask questions, provide comments and share feedback. The project team is available to provide additional informational sessions, share implementation materials and gather feedback to help the function areas of Finance, Human Resources, Marketing and Communications, and IT. 

    Use the PEAK contact form to contact the PEAK office.