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About the PEAK Initiative

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 services across the University of Minnesota System to help ensure the success of our teaching, research and, outreach mission.

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About 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 preforming a range of work. By bringing together our talented staff from across the University system who preform some of this administrative work helps to ensure consistent responsibilities for people with the same titles, creates a community of specialists who can support and network with one another, generates a back-up support system, and provides opportunities for training and development in a focus area. The realignment of the work with the people who know it best, will enable the entire University system to benefit from their experience and expertise to have work completed. 

Work - It is common that people only perform some human resources, finance or marketing and communications work at irregular intervals. Staff who work within one of these main service areas, currently perform a number of different tasks at various volumes and speeds. A number of factors, including available staff who are trained to perform a certain task, those available to do the work, the complexity of the tasks, and needs of the campus/college/unit result in people performing so many different tasks. Using the Finance Operation Center, Human Resource Center, and University Relations common good service teams, will provide a systemwide network for each work area. This new systemwide approach will enable consistent, speedy, and enhanced services for everyone.

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.

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.

PEAK Initiative Guiding Principles

PEAK Initiative Guiding Principles

The following principles will guide this initiative.

Equitable and Inclusive
Consciously and intentionally includes and advocates for diverse populations.

Seamless connections with other systems and processes.

Flexible to accommodate evolving needs and strategies. Iterative improvements.

Operating Efficiency
Implement approaches that will drive value in support of the University's mission.

Digitally Enabled
Simplify repetitive administrative tasks. Enable focus on high-value strategic and consultative activities through technology enablement.

Foster an experience of one University. Supports harmonization through simple and transparent processes.

Benefits of PEAK

It's about working better together. Ensuring a more efficient service delivery at the University, for people delivering the services and the students, faculty and staff receiving those services systemwide that is both compliant and equitable.

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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.

Additional Resources

View a video from President Gabel about the importance of PEAK (for University of Minnesota staff systemwide - login required). Below are videos to review about the overall PEAK Initiative.

Accessibility Statement

In collaboration with University partners, the PEAK Initiative is committed to providing equitable access to our campuses, colleges, and units for everyone. Where we do not achieve accessibility, we welcome all accommodation requests.

Please contact us if your accessibility needs are not being met or if you have comments or suggestions.

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.