Redesign Phase

The work of PEAK is not to look for ways to cut costs but rather to deliver better or more services with the resources we have. 

The PEAK Success Office is up and running, staffed by existing University employees to support the program. Project sponsors have been engaged, team leaders and individual team members have begun meeting. Each group that will work to address our service delivery improvement opportunities broadly represents the entire system.

April 2022 Monthly Project Recap

PEAK workgroups continue the deep dive into HOW better service will look and operate.  The workgroups first seek to understand the specific steps of how tasks are accomplished. Then, these "business processes" are redesigned with the goal to be efficient, effective, and equitable. A Human Resources pilot project is in development, and will test implementation for some of these business processes later this summer.

Concurrently, a PEAK workgroup continues the work to improve the user experience in the Chrome River application, used by University faculty and staff to have business expenses reimbursed. Work to improve the Chrome River user experience is ongoing and will now be tested with real users to ensure the updates help resolve current issues and provide a better experience for faculty and staff who use this application.

March 2022 Monthly Project Recap

The functional teams are completing their work on identifying how services are currently provided and reviewing how central teams, colleges and campuses will partner to deliver excellent service to students, faculty, staff. This work resulted in draft documents outlining a catalog of services and high-level agreements of guiding principles and success measures, which were delivered to project sponsors at the end of the month. These service agreements will form the foundation for the next round of PEAK work, which will include defining where responsibility for work should reside in order to best serve campus, college or unit stakeholders. 

February 2022 Monthly Project Recap

PEAK functional teams worked on developing Service Partnership Agreements have been drafted for each function, which will identify and clarify the responsibilities for key services and expectations for service delivery. The PEAK Success Office (PSO) talked to stakeholders from across the system throughout the month.

January 2022 Monthly Project Recap

Progress on track and no significant concerns. In January 2022, Huron partnered with University staff in the PEAK Success Office (PSO) to successfully kick off the PEAK Wave 1 Design phase, attended by nearly 100 staff and faculty from across the System, and mobilized 6 multi-campus functional teams (including Chrome River). Using a diversity, equity, and inclusion-informed approach in collaboration with functional teams function-specific service catalogs were finalized. The catalogs are comprised of over 1,000 discrete services. The service catalogs will be used over the coming weeks to align services with future state organizational structures, job descriptions, and service partnership agreements, among other tasks. Our work is informed by direct engagement with functional team members, the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as insight from staff across decentralized units and campuses (30 meetings with more than 100 faculty and staff currently confirmed or actively being scheduled).

In January 2022, we began in earnest the work to redesign service delivery. This work is being performed primarily by University employees and the focus now is on a subset of the opportunity areas helps mitigate concerns about capacity. This phase of PEAK includes broad representation from across the system.

  • Human Resources - team co-leads Janet Bouyer & Michele Morrissey
  • Finance - team co-leads Sue Bosell & Mollie Viola
  • Information Technology - team co-leads Jason Davis & Phoebe Johnson
  • Marketing & Communications - team co-leads Ann Aronson & Chuck Tombarge
  • Procurement improvements - team co-leads Beth Tapp & Luis Lozada
  • Chrome River (system) - team lead Luis Lozada
78 people representing all 5 campuses; 13 academic representatives make up the functional teams. These people will provide perspective, review analysis and service delivery designs, guide function-specific decisions, and coordinate closely with functional leads.

The focus of PEAK has been and will continue to be improvements to service. There is an expectation that improved services will result in some cost savings, but as a byproduct of providing services more effectively and efficiently.

We plan to reassess future work—from a capacity and resource standpoint—for the other administrative functions in the future.

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].

The University has engaged with Huron Consulting to assist with this phase of the project.

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Major Themes

The opportunity list for each area is organized around four major themes:

  • Organizational Design and Capability: focused on effective and consistent service delivery at all levels.

  • Talent, Culture, Change Management, and Training: focused on a systemwide approach to managing our greatest asset, our people.

  • Technology, Data, and Metrics: Enhancing technology to deliver services in more consistent, user-centered ways.

  • Management Processes: Adjusting allocation of resources to align with needs, improve service and enhance employee experience.

High Level Project Plan

Peak Design Activities and Approximate Timings as of January 2022

  1. Confirm current state (January - February 2022)
  2. Define the "work" and services required (January - March 2022)
  3. Align services to segments (January - March 2022)
  4. Formalize service management (March - June 2022)
  5. Organizational design* (March - June 2022) 
  6. Policy review* (January - May 2022)
  7. Evaluate need for process redesign* (March - June 2022)
  8. Determine staffing levels by position (June - August 2022)
  9. Technology assessment* (June - August 2022)
  10. Change management; diversity, equity, and inclusion work; cross-functional coordination (January - August 2022)

* Listed activities are indicative of comprehensive PEAK project plan but are not specific to all functional areas.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Defining Key Terms: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


University of Minnesota Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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."


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."


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."

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]

The PEAK Initiative is co-chaired by:

Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Myron Frans and
Vice President for Human Resources Ken Horstman