Charge Document

Charge Document

Committee Name

Workplace Innovation and the Staff Experience Committee

Executive Sponsors

Kevin Hegarty, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic the University of Michigan has been required to take extraordinary measures to continue to meet its missions and obligations. These measures have impacted every aspect of the university and dramatically changed the workplace, from where and when we work, to how we do work and what tools are required. Staff employees have been impacted in ways that are unique to their work. They have adjusted, innovated, and resolved challenges through this period. The extended length of this pandemic and the extent of the changes enacted continue to be part of the daily work environment and it is expected to change the workplace forever. The university is establishing the Workplace Innovation and Staff Experience Committee (the “Committee”) to identify, capture and implement the best of these innovations and changes that are unique to the future of work for staff.

University Broad Goals

The university has reopened for the fall semester with a public health-informed reopening plan. This plan included a gradual return to campus with the goal of identifying and continuing the best of the innovations and learnings in how we now know work can be done. The university wishes to emerge from the pandemic stronger and better prepared for the future of work. In developing recommendations, the university had the following broad goals that should be considered:

  • Reduce campus density for public health purposes
  • Reduce demand for parking and administrative space
  • Reduce the campus carbon footprint by reducing campus commuting
  • Provide a workplace that promotes Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as well as teamwork and camaraderie no matter the working location
  • Envision a modern workplace that offers a variety of types of flexibility that appeals to staff's desire for work-life balance to strengthen U-M's appeal in the marketplace for hiring and retaining talent.

Committee Charge

Provide short and long-term recommendations to the President and Executive Officers addressing expectations and requirements for staff members to sustain their work as the campus emerges from the pandemic and beyond, whether remotely, in-person or in a hybrid form. Recommendations should recognize the unique aspects of staff based on their roles and areas of work across the university. The recommendations should align with those of other related committees.

Recommendations should have the following attributes:

  • Practical and cost effective to implement
  • Facilitate delivery of high-quality services
  • Provide for reasonable work accountability
  • Enhance organizational commitment to DE&I
  • Promote camaraderie, teamwork and enhance U-M’s reputation as a great place to work

Scope and Boundaries

The scope of the recommendations should be limited to all administrative staff across the university who can reasonably perform their duties remotely and are not subject to a collective bargaining agreement. Subjects to address might include, by example:

  • Health and safety concerns
  • Work-life balance
  • Ongoing societal changes impacting family life (e.g. school closures)
  • Work flexibility as to timing and location
  • Technology implications
  • Manager/staff expectations

The scope of recommendations should consider return to work for the fall semester and longer term "permanent" changes as COVID-19 measures are lifted.


The proposed membership is made up of representatives from the various disciplines across the University, led by 3 chairs charged with facilitating the conversations and representing the committee’s final recommendations.

  • Central Administration Co-Chair

    • Pam Gabel, SSC
  • UMHS Co-Chair

    • Bobby Hewlett, UMHS
  • Academic / Research Co-chair

    • Krista Farmer, LSA
  • Central Administrative Representative

    • Lisa Camfield, UHR (Voices Striving for Well-Being Team)
  • Faculty Support Representative

    • Earl Bell, Taubman College (Voices alumni)
  • Faculty Support Representative

    • Marcy Brighton, Ford School of Public Policy
  • UMHS Representative

    • Steve Vinson, UMMG Ambulatory Care (Voices DEI team)
  • Student Life Representative

    • Nicholas Dukes, DSA Recreational Sports (Enhancing Employee Experience Voices team)
  • Research Support Representative

    • Peter Batra, ISR (Voices Alumni team)
  • Bargained-For Negotiator Representative

    • Pending
  • Dearborn Representative

    • Trisha Schlaff, Office of the Chancellor
  • Flint Representative

    • Matt Bueby, Flint
  • ITS Representative

    • Amy Peters, ITS
  • Communicator

    • Kate Barker, SSC
  • Staff HR Business Partner

    • Jennifer Symanns, UHR
  • UMHS HR Business Partner - clinical

    • Jill Hood, MM Human Resources
  • UMHS HR Business Partner – Medical School

    • Rachel Wiertella, MM Human Resources
  • Student Life HR Business Partner

    • Jaime Cox, Student Life
  • Other Subject Matter Experts as needed

Staff Support

Ann Ross


Phase One: Approximately 30 days

Phase Two: 30-60 days

Kevin Hagerty, M.A., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer