From Kevin’s Desk: Making Blue Go During Reduction in Operations (2/1/19)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

As most of our campus community enjoyed a reduction in operations for two days, for at least half of our B&F staff it was business as usual. A reduction in operations means that folks who work in “critical services” are required to stay on campus. The details are described in the Standard Practice Guideline, and if you take a look, you’ll see that much of what we do is included in the list of critical services. It’s just further evidence of how absolutely vital each of you are to the university and to the people it serves. Here are just a few highlights of the past two days:

  • Buses ran on normal schedules to support those who depend on buses, including thousands of employees who bus into the Medical Campus from remote U-M locations.  Parking services also continued, including support for patients.
  • Utilities and maintenance crews ensured buildings were operational and all vital equipment was working. As is often the case in extreme weather, we had a couple of pipes burst – one in the School of Public Health and the other in a parking structure. Many teams contributed to stabilizing these situations and mitigating further damage.
  • Grounds and parking teams kept walkways and parking structures free of snow and ice for those on campus, including students and patients.
  • Our key shop monitored the 120+ building doors that DPSS recommended be locked to keep students and others on campus safe.
  • And, our custodial teams monitored buildings, ensuring potential problems were reported quickly. One of our team members noticed some students waiting outside Health Services, unaware it was closed and not adequately dressed. Our custodian let them in to get warm and gave the students hats and gloves out of the lost and found.

These are just a few examples of the hundreds of staff in critical roles – including many others in Payroll, Treasury, EHS, and a number of other key administrative functions – that kept the university safe and sound. The President tweeted his gratitude to some of the teams who watched over our campus during the polar vortex, which you can see on his web page.

I want to join the President in offering a heartfelt and enthusiastic THANK YOU to everyone involved in safeguarding our campus, our community, and our finances over the last couple of days. You Make Blue Go and YOU ROCK!!!!

With much appreciation and gratitude,