From Kevin’s Desk: MLK Day, Respect and Recognition (01/13/17)

Dear Colleagues:

Next Monday we will join the rest of the university at the annual celebration of the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. When I asked how U-M’s wonderful MLK tradition got started, my friend and colleague, Laurita Thomas, our associate vice president for human resources, explained that after the national holiday was established in 1983, the university leadership decided to recognize it by investing in our mission of education: to create learning opportunities for each member of our community of faculty, staff and students; and to use the time, rather than a day off, to get better at what Dr. King represented for us.

This year’s events promise to be terrific, and I hope you’ll participate in whatever way makes sense for you (see important details and options below). I also hope you’ll use the celebration as an opportunity to reflect on your own values and the shared values that guide our work in B&F.

I was raised to believe that all people matter and deserve respect, and these values remain my own guiding principles. In traditional organizations the leaders often get all the recognition. But, as my father often reminded me, it’s not the executives who will be missed after a few days out of the office, but the people who clean the building or make sure the lights are working –they’re the ones who deserve recognition.

Just this week, our grounds crews began their day early (some at 1:30 AM!) to clear the sidewalks and roadways of snow, ensuring that students, faculty and staff could get around campus safely. The care and professionalism with which they do their jobs helps us achieve our strategic goal of creating a great place to work. Please join me in thanking them.

With gratitude,


Kevin P. Hegarty
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
University of Michigan