This week I had the pleasure of meeting with the team of custodians who serve at the School of Public Health. The group walked me through the highly skilled process of refinishing asbestos-tile floors and shared their Lean idea boards, which have resulted in some terrific innovations. It confirms my belief that the best ideas don’t come from executives, they come from people working on the front lines. This dedicated group of professionals takes so much pride in the work they do – and while they do it without much fanfare, their work does not at all go unnoticed.
“Our custodians are fabulous,” Sharon Kardia, SPH’s senior associate dean, told me. “They make it possible for us to teach, host community events, and do our research in beautiful, clean environments. We really couldn’t do all that we do without them.” Our School of Public Health is among the best in the country. Their ground-breaking research spans everything from environmental toxicology to childhood obesity to global health policy. And as Sharon says, our custodians – along with each of you who provide support to SPH – make their work, and their impact on the world, possible. It makes me proud to be a U-M staff member!
Each of the SPH custodians I met mentioned how much they’re going to miss working with the school’s dean, Martin Philbert. Just last week, the Board of Regents confirmed Martin as the university’s new provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. I couldn’t be more thrilled about this choice – Martin is a thoughtful and caring leader, and I know he’ll do a tremendous job in this critical role.
One last reminder: Please plan to attend the MSTAFF200 event next Tuesday – it’s going to be an amazing celebration of the importance of staff to the university’s past, present and future!
Thanks for all you do to make this wonderful university go.
With much appreciation and gratitude,