Office of the Executive Vice President for Administrative Services

Office of the Executive Vice President for Administrative Services

Initiatives Supporting a Culture of High Performance

Initiatives Supporting a Culture of High Performance

Bolder by Design compels the entire university community to advance a culture of high performance by elevating the quality and effectiveness of every product, service, and process to realize our highest aspirations and the expectations of our partners.  To be bolder, we must move the needle forward.  This is especially true for administrative and technical services that are critical for supporting the work of faculty, staff, and students as they work to fulfill the mission of the university.  

By continuing to advance our services, MSU is striving to offer: reliable information technology resources to facilitate both learning and business continuity, effective human resources to enable recruitment and retention of high-quality faculty and staff, and, dependable infrastructure services that maintain and expand a built environment to support and inspire a dynamic world-class learning community.

A sample of initiatives is listed below. Each of these efforts moves MSU’s support functions towards best in class, and works to advance a culture of high performance. Newer initiatives can be found under the ‘what’s new’ section.

The Spartan Experience

Many thousands of experiences and transactions—both seen and unseen—occur every day between the public, MSU staff, and our systems. These experiences include the countless exchanges between teammates, partners, vendors, students, faculty, and support staff. When we acknowledge that a customer is anyone who has an impact on MSU’s reputation, we can better understand the role each of us plays in positively affecting a customer’s experience.

To advance this imperative, The Spartan Experience was created. This program, which began in October of 2013, is designed to bring a common approach to service that will help staff identify their unique customers and provide tools that allow them to deliver outstanding “Spartan experiences” every day.

This high-energy program is designed by Spartans for Spartans. Its goal is to inspire and build a high performance service mindset in all MSU team members to Deliver Outstanding Spartan Experiences with Pride in everything we do and to all we serve.

When you complete this program, you will learn:
• Key concepts of D.O.S.E.
• What are the three Pillars of Success
• MSU’s four Quality Standards
• How to apply the Cornerstone for Customer Service
• How customers affect MSU’s results
• The components of the Customer Relationship Life Cycle
• The connection between employees, customers and results
• What are customer touch points
• How to build Outstanding Customer Relationships
• The ABC’s of Customer Interaction
• How to address problems with L.E.AP.
• Understand the P.R.I.D.E. of accountability

Sign up for “The Spartan Experience” or “Leading the Spartan Experience”, enroll via the ESS tab within EBS.

For more information or assistance in facilitating sessions, help with metrics, sustaining success in your culture, or other ideas, please contact Carrie Galdes or call (517) 884-4408.

High Performance Work Culture Online Learning

The online learning platform elevateU has a new MSU Highlighted Program available to all MSU faculty and staff called "Building a High Performing Work Culture". This program is filled with courses, videos, books and more to help all levels of MSU faculty and staff increase their professional and personal development. The resources cover a range of topics, with anything from dealing with workplace conflict to creating formulas in Excel. Learn more here: 



Energy Future

MSU’s Energy Future

In a move that has reduced emissions at its T.B. Simon Power Plant as well as significantly advanced its Energy Transition Plan, Michigan State University has stopped burning coal as of March 2016 and switched to exclusively burning natural gas.

The conversion from coal to natural gas has reduced MSU’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 500 million pounds per year. The environmental impact of this reduction in CO2 emission is equivalent to planting half a million trees per year!

The university adopted its Energy Transition Plan in April 2012. The decision to stop burning coal results from the efforts undertaken to achieve the goals of the plan.

The decision further helps MSU reliably meet its future energy needs in a sustainable fashion. “Sustainability is one of our guiding institutional principles,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. “This represents a great opportunity for MSU to further reduce its environmental impact.”

Simon made the announcement April 8th, 2015 at a live webcast titled “A Conversation with President Simon about MSU’s Energy Future.” The hour-long panel discussion included representatives from MSU, Consumers Energy, and CustomerFirst Renewables and covered a wide range of topics. Dr. Simon announced the completion of the fuel transition on April 12th, 2016.

A recording of both webcasts is available at

Located on the south end of campus, the T. B. Simon Power Plant now burns only natural gas to produce steam that is used for heating and providing electricity to most of MSU’s East Lansing, MI campus buildings. A confluence of changing energy costs, along with new federal emission rules, allowed MSU to stop burning coal in a financially viable way.

“Transitioning to natural gas as our sole fuel source gives us a cleaner, stable power supply moving forward,” said Robert Ellerhorst, Director of Utilities at the Power Plant, which is the chief power provider to MSU’s 5,200-acre campus.

As the Environmental Protection Agency began unveiling new emission standards over the past couple of years, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Administrative Services, in collaboration with Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, began planning for those new standards and researched different technologies and solutions.

The decision to stop burning coal propels MSU’s Energy Transition Plan and advances its three goals:

  1. improve the environment;
  2. make resources available for investment into the research and development of sustainability energy; and
  3. demonstrate the university’s leadership role in sustainable energy.

MSU also built an anaerobic digester facility on south campus to generate renewable power from biomass. This biomass power plant, completed in 2014, utilizes food waste from MSU’s cafeteria system, as well as neighboring businesses, and continuously generates 300 to 500 kW of clean electric power.

In addition, this digester facility also produces large quantities of high-quality organic fertilizer for the MSU farms and gardens. This green fertilizer dramatically reduced MSU’s need to purchase chemical fertilizers, which further reduces MSU’s environmental footprint.

MSU has signed an agreement with Consumers Energy and built a substation supplying the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams with electricity. The substation permits the university to purchase additional electricity to allow its co-generation power plant to operate at an optimal steam/electricity balance and further reduce the overall carbon footprint of the university, while at the same time reducing overall energy costs. The substation and its underground connection to the high-voltage power grid was completed in early 2017.

To further advance toward its vision, MSU is currently investigating public-private partnership options to add renewable sources of power, in particular a 12 Megawatt carport solar array.

For more information on MSU’s Sustainability Plan, go to

Applicant Tracking System

  • New Applicant Tracking System (ATS) launched in April 2017 and externally posted jobs can be found here:

  •  ARO Initiative Objectives:
    • Automating candidate evaluation and selection.
    • Addressing time to fill positions.
    • Delivering more robust system functionality.
    • Improving processes with fewer manual steps.
    • Offering new onboarding tools.
    • Enhancing reporting measures and metrics.
    • Improving the applicant experience.
HR Solutions Center: The Concept of One

HR Solutions Center (517) 353-4434

MSU Human Resources has recently opened the Solutions Center - a new unit created to improve the way HR serves their many customer groups.  The Solutions Center is based on The Concept of One: ONE phone number. ONE email. ONE website. And a team of people dedicated to customer service as our number ONE priority.

The Solutions Center contains two teams that serve customers in different ways.

  • The Solutions Team: The Solutions Team is made up of nine HR generalists whose job it is to be there when you need them. The Solutions Team takes your phone calls, answers your emails, and helps walk-ins. This team answers questions, resolves problems and, when necessary, connects you with resources outside of the Solutions Center to meet your needs. This team primarily serves faculty, staff, retirees, students and members of the public seeking information on HR-related policies, programs and issues. On average, this team is responsible for fielding around 52,000 phone calls per year and helping thousands more who contact us via email or visit the Solutions Center in person in suite 110 of the Nisbet Building. This team also is responsible for staffing a variety of outreach efforts - such as faculty/staff benefits fairs and student insurance presentations.

  • The Operations Team: The Operations Team typically works more closely with MSU units and vendors and has three distinct subgroups that serve their customers in different ways.

    These sub-groups include:
    1) the Academic Operations transactional group which includes Graduate, Undergraduate and Professorial assistants
    2) the Support Staff posting and records maintenance group
    3) the Student Employee and Temporary and On-call Employee group

Need help? Give the Solution Center a call at (517) 353-4434 or by email at!

Work Climate Survey for Support Staff

MSU is committed to having the best work environment possible.  Support staff were invited to participate in a work climate survey in June of 2017 to determine what we are doing well and where there is room for improvement.  The survey for staff was similar to a work environment survey completed with faculty and a campus-wide climate survey conducted with students. Outcomes from these surveys included enhanced training programs, work life resources, and professional and social support initiatives. 

The survey contained the following sections:  

  • Annual Performance Evaluation/Review
  • Job Advancement 
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Relationships
  • Leadership 
  • Workplace Environment
  • Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct 
  • Beliefs and Attitudes About MSU 
  • MSU's Culture of High Performance
  • Satisfaction at MSU 
  • Recruitment and Hiring Process  

Over 7,000 support staff members received this survey and nearly 40% of the staff responded!  We value the input and appreciate the time that everyone took to provide feedback.  The university’s greatest strengths, according to the views expressed, are providing good benefits and a healthy balance between personal and professional life, supervisors and coworkers treating other MSU employees with respect, and awareness of the proper steps to address sexual harassment or misconduct. Meanwhile, the areas identified as most in need of improvement were: establishing fair, clear, and consistently applied procedures for job advancement; engaging staff in the decision-making processes within their units; eliminating sexual misconduct and uncivil behavior; and enacting practices that effectively promote a culture of high performance.  Should you have any questions about this survey, please contact Paulette Granberry Russell, Director and Senior Advisor to the President, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, at, or 517.353.3924.

Faculty Readiness Project

Faculty Readiness Project

The Faculty Readiness Project (FRP) is a dedicated team from IPF and FPSM working together with colleges to pro-actively plan for potential new hires, and use various delivery methods to shorten bid periods and construction timelines to create a positive experience for colleges and a welcoming environment for new faculty by delivering an outstanding project that is high quality, time and cost efficient, and supports the advancement of the university’s research agenda.

When a new faculty member or researcher is hired, they often need office, classroom or lab space that fits their unique needs. However, by the time those needs have been expressed to Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF), there isn’t enough time to build or repurpose an existing space before the new person comes to campus. That’s frustrating for the new faculty member/researcher, their department, college and the university because it delays their ability to be as productive as possible. It’s also challenging for IPF because they aren’t given enough lead time to make the build or renovation project a success in the desired timeframe. The FRP combats the problem from both sides, by asking departments and colleges to share their space needs with IPF as early as possible and by streamlining IPF’s request-design-build process as much as possible.

In order to create the most successful experience for the customers, the Faculty Readiness team has partnered with various other departments on campus. Specific representatives from Facilities Planning and Space Management inform FRP of the campus master plan and what is coming up in the near future to support the university’s advancement mission. IPF/FRP has partnered with Purchasing to jump start Purchase Orders and Contracts on projects that are short on time, often with multiple phases. Environmental Health and Safety along with Information Technology Systems are also involved throughout the entirety of the project starting with Plan Review to ensure the customer receives the best results. All of these units work diligently to get the work done in the time frame given acknowledging all unknown variables of each project.

What does FRP do?

  • Proactively plans for potential new hires,
  • Uses various delivery methods to shorten timelines and
  • Centralizes coordination of internal and external services.

Why FRP?

  • To improve timeframes of project completion for incoming faculty,
  • Align project expectations with appropriate delivery methods and
  • Respond to Bolder by Design imperatives of increasing research opportunities and advancing our culture of high performance.

How can we work together to expedite the project?

  • Identify space plan and program early,
  • Send in a Service Request as soon as possible,
  • Identify preliminary scope of work for estimating,
  • Actively involve the Principal Investigator (PI) and department contact,
  • Complete the “Faculty Readiness Project Checklist” with PI involvement and
  • Obtain photos of current space.

For more information contact: Monte Pride, Estimating Planner/Inspector/Analyst III/Supervisor, IPF Planning, Design and Construction, or call (517) 353-1648

Faculty Pre-Onboarding Process

Faculty Pre-Onboarding Process

For departments hiring academic faculty, the MSU ID Office has recently put into place an optional pre-on-boarding process that may assist with the transition to MSU. This process provisions a limited group of services to incoming faculty and academic staff at the point of accepted offer and prior to being fully processed and hired in EBS. These pre-onboarding services should help provide a smoother transition for faculty including creation and establishment of the:

Spartan Card - ID card utilized for setting up building and parking gate access
NetID - user name utilized for login access to email, wireless and D2L

Early access should be especially helpful for new academic hires who arrive at MSU prior to their start-date, for example those with a start-date of August 16 who arrive on campus earlier in the summer.

(Please note: Login access to EBS and some other services are not provisioned until they are fully processed and hired in EBS and they have reached their start-date.)

For more information on how to utilize this process, please review the pre-onboarding document.

Note that this process is focused on faculty due to the identified need for an MSU email for grant proposals early in the hiring process, and the potential large time gap between offer and start-date.

This is a new process and we welcome any feedback as we continue to refine it. Please contact the MSU ID Office at 517-355-4500 with any suggestions specifically regarding this new faculty pre-onboarding process.

Contact MSU (517) 355-1855

Contact MSU

Infrastructure Planning and Facilities Telecommunication Systems has been working to enhance MSU’s current operator/directory services for the past few months.  This idea was proposed by the IPF table at the LEAD Seminar on Nov. 26, 2013 and suggestions that came from the Women’s Advisory Committee for Support Staff (WACSS).

IPF Telecommunication Systems University Operators and IPF Dispatch Service personnel are experienced staff members with strong institutional knowledge. The Contact MSU Department aims to provide a one-stop number for all campus questions making it easier for customers to find the correct information with less effort (dial 0 or 517-355-1855). This initiative continues to develop the plan to enhance and promote the MSU operator/dispatch services. Completed and ongoing elements of the plan include:

  • Strengthen staff and resources: Enabling the staff to serve as ambassadors for the University 24/7, utilizing a variety of resources for them to create positive Spartan experiences with every interaction
  • Enhance service delivery: Engage partners from the MSU community to further develop the vision, resources and information needed in order to best serve internal and external audiences who don’t differentiate between individual MSU units.  Explore tools that support these efforts including: centralized issues reporting/tracking systems, knowledge bases and event tracking resources and multi-media communication services.
  • Promote the enhanced services: Assess and improve the methods and tools used to educate customers so that they are aware of the enhanced services available.

Next steps of the plan include:

  • Ensure center and staff success: Determine needs and resources to ensure future success for facility and staff.
  • Collaborate: Discuss opportunities with departments to work together and form unified standards for the new center.

Leaders from across campus are being engaged in the initial phase to discuss partnering to further develop this service center.  For more information contact: Angela Knauf, Customer Service Manager, IPF Telecom Systems, or call (517) 353-4634.

Service Billing - EBS enhancements

In partnership with Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF), the Controller’s Office built a new doc that will route all IPF billing charges to Fiscal Officers (FO’s) prior to posting to the ledger. This will allow FO’s to add accounting string data up front as opposed to after the fact via time consuming journal entries. The document will also provide a direct web link to IPF’s supporting documentation of the services billed.

This use of technology will directly allow for more efficient use of support staff time, and this new functionality was built to scale to other MSU service providers. This will be implemented to several campus departments in the coming year.

Spartan Treasure Hunt

The Spartan Treasure Hunt is an early step in the building commissioning process. It engages building occupants to help identify opportunities for energy savings and system improvements.  This program began in October of 2014 and is expected to be completed by May of 2017.  A total of 42 buildings will be reviewed throughout this three-year period.

The treasure hunt is a one-day event in which participants break up into teams, tour a campus building and look for ways to increase energy efficiency within the building. Through observation, measurement and inquiry, teams of building occupants and facilities experts produce a list of resource-saving opportunities.

For more information on the process, click here: or contact Jason Vallance and Stephanie Harder.

Solar units in parking lot
Anaerobic digestor