University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Directing Change Management at the University of Minnesota

Sponsor: Patricia Franklin, Associate to the Vice President and Chief of Staff

Overview of the Project

The University of Minnesota has engaged in many change efforts over the years, on scales that ranged from small and focused, to large and system-wide. The latest example is the transformational strategic positioning process to become one of the top three public research universities in the world. Since change efforts are comprised of hundreds of transitions for individuals, units, colleges, and the institution, they can succeed or fail based on a number of factors. The purpose of this project is to investigate how to manage transitions in the midst of large scale organizational transformation in order to support the achievement of the University?s aspirational goals.

Project Goals

Complete a literature search to:

  • Identify current models and their components in use by academia and other large, complex organizations
  • Determine elements of successful change management processes and approaches, and review those elements for applicability in an academic setting
  • Identify components that have not worked – particularly in academic settings
  • Identify best practice models for organizations of similar size and complexity to the University

Conduct focused interviews with leadership, managers, employees, faculty and customers within the university involved in recent change management activities to:

  • Identify change management resources currently available at the University
  • Identify specific large-scale change efforts (e.g., new colleges, EFS, Athletics)
  • Identify processes used in planning and implementing the change (model/process used, who was involved, how it was communicated)
  • Identify components/activities that were successful and not successful
  • Develop list of lessons learned from successful and not successful activities
  • Create best-practices matrix/list

Recommend change management strategies to support current and future change efforts at the University of Minnesota.

Project Team Members

Kristin Berns
Change Management Consultant
Office of Human Resources
Coach: Aimee L Viniard-Weideman

Darlene Charboneau
Environmental Health Specialist
Environmental Health and Safety
Coach: Gail Klatt

Carol Foth
Training Coordinator, FIRST Programs
Office of the Vice Pres for Research
Coach: Arlene Carney

Jay Hesley
Director of Marketing
University of Minnesota, Rochester
Coach: Chuck Muscoplat

Peggy Korsmo-Kennon
Program Director
Bell Museum of Natural History
Coach: Wendy Lougee