University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Organizational Transformation Models and Benchmarking

Sponsor: Kathleen O'Brien

Preliminary Understanding of Business Need

Since the summer of 2004, the University of Minnesota has been engaged in a wide-ranging and consultative strategic positioning process with the goal of becoming one of the top three public research universities in the world within a decade. This is a system-wide initiative, involving academic and administrative units with coordinate campuses undertaking their own strategic positioning processes and building on comparative advantages consistent with criteria approved by the University's Board of Regents (from

Vice President Kathleen O'Brien leads seven administrative task forces (single enterprise, culture, administrative structure, best practice management tools, student services, people, and resource optimization) and chairs the Administrative Service and Productivity Steering Team. This team is charged with ensuring alignment and collaboration among the administrative and academic task forces, identifying cross task force issues and impacts, prioritizing and sequencing projects, defining measures of success, and leveraging resources and support the success of the administrative change effort.

The business need initiating the PEL Organizational Transformation Models and Benchmarking Research Project derives from this steering committee. In order to meet their charge, committee members require accurate and timely information from comparable organizations that have been successful in accomplishing integrative organizational transformation. More specifically, the needed information includes best practices, lessons learned, and realistic benchmarks that will determine and measure our transformational progress.


  • To provide exemplary transformational strategic processes designed and implemented by comparable organizations.
  • To provide exemplary measures of a successful transformation such as process milestones, organizational benchmarks, and best practices.
  • To make recommendations as to specific models, tools, and procedures would be most usefully adapted by the Administrative Steering Committee.

Team Members

Pamela Flash
Associate Director, Center for Writing
Coach: Terry Collins

Jill Froehlich
Assistant Director, Information Technology
Housing & Residential Life
Coach: Billie Wahlstrom

Stephanie Helgeson
Director of Athletics, Intercollegiate & Intramural Athletics
U of M–Crookston
Coach: Joel Maturi

John T. Jensen III
Program Associate, Academic Health Center
Coach: Richard Senese