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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
A newsletter header image with an image of Dan Bollman behind the title 'The Details with Dan Bollman'

Summertime and the livin' is.....easy?

June 3, 2015

I was never more proud to be leading Infrastructure Planning and Facilities than when I walked around campus right before graduation a few weeks ago. Everything looked so fantastic, and I knew who was responsible and what kind of hard work went into it. It’s like watching a great dancer. From the audience, what you see looks graceful and effortless, but when you get close enough, you can hear the grunts of effort and see the sweat. Most people never see our sweat. They just see the beauty of MSU (check out these great MSU photos).

When people maneuver around a construction site on campus, they probably just see the barriers, smell the dust and hear the high-pitched beeps of heavy machinery backing up. It’s much harder for them to notice the hard work that went into making the site as convenient as possible for pedestrians and those on bikes and in cars. But I’ve noticed, and again, I want to say, “Great job!”

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about change at IPF. Every great organization needs to constantly change or reinvent itself to remain competitive in our changing world. With these changes, it is equally important to take a breath and look around at all of the great things you’ve accomplished during the last year. I also want you to notice the people working next to you and take the time to tell them what good work they do.

In fact, the perfect opportunity to tell lots of people at IPF that you appreciate them is coming up next week at the annual IPF Employee Appreciation Picnic. On Thursday, June 11, from 2 to 5 p.m., all IPF staffers (including students) will get to party down on the southeast lawn of the IPF Building. You know there’ll be food and ice cream. You know there’ll be games like volleyball and horseshoes. But most of all, I hope there’ll be a real sense of comradery and companionship because weneed that. We need to feel like a team. True teamwork is going to get us through a season of change and let us emerge better than ever.

A season of change. That’s really what every summer is for us. Our construction and maintenance and landscaping and even custodial projects literally change the face of this campus every summer. Just as everyone else on campus seems to be slowing down for the year, we’re speeding up, trying to get projects completed in the few months before students come back like a wave. But even in the middle of all that activity, summer is still about spending time with family and friends—to feel renewed and appreciated. So many of our jobs are behind the scenes, out of sight, and thank yous can be hard to come by. Well, just in case I don’t say it enough, let me say it now: thank you.

See you at the horseshoe pit,


P.S. As always, send your thoughts, questions and suggestions