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A newsletter header image with an image of Dan Bollman behind the title 'The Details with Dan Bollman'

Celebrating our success in 2017

December 21, 2017

As the year comes to a close, I find myself looking back in gratitude at all we’ve accomplished together. I’d like to take a minute to reflect on a few of the many highlights from the last year:

Service Excellence

  • We provided the copper pipes for the interactive exhibit “Beyond Streaming: A Sound Mural for Flint” on display at the Broad Art Museum. Visitors turned on the faucets and heard poems and stories narrated by Flint and Lansing youth.
  • Our Building Services crew members helped artist Daniel Firman hang a life-size sculpture of an elephant from the museum ceiling as part of “The Transported Man” at the Broad.
  • Custodial Services shared our best practices for Quality Management Principles in Cleaning Operations through an APPA Drive-In Workshop at Brody, hosting staff from Bowling Green, Grand Valley, U of M, OSU, Wayne State, and Western Michigan.
  • We brought together facilities experts across disciplines for the Big Ten & Friends Mechanical & Energy Conference at Kellogg, advancing knowledge to improve sustainability and efficiency of our campus infrastructure.


  • Drivers in Surplus and Recycling started using iPads to reduce the need for paper documentation and data entry – saving time and energy for the most important parts of their work.
  • We held several “Demo Days” for the Facilities Connect project, to make sure the next generation of our workplace management system replacing FAMIS is robust, flexible, and easy to use. Expect to see more developments in the first half of 2018.
  • Supporting the university’s investment in the Global Impact Initiative (GII), we started construction on an aggressive timeline for the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building. We’re using the design of the Grand Rapids Research Center as a prototype for this $100 million research facility, and enclosing the building frame in tarps so we can heat the interior and continue work through the winter.


  • Tim Potter was recognized by the League of American Bicyclists for his leadership, including a huge role in creating the Bicycle Friendly University program. Campus transportation wouldn’t work without bicycles, and Tim’s efforts are protecting cyclists at colleges across America.
  • As the students filled up 25 MSU residence halls this fall, they discarded over 160,000 pounds of cardboard, plastic and Styrofoam. Through hard work and cooperation with RHS staff, volunteers and students, we achieved 72% diversion from the landfill – that’s over 115,000 pounds of material recycled.

Employee Development

  • We recognized the fantastic efforts of four people through the quarterly Employee Excellence Award: Sabrina Hebeler, Cindy Taphouse, Tom March, and Jannene Andrews.
  • Custodial Services expanded the range of services we offer by taking on pest management responsibilities from Environmental Health and Safety. While EHS is still involved in regulatory and safety considerations, we are now entrusted with daily service to manage and control pests.
  • We continued a multi-year effort in partnership with RHS to review our diversity and equity practices. After internal data gathering and assessment, we invited a team of external reviewers to help us recognize best practices and areas for improvement.

You may have noticed that every one of these examples touches on our focus areas of people and partners. Over the last year, we’ve learned where we need to focus our energy and attention: on developing the people that make up IPF and serving our partners around and beyond the university – everyone from an international artist at the Broad to a skittish freshman on move-in day. It’s these everyday connections we make that put a friendly face on IPF and lead to deep trust and satisfaction.

If you think about it, we touch every individual on this campus through the important work that we do.  We are as much invested in the success of MSU as anyone.  It is our work that creates the environment for learning, research and outreach to occur, so take pride in the accomplishments of MSU because you are an integral part of those achievements.

I am sometimes asked, “What has actually changed?” We haven’t changed our mission or values or goals. Nothing is being abandoned! But when we consider how to use our time and talents, let’s put people – the wonderful staff of IPF – and partners – the campus community – first.

Every day I am grateful to be surrounded by a team of fierce, talented, and passionate professionals. Whatever the ups and downs of our daily grind, please know that you create extraordinary impact for this university and for a better world.

I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing holiday season and look forward to seeing what we’ll do in the year to come.

All the best,


P.S. Feel free, as always, to share your thoughts, ideas and questions at