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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Human Resources and Equal Opportunity Update

Dear colleagues,

I regret to inform you that Human Resources and Equal Opportunity Director Melissa Honkola, after serious contemplation, submitted her resignation last week.  I respect her wishes and have accepted the resignation, effective January29.  In her time here Melissa demonstrated incredible dedication, leadership, and knowledge. I was impressed with her ability to jump into the position, bridge connections with the Twin Cities, and set a vision for our human resources and equal opportunity operations. We have learned from her expertise and will continue to focus on and enhance our HR/EO capacity. 

Melissa asked me to share this message with you:
Coming back to UMD in the Director of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity position had been a professional goal of mine for 15 years. The decision to resign was extremely difficult but necessary for me to balance work with personal obligations. I want to express my sincerest appreciation to the many UMD campus community members who trusted me with their HR issues. I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve the UMD campus community.

Melissa informed her team of this news this morning.  She will also reach out to the HR liaisons and union representatives.  I will continue discussions with the Vice Chancellors and the Twin Cities Office of Human Resources as I work to identify an interim leadership plan.  I will update you as that develops further.  

I wish Melissa the very best and am very grateful for the experience to work with her.  If any of you have questions, please feel free to contact me


Lendley C. Black

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Chancellor Black's Message to Campus January 14, 2016

Good afternoon,

As we start the new semester, I want to provide you a quick update on discussions happening around campus. We are continuing conversations on how to address the remaining $3.3 million budget deficit. Today we had a very productive conversation about our strategic priorities and possible budget scenarios during a Faculty Town Hall meeting. I want to thank those who participated in the thoughtful discussions.

Next week, we will continue this conversation during the Staff Town Hall meeting on Thursday, January 21 from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom. It is important to receive input from the campus community, and I encourage staff members to participate.

After the town hall meetings, we will discuss next steps with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee and bring our plans back to the campus.  We will then make decisions in a few months to balance the remaining deficit.

If you have questions, please contact me or the Vice Chancellors directly. Thank you for your input, and I look forward to working with you this semester.


Lendley C. Black

Friday, January 8, 2016

Chancellor Black's Message to Campus January 8, 2016

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Welcome to the 2016 spring semester! I am writing to provide you updates on our EVCAA search and on the upcoming town hall meetings. As I indicated to you in December, I am working with the Registry to identify candidates for the interim EVCAA position. During the winter break, I spoke with Registry staff about our particular needs and interests in an interim EVCAA. They will have resumes for me to review within the next few days, and they are working with me to reach our goal of having an interim in place by the first of February. Dr. Schokker will remain in the EVCAA position until the interim is on campus, and as I communicated previously, she will complete the promotion and tenure recommendations for this academic year.

I am also planning the search process for a permanent EVCAA. At this point, I have developed a preliminary search calendar that includes interviewing candidates on campus in April prior to the end of the semester. I am working on building the search committee and I will ensure opportunity for significant campus input in the interview process. We will conduct a thorough national search, with assistance from Academic Search, and I encourage you to network with your national and international colleagues you feel will be right for this position. Our pool of candidates will be stronger if we have nominations and contacts from UMD faculty and staff.

I encourage you to attend the town hall meeting for your group. The faculty meeting is January 14, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. in the Kirby Ballroom and the staff meeting is January 21, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. also in the Kirby Ballroom. We will use a format similar to the retention and student success town hall last semester. During the first half of the town hall, you will sit at tables and discuss the faculty questions or staff questions I distributed in December. The second half of the meeting will consist of a discussion of the ideas generated at the tables and discussion of possible scenarios for change.

The goal of the town hall meetings is to develop recommendations for how we will move forward within our current resources, and whether our administrative and academic structures best support our strengths and opportunities. Results of the town halls will be shared with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee, and I will consider their recommendations prior to making decisions about next steps. It's important to me and to the campus to have, within the next few months, a specific action plan which will be implemented over the next few years.

Here are links to two documents to assist our discussions at the town hall meetings: a summary document of the UMD expenditure budget by unit over the past three years and enrollment trends by college/school over the past five years.

You have my best wishes for a productive semester. I look forward to seeing you at the town hall meetings.


Lendley C. Black