March 27, 2017
Facilities Management
Bill Paulus


A beach mindset at work

Dear FM,

I recently attended a training seminar about how to prepare for retirement. Before anyone gets any ideas, I’m not planning to retire anytime soon. I was just interested in finding out new financial planning information.

A perfect retirement for me might be spending time at the beach, sipping a drink with an umbrella. I was expecting to learn about investment techniques to make this dream come true and was in for a surprise as the seminar hardly focused on financial planning. Instead, it was about the four qualities of life that are critical to a happy retirement: personal health, purpose to your life, social interaction, and lastly, financial security.

But aren’t those things important throughout life, and not just after retirement? And if they are, can we incorporate them into our work? I can see how we already support these four tenets at the U.  

Health: Through the U’s Wellness Program and our FM Safety Program, we are encouraged to live healthy lives. Employees also have opportunities for daily wellness by working at sit/stand stations, taking advantage of the summer farmer’s market for fresh produce, and walking across our beautiful campus as we go about our daily work.

Purpose: The FM mission, vision, and values, together with our personal goals, guide our work daily. That means we’re all working with the same purpose in mind: to provide a safe, welcoming and reliable campus. Whether you provide critical daily support of our buildings and grounds or you’re working on long-term initiatives that may not be immediately visible across campus, I encourage you to reinforce our purpose by calling out successes when you see them. A quick thanks to acknowledge a job well done goes a long way and helps us remind each other that our work is noticed and matters.

Social Interaction: Regular communications help keep you informed about what’s going on around FM, but it’s our relationships with coworkers that help make work meaningful and fun. Whether we’re working on teams or committees, or participating in social get-togethers, taking the time to get to know each other a little better enriches us all.

And finally, money: The U offers competitive salaries for most positions and when considered in total, we have a very competitive compensation package including salary, health care benefits, health and child care savings accounts, retirement options, and generous paid time off.

A happy retirement will require some advance planning in all four areas. We have a great foundation here at the U, and working together we can do even better. We all spend too much time at work not to be mindful about how we can help each other to live healthy lives, find meaning in our work, value our time together, and save some money for whatever our retirement dreams may be.

As a reminder, there are no beach drinks allowed at work; they will have to wait for the beach.

Have a great week,


Weekly Notes

  • Civil Service and P&A employee self-reviews are due in U-Learn April 24. Supervisor reviews are due by May 8. Watch for further information, including the timeline for bargaining unit employee reviews.
  • As a trade expectation for electricians working for the University of Minnesota, electricians are required to maintain a current First Aid/CPR certification. The next First Aid/CPR training sessions are on April 25, 26 and May 2, 3, 2017. All training sessions will be held at the 4th Street Switch location, will begin promptly at 7:15 A.M and are approximately 5 hours in length. To register, contact Sarah Jones at or 612-624-3530 by Friday, April 14, 2015.  
  • Wellness Reminder: Don’t forget to complete the online Wellness Assessment by March 31. You don’t want to lose this opportunity to get 150 points!
  • Have an item to share with all FM? Send it to Christie Wells to be included in the Weekly.

Bill Paulus the interim AVP for FM
Bill Paulus is the interim Associate Vice President for Facilities Management. He regularly publishes memos to communicate information and issues that affect FM staff.