Central Michigan University's Leadership Standards Initiative (LSI)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Here at CMU, we do great things with great people.

We know organizational culture can change over time, particularly in the absence of deliberate and conscious direction. Current employees may leave or retire, taking with them accumulated knowledge and history that has helped shape our unique culture, and new employees join CMU w​ith their own accumulated history and ways of doing things.

To continue improving the student experience and delivering on the mission of CMU, we want to focus on strengthening and preserving the leadership culture at this great school. The Leadership Standards Initiative will result in more engaged and satisfied employees, who will impact student recruitment and retention, as well as alumni and community relationships.​

At Central Michigan University, a strong sense of community drives a culture of collaboration, excellence and leadership, making CMU a best-choice place to learn and work. At CMU, we value students as our top priority and work to ensure their personal and professional growth. Employees are engaged, appreciated and have extraordinary opportunities to make a difference.

The Leadership Standards Initiative provides a framework for employee recruitment, orientation, development, retention, evaluation and leadership accountability. It builds upon CMU's core values of integrity, respect, compassion, inclusiveness, social responsibility, excellence and innovation, and supports the strategic priority of hiring, maintaining and developing quality faculty and staff.

The leadership initiative establishes clear, consistent and transparent leadership expectations that permeate campus and serves to preserve and strengthen CMU's culture of collaboration, excellence and leadership.

In 2013, Central Michigan University's human resources approached the university's executive leadership with a proposal to develop a common set of desired leadership expectations. These were integrated into the CMU culture, a culture which is built on compassion and community that has become part of the university's value proposition for students and employees.

Much of what would later come to be known as CMU's Leadership Standards already existed elsewhere: President George E. Ross' expectations for his senior staff, CMU's seven Core Values, the Service Excellence Values and others. This proposal suggested formally integrating these already overlapping values into a cohesive framework and articulating clear, consistent and transparent leadership expectations that permeate all levels of the organization in order to preserve and strengthen CMU's culture of collaboration, excellence and leadership.

Under the proposal, a variety of mechanisms would then be aligned with these expectations to ensure consistency among leadership behaviors and to provide necessary feedback.

The outcomes achieved through this initiative will fortify CMU's culture and result in more engaged and satisfied employees, who will impact student recruitment and retention, as well as alumni and community relationships. The ultimate result of strengthening and preserving the leadership culture at CMU will be an improved student experience.  

Watch LSI Open Forum

The Leadership Standards are fully in effect for all supervisors as of July 1, 2017. In conjunction with that, the university has:

  • Modified the screening and hiring process for supervisors to be consistent with the Leadership Standards,
  • Updated all supervisory job descriptions to incorporate the Standards; and
  • Added a new section to the performance review system to reinforce the need for feedback for supervisors from their direct reports.

While the trainings through the spring of 2017 focused on staff who have official supervisory responsibilities, the intent is that all CMU employees live in alignment with the CMU Leadership Standards. To that end, the next steps of the initiative will focus on: communicating the standards to all staff at CMU; on strengthening supervisors’ understanding of the Standards; and on providing resources and support to all CMU staff, encouraging all to live these Standards on a day-to-day basis.

These actions include:

  • 2 hour Staff trainings available to all non-supervisory staff
  • Training made available for all Department Chairs
  • Communication of the Standards throughout campus
  • Monthly LSI tips for applying the standards
  • Trainings developed to provide deeper levels of training for the Leadership Standards
  • Online option developed for new incoming supervisors
  • Development of an LSI Resource page on the LSI website, with articles and videos related to each of the 6 Standards
  • Alli Baxter, Human Resources
  • Harley Blake, Human Resources
  • Cali Clark, Human Resources
  • Jerry Dimaria, College of Business Administration
  • Mary Jane Flanagan, Office of the President
  • Jody Hassen, Student Services and Enrollment Management
  • Mary Hill, Financial Services and Reporting
  • Shaun Holtgreive, Student Affairs
  • Anne Margaret Hornak, College of Education and Human Services
  • Michelle Howard, Academic Advising and Assistance
  • Kathy Irwin, Libraries
  • Jeffrey Mcdowell, Office of Information Technology
  • Ann Miller, Faculty Personnel Services
  • Marcie Otteman, Alumni Relations
  • Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, College of Education and Human Services
  • Cindy Schumacher, Gov. John Engler Center for Charter Schools
  • Kevin Smart, Human Resources
  • Kevin Williams, Admissions
  • Administrative Support
    Doris Ann Nestle, Financial Services and Reporting
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