Fleming Administration Building
Quantifying the Role of Staff
What’s in a name? What’s in a number? This renaming of the Fleming Building after U-M’s staff — “The 33,616 Staff Building” — calls attention to the role of U-M staff and reflects upon their contributions to the campus community.
33,616. It isn’t a number that is immediately familiar. Other numbers at U-M, such as the Big House seating capacity of 109,901, are more familiar to many. Still, it is a number that is more a part of day-to-day life at U-M than many. On November 1, 2016, there were 33,616 staff members serving the University of Michigan. Every day, they are behind the scenes and on the front line working with faculty, students, patients and visitors and ensuring that the campus functions smoothly and safely.
U-M staff play a vital and important role in helping the university realize its mission and serve the public. It appears that to date only two buildings — Alice Lloyd Hall and Mosher-Jordan Hall — have been named for staff members. Alice Lloyd and Myra Jordan were Deans of Women, though neither held an academic position.
Staff Involvement in “Stumbling Blocks”
“Stumbling Blocks” has been made possible through the skills, talent, and commitment of staff members who have contributed to the research, content, design, construction, website and interpretation of the installation. Contributing departments include the Bentley Library, the Bicentennial Office, the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, the Energy Institute, Facilities and Operations, the Institute for the Humanities, Michigan Creative, the Office of the Provost, Plant Operations, Office of Public Affairs and Internal Communications, the National Center for Institutional Diversity, the University Library, the William L. Clements Library and the Office of the President.
“I hope the future university will work toward greater inclusivity for its staff to be recognized as equal partners, along with its students and faculty, to the campus community and its success.”
Program Associate, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies
“In a university context, the naming or re-naming of a building or space is always a kind of “teachable moment,” a time when a university should ask itself: “What lesson are we teaching with this name?”
Terrence J. McDonald
Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Professor of History, and Director of the Bentley Historical Library
Related Bicentennial Events
Tuesday, June 27th
11:30 a.m.-5:50 p.m
The Diag and Ingalls Mall
For more information on staff recognition and representation at U-M:
- Candace J. Johnson Award for Staff Excellence
- Distnguished Diversity Leaders Award
- President’s Staff Innovation Award
- The Power of Place-Naming: C.C. Little, Eugenics, and the University of Michigan
- University Record: Alumnus, longtime employee helps launch public art tribute to staff
- Voices of the Staff
- More voices needed in renaming buildings (The Michigan Daily)