Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Mike Peel will retire from his position by the end of June. He will be replaced by Janet Lindner, the deputy vice president for human resources and administration.
University President Peter Salovey announced the news in an email to the Yale community on Thursday afternoon. Since he started at the University in 2008, Peel, a former executive vice president at General Mills, has successfully negotiated three labor contracts with Local 34 and Local 35 and helped improve the diversity of Yale’s senior management. Lindner has worked closely with Peel since she assumed her current deputy vice president position in 2014.
“We were fortunate to attract Mike to Yale in September 2008, as he is one of the most talented and accomplished human resources leaders in the nation,” Salovey wrote. “Yale has achieved important progress in organizational excellence since Mike joined the University.”
During his tenure as vice president for human resources and administration — a position created in 2008 — Peel introduced a “talent planning process” that has allowed Yale to fill more vacant positions from within, according to Salovey’s email. And under his leadership, Working Mother Magazine has repeatedly placed Yale on its “100 Best Companies” list.
Lindner has worked in a variety of positions since joining Yale in 1999, including as executive director for administrative operations, finance and administration and associate vice president for administration and public safety. In her current role, Lindner oversees parking, graduate housing, public safety, transportation, printing and publishing services, and recruitment and staffing, Salovey wrote.
“Even though I’ve been at Yale and know it well, I want to take the time over the next few months to get a fresh perspective: to listen, to gather ideas and learn from staff within the division and hear from those we serve,” Lindner told the News. “I plan to build on the work that Mike has done, to take administrative areas to the next level of excellence, to create an environment in which people feel free to share ideas, to feel good about themselves and the work they do, and to understand how their work contributes to the strategic goals of Yale.”
Peel could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.
In a letter to human resources staff on Thursday morning, Peel expressed gratitude to his colleagues and hailed the progress Yale has made on labor relations over the last 10 years. From the 1970s to the early 2000s, Yale was in nearly constant conflict with Local 34 and Local 35, the University’s unions for its service, clerical, technical and maintenance workers. But as the University’s lead labor negotiator, Peel has struck three consecutive contracts, most recently in January when the University reached a new five-year agreement, avoiding a strike after months of sometimes-contentious negotiations.
Local 34 President Laurie Kennington and Local 35 President Bob Proto both praised Peel for his efforts to improve Yale’s relationship with the two unions and expressed optimism that Lindner will continue that work.
“We think very highly of Mike, and really respect the way that he’s taken our contentious relationship and turned it into a productive partnership,” Kennington said. “[Lindner] has a real commitment to problem solving and is a very, very capable administrator, so we feel confident in her stepping into Mike’s big shoes.”
Peel and Lindner — as well as Senior Vice President for Operations Jack Callahan — will now begin “an orderly transition of responsibilities” scheduled to conclude in June, Salovey said in his email.