THE FACILITY ORGANIZATION’S PERFORMANCE CAN BE ASSESSED THROUGH CAMPUS APPEARANCE; EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION AND MOTIVATION; EFFECTIVENESS OF SYSTEMS OPERATIONS; CUSTOMER SATISFACTION; FINANCIAL RESULTS; AND, SUPPLIER/BUSINESS PARTNER RESULTS. WHERE FEASIBLE, IT IS HELPFUL TO HAVE MEASUREMENT TOOLS IN PLACE TO ASSESS PERFORMANCE IN THESE AREAS.
The Facilities and Services Grounds Department and the Facilities and Services Custodial Department are two of our organizational “shining stars.” In particular, numerous visitors to campus comment on the beautiful and well‐maintained grounds, and the Chancellor recognizes the stellar work of the Grounds Department at many of his speaking opportunities. This leads to a lot of pride within the department, because everyone knows that they contribute to the appearance of the campus and that it is extremely important in recruitment and retention.
We are situated on a large campus site in the desert southwest, and balance the desert landscape with attractive greenery. The Master Plan provides guidance on plantings, and we use xeriscaping around the buildings where possible to conserve water resources and avoid water infiltration.
The metrics that are tracked with Sightlines and the APPA Facilities Performance Indicators (FPI) are performance related. We benchmark costs and FTE per acre, although we have a pretty significant advantage over others with our desert environment and low regional labor costs and compare very favorably with others. Sightlines provides an opinion rating on appearances as part of their services, but in general their ratings are largely anecdotal. High marks from the Chancellor and visitors to the campus are very meaningful to us.
At New Mexico State University (NMSU), we are proud of our campus heritage. In 2005, The Getty Foundation awarded NMSU a Campus Heritage Grant to support a comprehensive survey of historic buildings and landscapes and to develop historic preservation policies and guidelines to direct future conservation work and maintenance activities. The stated goal of the NMSU Heritage Preservation Plan (Vol.1 and 2) was “to identify and discuss the historically significant buildings, structures, landscapes, and objects located on the NMSU campus, which contribute to architectural and cultural heritage of the university.” In addition, the Heritage Preservation Plan is intended to supplement the university’s 2006 Master Plan for the campus and work in concert with the overall goals of that plan.112
Recently (October 2015) a photo of the sun peeking through the trees along a grass lined walkway on NMSU Las Cruces campus was posted on the University Communications’ Facebook page on NMSU New Page. The image was labeled, “It’s a beautiful Thursday morning on the #NMSU campus.” This photo represents the pride the grounds staff, students, graduates, and rest of the NMSU community feel for the campus. The appearance of the buildings and grounds are held in high regards and a top priority for administration, staff and alumni. Over 18,000 views and 850 likes for one beautiful photo speaks volumes.113
The Facilities and Services Custodial Department is another shining star of our organization. At the last measurement, they had a 2% turnover (yes, 2%), even though our starting pay is still in the $8 per hour range. In last year’s APPA Facilities Performance Indicators (FPI), each custodian was responsible for 29,600 gross square feet, which was slightly less than the regional average. Consequently, we surrendered three vacant recycling technician positions for the 5% budget cut in fiscal year 2015‐2016, and now have the custodians picking up the recycling in many facilities. We were able to accomplish this and still maintain service levels through the use of efficient equipment and by starting a weekend custodial group that reduces overtime and keeps our facilities looking their best on the weekends when we have many visitors to campus.
We also have a team building approach to attendance, and from time to time have hit the 100% attendance mark. Excellent attendance from our custodians allows us to stretch our scarce resources.
Our goal is to achieve APPA service level 2, and our tasks are built around this. Some areas require more attention to detail, such as the NMSU Health Center, the Athletics’ locker rooms, and the Corbett Student Union. The custodial staff at Corbett Student Union and Residential Housing was transitioned to Facilities and Services over this past year, primarily for efficiency and standardization.
- Regular meetings with key administrators will be held to ensure that the OFS initiatives are aligned with the NMSU mission and that OFS is meeting the departmental needs.
- Efficiency and performance measures will be developed for the central utility plant and the delivery of utilities.
- A capital outlay process has been implemented, the campus facilities index is calculated from an update to the 2006 New Mexico Condition Assessment, and the FCA will be monitored.
- Regular tours of campus that include an annual light survey are conducted with key administrators.114
- In 2013, the Campus Master Plan was refreshed, a Fire Alarm Master Plan and Electrical Master Plan were started, and a Campus Drainage Remediation Plan was completed.
- Facilities and Services developed a 3‐5 year Building Renewals and Replacements plan.
Facilities and Services receives an annual funding allocation for Building Renewals and Replacements (BRR). This past year, an internal, cross sectional team met bi‐weekly for a year to assess each building system. This led to the creation of what we called a 3‐year plan, although by design the listed needs exceeded the available funding so in some places we also called it a plan for the next five years. We made presentations and prepared a BRR booklet, and the result was so effective that the allocation process for BRR was changed in order to provide approximately $700,000 more in funding support for infrastructure.115
Improvements we have made with central utilities systems are the replacements of many sections of older primary cable in the 24.6 kV electrical distribution system; commissioning of the satellite ice plant; and the installation of a steam turbine at the cogeneration plant. All of these improvements have increased the reliability of what was already a very dependable system. The Ameresco Performance Contract was extremely successful, and accomplished approximately $15 million worth of infrastructure improvements. With the boost from these investments, we will meet our asset stewardship goals for the first time in years.
- The APPA Facilities Performance Indicators will be used for comparisons with peer institutions. Engagement of an outside firm such as Sightlines will be investigated although funding will need to be identified.
- NMSU has completed the FPI and has engaged Sightlines for the last two years. In addition, NMSU Facilities and Services has also used Arcadis to update the 2006 Parson’s NMSU HED Facilities Condition Assessment, and has used all three studies to defend and justify expenditures.
- Facilities and Services installed the Assessment and Needs Analysis.
Facilities and Services benchmarks our funding resources and expenditures through the APPA Facilities Performance Indicators and through Sightlines. The adequacy of funding resources has become an item of significant interest at the levels of the Board of Regents and the New Mexico Higher Education Department, and we have prepared numerous presentations to help detail the campus needs.116
Sightlines prepares a graph we show often that helps with establishing our target need. With the benefit of the Ameresco Performance Contract, we have exceeded our target asset reinvestment amount for the first time in years.117 In addition, the Chancellor continues to support a “no new net square footage” policy and if we can continue to hold that line, we will be able to pretty much arrest the asset deterioration and begin to buy down the deferred maintenance.
- An employee satisfaction survey and frequent contact with employees through meetings and shop visits will be used for the measurement of staff morale.
- Facilities and Services executive administration has worked to increase the number of service awards; the Strickland Award has been awarded to an employee of each unit, and AVPs award was created for the employee who exhibits measureable results, and periodic Monday Morning Memos are sent to all employees and occasionally the campus recognizing the accomplishments of the employees.
- Administration and Finance started an employee managed recognition program in the latter part of 2013.
- The Employee Engagement Survey has numerically measured the staff morale.
We enjoy the support of the top‐level administration in this regard and it does wonders for our morale. Our Chancellor regularly recognizes Facilities and Services when he speaks on campus. NMSU conducted a campus wide employee satisfaction survey, and the Administration and Finance Division also conducted an Employee Engagement Survey using the same survey instrument that we had used the year before. We routinely acknowledge employee accomplishments through pictures and emails to the Chancellor, to the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, and to the Executive Vice President and Provost, and these are nearly always acknowledged with a note of appreciation that we share with the staff.
Publication of our activities in the Chancellor’s and the Administration and Finance weekly report is a regular occurrence and a morale boost for Facilities and Services employees. The Chancellor and the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance are always available to meet with our group. Last year at our annual meeting, Chancellor Carruthers made time to come by and thank everyone.
The 2014 Employee Engagement Survey stated that, “at 72%, your response rate is considered high. High rates mean that employees have an investment in the organization, want to see the organization improve, and generally have a sense of responsibility to the organization. With this level of engagement, employees have high expectations from Leadership to act on the survey results.” That said, we were not satisfied with our scores on the Employee Engagement Survey and have made the initial efforts to “move the needle on the dial” on many of the concerns.
New Mexico State University Facilities and Services sponsors and/or helps with numerous campus beautification events such as Keep State Great, where volunteers come together to spruce up the campus; we recognize Arbor Day with tree planting; and National TRiO Day, where young people are encouraged to complete a day of service.118
As mentioned in numerous places throughout this submission, we take the pulse of the customers in many different ways. We diligently work to set clear expectations, as the budget cuts brought about by declining enrollment have had the predictable adverse impact on some services. Despite declining enrollment, we do have the same square footage and about the same number of buildings, although we also have support from the administration for reducing the total square footage if we can afford to do so.
Despite these challenges, our Customer Service Survey continues to indicate a high level of satisfaction on campus with our services, as do our frequent meetings with campus senior leadership.
- Communications with the campus community will be emphasized at all levels. This communication will take place through formal surveys and r egular informal meetings with the OFS constituency.
- A customer satisfaction survey has been conducted for the last three years and an employee survey was conducted in the spring of 2013.
- The Associate Vice President and University Architect discuss and/or meet with Deans and Community College Presidents annually to review needs.
- Facilities and Services reorganized the building maintenance group to improve responsiveness.
We employ many mechanisms to make sure that we stay connected to the NMSU System needs. All units in Facilities and Services make it a point to engage with the campus community, and we are proud of the role we play in the mission of the institution.
University Architect / Space Management
The University Architect stays in touch with the needs of the education enterprise through communication on various levels. Each year, the University Architect and Associate Vice President for Facilities and Services set up an in‐person meeting with the Deans of the Colleges to review the capital outlay requests for the year. The individual colleges/departments communicate their goals, concerns, and needs during these meetings. Beyond the campus, the university architect participates in professional organization seminars and informative local workshops that reflect current trends, products, and analysis related to higher education. At the individual level, periodicals and recent publications to become knowledgeable on the market sector served are sought out.
Facilities Operations reviews the annual customer satisfaction survey results with the shop employees and implements strategies to make improvements based upon the voice of the customer. We meet with departmental representatives, present upgrades to the facility, and ask for their suggestions. The shops conduct coordination meetings with project stakeholders prior to starting work to ensure minimal impacts to their daily operations. The leadership team also subscribes to CAMPUS HOTLINE to keep abreast of what is happening on campus, and we enter important events into the shared Facility Operations Important Events Calendar so that we can proactively anticipate their needs.
Project Development and Engineering
Project Development and Engineering is in the unique position of listening to their customer’s needs and direction as projects are developed, designed, and constructed. In addition, we attend research rallies and employee council forums. Our Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance each produce newsletters that provide insight into various college or business endeavors, and these allow us to integrate and expand upon those ideas that promote the organization.
Facilities Business Administration supports the university educational mission through the oversight and allocation of financial resources to be used for the delivery of efficient and high quality facilities and grounds services. Facilities financial status reports are provided to university constituents and meetings are held on a regular basis. Financial data, including rates for services, is maintained on the facilities webpage and easily accessible to the campus community. Responsive and efficient customer service is tracked and measured through customer satisfaction surveys.
Environmental Health and Safety
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) engages in a proactive role for planned research that includes facility modification recommendations, research rally presentations, research proposal compliance review, and experimental safety plan reviews. EHS is a regular member on two of the faculty research oversight committees and co‐instructs an academic Laboratory Safety course with the Chemistry Department. EHS develops and maintains licenses, registrations, and programs that allow researchers and instructors to obtain and use restricted hazardous materials.
NMSU Fire Department
The Fire Department participates in weekly meetings with the Activities Review Committee to ensure that student sponsored events are safe, fun, and enjoyable, and the department serves in an advisory capacity to the Doña Ana Community College for both the Fire Science Program and Law Enforcement Program. The Fire Department is a participating member of the Conduct Assessment/Response and Education (CARE) committee. This committee monitors behaviors of concern involving students, employees and visitors on NMSU campuses across New Mexico.