Senior leadership at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Office of Facilities (Facilities) effectively sets direction and establishes a strong customer focus, crystal clear and highly visible common values, with high expectations well-aligned with the institutional mission, vision, and core values. Like the institutional leadership team, UTSA Facilities leaders guide the Facilities organization toward excellence by focusing on becoming a “World-Class” Facilities organization through strategic improvement in all areas. This includes the seven National Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award, APPA Facility Management Evaluation Program (FMEP) and APPA Award for Excellence criteria, in addition to high achievement in other areas, including sustainability, education, collaboration, and student engagement, among others. UTSA Facilities leaders continuously inspire employees and have created a positive environment that attracts top-notch staff in a highly competitive facility management market. Facilities leaders perceive themselves as educators, change agents, and leaders in Facility Management Excellence.
1.1 Leadership Roles and Responsibilities are clearly defined: Yes. UTSA Facilities is a “full-service” facility management organization, structured, staffed and funded to plan, provide, manage, maintain and operate all facilities and infrastructure at the Institution’s four campus locations. Facilities’ lean functional organizational structure is designed to maximize the effectiveness of services provided to the University community. Four senior leaders report directly to the Associate Vice President (AVP) for Facilities who serves as the Chief Facilities Officer (CFO) and directly reports to the Vice President for Business Affairs (VPBA), a senior member of the UTSA President’s cabinet, referred to locally as Campus Management and Operations (CMO). All AVP for Facilities’ direct reports and their respective organizations have clearly defined roles and responsibilities:
Facility Planning and Development is led by the University Architect, who serves as the department director, responsible for all facility planning and development efforts for the institution. This includes development, management and updating of the Campus Master Plan and supporting plans including the Utility Master Plan, Environmental Master Plan, and the planned Landscape Master Plan. The director has recently been assigned responsibility for Campus Space Management, and has been tasked with the development of a new space and development advisory board, a multi-departmental standing committee tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations on space assignment and use and institutional development consistent with the Campus Master Plan. This new advisory board will replace the existing Master Plan Management Council. The director also oversees and manages the development of the long range capital improvement program, the annual capital renewal and deferred maintenance program, as well as the facility condition assessment program, among other planning efforts. The director leads an intradepartmental committee that scores potential projects and assigns recommended priorities that are presented to the VPBA for approval and funding consideration.
Engineering and Project Management is led by the Assistant Vice President for Engineering and Project Management, who oversees the execution of design and construction and provides project management support services for capital improvement projects, typically managed for UTSA by the University of Texas (UT) System Office of Facility Planning and Construction (OFPC), as well as, institutionally managed construction, renovation, repair and maintenance projects. The Assistant VP is also responsible for all aspects of the management and improvement of the institutional utility infrastructure, energy management and utility analysis and billing.
Operations and Maintenance is led by the Assistant Vice President for Maintenance and Operations, who is responsible for all operations and maintenance activities on campus, including a highly effective preventive maintenance program, zonal maintenance performed by skilled construction trades, and a combination of in-house and contracted housekeeping and grounds maintenance. The Department’s Utility Operations Division provides 24-hour staffing and emergency first response for emergent facilities issues.
Business and Customer Services is led by the Director of Business and Customer Services and provides a wide range of customer support services as well as internal support for facilities business operations. These services include a revitalized Customer Services area, Work Control, Administration, Communications, Financial Management, Automation and Information Technology, Quality Assurance and Material Management.
1.2 Leadership System is understood by and communicated among all levels. The leadership system includes mechanisms for the leaders to conduct self-examination, receive feedback, and make improvements: Yes. The UTSA Office of Facilities has published its formal organizational structure on the Facilities website. Additionally, internal and external stakeholders are made aware of the Facilities organizational structure and principal points of contact through attendance at regularly scheduled stakeholder meetings, and informally through projects and other service interactions with Facilities team members.
The UTSA Facilities website is available to all internal and external stakeholders and includes a published Facilities strategic plan complete with vision, mission, and core values statements. Each Facilities department has its own individualized information about its roles and responsibilities. All regular full-time equivalent (FTE) positions have documented job/position descriptions, and job families have been established for all trades and functions with multiple employees assigned.
From 2005 through 2011, UTSA Facilities participated in the Vice President for Business Affairs biennial Survey of Employee Engagement (SEE, formerly called the Survey of Organizational Excellence (SOE)), which helped lay the foundation for excellence in the organization. The SEE provided consolidated and individual department level employee satisfaction feedback results to Facilities leadership on a wide range of constructs, including: Supervisory Effectiveness, Fairness, Team Effectiveness, Diversity, Fair Pay, Physical Environment, Benefits, Employee Development, Change Oriented, Goal Oriented, Holographic, Strategic, Quality, Internal Communication, Availability of Information, External Communication, Job Satisfaction, Time and Stress, Burn-out, and Empowerment.
Overall Facilities departmental scores improved for each of the three surveys conducted from 2007 through 2011, as a direct result of formal action plans, developed in cooperation with employees, which addressed the most significant concerns of employees. This important survey was suspended in recent years by the VPBA, due to implementation of UT System-wide enterprise software and the recent retirement of the long-time VPBA. However, the new Vice President has expressed an interest in re-initiating the surveys, which provide invaluable information on employee satisfaction levels within Business Affairs, including Facilities.
The AVP for Facilities and all direct reports conduct regularly scheduled staff meetings within their areas of responsibility. A Facilities “All Staff Meeting” is typically held quarterly and major Facilities projects, initiatives and accomplishments are reviewed and employees are recognized for outstanding service. Newly hired employees are introduced, internal promotions and employee awards are celebrated and guest speakers provide information and training presentations for staff. Employees are also afforded additional opportunities to provide input to Departmental leadership at “All Staff” meetings.
All employees receive regular evaluations from their supervisors and have the opportunity to provide feedback as a part of this process. The Facilities department has regular recurring scheduled meetings within specific departments and for the entire Facilities organization where operational aspects are discussed and employees are provided opportunities to provide input and improvement recommendations.
1.3 The organization has clearly aligned its mission, vision, and values statements with those of the Campus. Regularly communicates with employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders: Yes. UTSA Facilities has taken extraordinary care to align the Facilities Strategic Plan with that of the institution! In 2006, UTSA’s President and Executive Leadership Council (ELC), including the AVP for Facilities, met off-site for the first UTSA Strategic Planning Retreat that resulted in the development of the UTSA strategic plan, A Shared Vision; UTSA 2016, The plan identifies five primary initiatives, each with associated goals that feature as foundational themes the promotion of diversity, globalization, and transformative leadership. An implementation plan for the UTSA Strategic Plan was approved in December 2007. A significant feature of the implementation plan was the establishment of strategies and tactics to be followed to achieve specific goals supporting strategic initiatives. Each tactic was assigned performance metrics, responsible units, resources, and a schedule for achievement.
Concurrent with this work, the Vice President for Business Affairs (VPBA), with involvement from Facilities senior staff, began developing the Business Affairs Strategic Plan; Business Affairs 2016, which was also approved in December 2007.
Similarly, the AVP for Facilities held a strategic planning retreat with senior Facilities managers and volunteer Facilities employees to begin development of the Facilities Strategic Plan. The discussions included analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) and discussions of the Facilities mission, vision, goals, and values. Volunteer Facilities staff served on a number of strategic planning committees to finalize development of the Facilities Strategic Plan. Teams developed a “draft” mission statement, vision statement, Facilities goals, and core values that were ultimately approved by the Facilities leadership Team.
Upon approval of the Facilities Strategic Plan framework, Facilities staff methodically reviewed each of the UTSA and VPBA Strategic Initiatives and Tactics, as well as existing Facilities goals, and established Facilities Strategic Goals aligned with the higher level strategic initiatives. These goals were coded to correspond with appropriate UTSA strategic initiatives and tactics and VPBA strategic plan goals. Action items were developed to support initiatives, tactics and Business Affairs goals. Facilities summarized the completed Facilities Strategic Plan in a tri-fold pamphlet and provided copies of the strategic plan pamphlet to all Facilities employees.
In 2015, UTSA has embarked on a strategic plan update that is expected to be completed by the end of calendar year 2015. Once the Institutional Strategic Plan; Blueprint 2020 is complete and the Business Affairs Division has completed its Strategic Plan, the Office of Facilities will update its Facilities Strategic Plan using an alignment process similar to that conducted with the last Institutional Strategic Plan, except that the new Facilities Strategic Plan will be developed using a balanced scorecard approach as recommended by the 2012 APPA FMEP.
1.4 Facilities management leaders spend time on a regular basis with their customers and front-line staff: Yes. Facilities senior leadership has been effective in establishing communication by developing formal customer service guidelines and written communication/notification guidelines for emergency and non-emergency work. Facilities staff members facilitate several standing meetings whose primary purpose is to inform key customers and communicate the status of projects and other Facilities related activities.
Facilities senior leadership promotes customer and stakeholder feedback by conducting monthly surveys of customer satisfaction on completed work orders and by surveying customers at the end of all institutional projects. Additionally, Facilities has developed a baseline customer satisfaction survey to measure satisfaction levels of faculty and staff stakeholders on general Facilities services. Customer Services maintains a weekly log of customer concerns and meets individually with customers to assure their concerns are resolved satisfactorily. Facilities has established an automated electronic work request process and held town halls and developed a formal training program to communicate specifics of the work request process to customers.
Facilities senior leadership reinforce the role of front-line staff by providing training in Facilities Customer Service guidelines and formal training in Business Affairs purpose and guiding principles. Facilities has also collaborated with the Human Resources (HR) Department to establish a formal supervisory curriculum, which all Facilities supervisors are required to complete to ensure they have the tools to grow and lead successfully at the University. In an effort to enhance customer service skills for key staff engaged with customers, Facilities has trained 60 employees in the highly regarded Dale Carnegie Customer Focused training program.
In addition to the Facilities organizational structure, strategic plan and departmental resource information, Facilities also publishes The Campus Master Plan and other facility project and planning activities on the University website making this information available to the public.
1.5 Performance measures at each level of the organization are clearly defined: Yes. UTSA Facilities is a regional and national leader in benchmarking and key performance indicator (KPI) management as evidenced by presentations to the 2014 University Leadership Summit, 2014 & 2015 Big 12 and Friends, 2015 SRAPPA Conference and multiple University of Texas System Facilities Conferences. Key Performance Indicator measurement and reporting and advancement toward “World Class” facilities management were common themes of these presentations. Facilities Performance Metrics are described in greater detail in Sections 4.0: Information and Analysis and 7.0: Performance Results.
1.6 Senior leaders establish and reinforce an environment where shared values support self-direction, innovation, and decentralized decision-making: Yes. Senior Business Affairs leadership, including the AVP for Facilities, have established a culture of excellence by developing the VPBA brand “Business Affairs – Your Partner for Successful Solutions” and a brand promise: “We are committed to helping you achieve your goals through excellence in service – every person, every day, every job”. To achieve and sustain cultural excellence, the Business Affairs organization, and UTSA Facilities, established a purpose: “We Make Success Happen!” and a set of Guiding Principles with mandatory training for all staff. The guiding principles are:
- We respect and care for each other
- We partner to deliver excellent service
- We value and empower people
- We create positive change
- We do the right thing
During job interviews, candidates for Business Affairs and Facilities positions respond to questions related to the above guiding principles. UTSA Facilities provides monthly and quarterly employee awards to outstanding individuals and teams as part of its “Celebrating Facility Excellence” and “Estrella” (“Star”) program.
1.7 Informed of current trends and practices in the industry: Yes. Facilities Leadership encourages and provides funding for employees to obtain and maintain professional and trade credentials and for staff to attend regional and national trade conferences, technical training, and HR sponsored training programs. With a large number of Spanish-only speaking employees, particularly in housekeeping and grounds areas, Facilities has provided English-Spanish computer training, and Rosetta Stone language learning in both Spanish and English. Facilities employees also complete annual compliance and conflict of interest training which reviews institutional policies and procedures. This is also true of customer service training, supervisory training, discrimination/sexual harassment training and other mandatory training programs.
1.8 A succession plan is in place to ensure the continuity of leadership: No and Yes. As a public institution and agency of the State of Texas, all leadership positions must be competitively hired, so it is not possible to establish formal succession plans for all key staff positions. However, UTSA Facilities has worked closely with the HR Department to evaluate the job families, grades and salaries of all employees, and established a grade structure that provides very clear apparent lines of succession in each area. Promising staff members serve as interim leaders when the incumbents are out of the office to gain leadership experience, and promising mid-level managers have been selected to attend SACUBO’s College Business Management Institute (CBMI) and the local leadership program; “Leadership UTSA” to develop enhanced leadership skills.
2.0 Strategic and Operational Planning
The UTSA Facilities Department is a leader in strategic and operational planning, through its meticulous strategic planning process and alignment with organizational goals, its establishment and effective use of objective criteria for assigning priorities to capital renewal and deferred maintenance projects, and its strong customer focus.
2.1 A strategic plan exists that includes the goals and objectives of the department: Yes. As described in Section 1.3 UTSA Facilities followed an extraordinary process to establish its Facilities Strategic Plan with goals and objectives closely aligned with those of the Business Affairs Division and the Institution. This was further supported by the October 2012 APPA FMEP that concluded; “Facilities Management has a fully developed and aligned strategic plan. The plan was developed as a subset to both the institutional plan A Share Vision 2016 and the Vice President for Business Affairs Plan 2007-2016…. All components are defined in excellent detail with each component in close alignment with both parent plans….Strategic goals are specific, measureable, assigned, reportable, and time sensitive. The goals match with the institution’s higher-level goals and are endorsed by the campus administration. The plan demonstrates best practices from an alignment and tracking perspective.”
2.2 The strategic plan was developed with participation from internal and external stakeholders, approved by the administration and effectively communicated: Yes. Section 1.3 describes the UTSA Facilities strategic plan development with extensive involvement by internal stakeholders, and alignment with the Business Affairs and institutional strategic plans developed by external customer stakeholders. Facilities developed the strategic plan through stakeholder meetings that engaged all areas of the organization. The plan was reviewed for alignment with the Business Affairs Division and University strategic plans and then reviewed and approved by the Vice President for Business Affairs. Upon approval, the plan was summarized, printed and distributed to all Facilities employees in pamphlet form.
2.3 Customer needs and expectations serve as major drivers for setting strategic direction: Yes. By aligning the strategic plan with institutional plans, UTSA Facilities faithfully supports University Administration, Business Affairs, and external customer needs and expectations, and executes projects and programs to achieve institutional goals and objectives. Additionally, Facilities senior staff meets regularly with major customers including Research, Business Affairs, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Athletics, Environment, Health, Safety, and Risk Management (EHS&RM) and with other customers to discuss major projects or facility needs.
2.4 Goals and key performance measures are understood by all and periodically reviewed:
Yes. Since 2008, UTSA Facilities has conducted monthly operations reviews of key performance indicators (KPIs). The data comes from TMA (Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)) the UTSA accounting system, customer surveys and other data sources. Key Facilities staff from all functional areas attend the monthly review meetings. Metrics are designed to support Facilities’ strategic objectives, which, as previously reported, are closely aligned with the divisional and institutional strategic plans. UTSA Facilities has presented its Operational Review program at the October 2015 Southeast Region APPA (SRAPPA), recent Big 12 & Friends, University of Texas System Facilities, and University Leadership Summit Conferences, and the materials were well received by attendees.
2.5 Performance measures at each level of the organization are used to meet goals: Yes. UTSA Facilities Strategic and Operational Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) discussed in monthly operations meetings, measure performance of all principal functional areas. The results are graduated to describe the performance at various levels within the organization. For example, preventive maintenance schedule compliance is tracked and reported for the entire organization and for campus zones, Downtown Campus Facilities, and vehicle maintenance.
2.6 A budget is developed with input from staff that reflects historic expenditures, an analysis of needs, effective allocation of available resources to support the organization’ goals and objectives, and seeks new and innovative measures to leverage resources: Yes. The UTSA Financial Affairs Department and Vice President for Business Affairs have established formal budget processes that allow for input on permanent and one-time budgeted needs from the various departments. Facilities closely tracks annual budget expenditures and has a process to reinvest forecast budget savings to provide for necessary un-budgeted items such as computer and vehicle replacement, and necessary training, supplies and equipment.
Facilities budgets are generally flat from year to year, except that there is typically a request for a limited number of additional permanent and one-time funding items. These include operational, maintenance, staffing, and, to a lesser extent, capital line items. The Facilities annual budget development includes input from all staffing levels that are vetted within each department and ultimately submitted for consideration by the senior executive team. Annual budget savings typically carry over from year to year to help address one-time operational needs.
The UTSA Facilities capital project budget process begins with a needs analysis in which Facilities Planning and Development meets with the customer/client/user (client) to identify the client needs. The client is typically a department within the University such as an academic department, Research, Housing, Campus Recreation, Athletics or an administrative department. At minimum the product of this process is a summary of space requirements and identification of significant program requirements and how they relate to standard system needs. In addition to the client, other university staff potentially affected by the proposed project are also provided an opportunity for input regarding needs to determine project scope and budget. These include: EHS&RM, Campus Police, Office of Information Technology (OIT), Transportation and Facilities Operations and Maintenance (O&M) including housekeeping and grounds. Additionally, proposed projects are reviewed with the university utilities engineer to determine utilities upgrades that may be required by the project and the related costs that should be included in the project budget, including upgrades to the central plant. Similarly, proposed projects are reviewed by the university environmental planner to determine water quality storm water upgrades that may be required by the project and the related costs are included in the project budget. Consideration is also given to other potential future work in the affected area, required upgrades, and costs associated with these upgrades.
Capital project budgets are also developed based upon historical expenditures. There are three excellent sources for this information: UT System Office of Facilities Planning and Construction, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the University of Texas at San Antonio. The University of Texas System publishes the “OFPC Historical Project Cost Information” which provides cost data for construction costs and total project costs by project type. It also lists cost information related to specific delivery methods such as preconstruction services for CM at Risk, FF&E, design fees, testing fees, and location modifiers. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board publishes annually the “The Higher Education Coordinating Board Project Construction Cost Analysis” which lists the average cost per square foot plus one standard deviation for both new construction and repair and renovation projects. Finally, UTSA Facilities Planning and Development maintains a data base of historical project costs for small projects that occur repeatedly such as sidewalk and office renovation projects.
Every project provides an opportunity to consider innovative measures to leverage resources. These vary from project to project and are determined on a case-by-case basis. In a recent example, two projects; a small classroom building and an administrative office building, were combined into a single project when it was determined that increased efficiencies and economies of scale would allow for increased value for the University. This project was completed in the past year, and has provided increased classroom space, and operational efficiencies by returning administrative offices previously housed off-campus to the Main Campus, saving more than $1.3M per year in lease payments alone.
2.7 Standards have been defined for overall operational performance, built environment, and landscape: Yes. UTSA Facilities has established Design and Construction Standards to assure high quality development and construction and maintainability of the built environment. The campus master plan includes development standards, including landscaping treatments, and the institution has established a campus development and space management advisory board, chaired by the University Architect to review and provide recommendations on all planned campus civic structure development and changes in space use. Facilities has recently added a landscape architect position, and is in planning to complete a University Landscape Master Plan.
2.8 A campus master plan in place, current and utilized for decision making: Yes.
The UTSA Campus Master Plan, completed in 2009 and updated in 2014, addresses growth management and the quality of the physical environment. It provides a long-range strategic framework for development directed toward improving campus quality of life. The Campus Master Plan is the physical reflection of the University’s mission. It includes a vision, a plan and a process. The Campus Master Plan establishes the campus civic structure – the interconnected arrangement of the campus’s primary open spaces – and the framework to guide the placement and design of future buildings. The Campus Master Plan is updated and reviewed and approved on a 5-year periodic basis by the University of Texas System Board of Regents (BOR). UTSA’s Master Plan was updated and received BOR Approval in August 2014. The Campus Master Plan is not a capital plan. The Capital Plan is provided for through the capital planning process, established by the Campus Master Plan and is defined elsewhere under 2.10.
A Utilities Master Plan was completed for the Main Campus in 2012. This plan is based on the 2009 Campus Master Plan. Systems are evaluated with recommendations to accommodate the future growth of the thermal energy plants along with their distribution systems which provide chilled water, steam, and heating hot water to campus buildings. The primary electrical system and natural gas system are also included in this plan. Analyses of renewable energy alternatives and combined heat and power options are provided. A separate Water and Sanitary Sewer Study was completed in 2011, also based on the 2009 Campus Master Plan, to address future growth.
Upon identification of needs and funding sources by users for their respective areas, users submit a request for pre-project planning services to Facilities Planning and Development. Planning and Development works with users to develop an appropriate site within the context of the Campus Master Plan, a summary of space requirements, required infrastructure improvements, a project schedule, and an opinion of probable cost. To the extent necessary, modifications may be made to the Campus Master Plan resulting in a Campus District Plan. Campus District Plans are reviewed by the University’s standing committee on campus space and development. Proposed projects are also reviewed by the CMO (Campus Management and Operations), which includes the president and his cabinet, for conformance with the institutional strategic plan. After these reviews by the University to confirm conformance with the University strategic and campus master plans the project is submitted to the UT System Board of Regents for approval for placement on the Institution’s Capital Improvement Plan. During the project planning process, the project plan is reviewed by appropriate standing committees at major project milestones: Schematic Design and Design Development as well as during the development of Construction Documents and Construction as circumstances require to confirm master plan conformance.
The Campus Master Plan includes Sustainability Guidelines. The Board of Regents requires that a business plan be provided for each capital project prior to placement on the Capital Improvement Plan. The business plan requires inclusion of the total cost of ownership including projections for annual maintenance, housekeeping and energy costs as well as total project cost.
The campus master plan does not address facilities renewal. However, facilities renewal is addressed through the Facilities Renewal Resource Model (FRRM), which is a database that identifies major building systems and expected life cycle renewal costs. This system, which is now owned and operated by Sightlines, is used in the UTSA Facilities capital renewal and deferred maintenance plan to help identify facility renewal requirements.
The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) details the U. T. System’s long–range plan to preserve and enhance facility assets. The CIP is a six–year projection of major new construction and repair and rehabilitation projects to be implemented and funded from component and System–wide revenue sources. Major new construction and repair and rehabilitation projects are defined in the Regents’ Rules and Regulations as those with a total project cost of $10,000,000 or more. Projects that are architecturally or historically significant are also identified as major projects regardless of cost. At the request of the new UT System Chancellor, UTSA has provided a proposed but unfunded 5-year Capital Improvement Plan, in anticipation of obtaining future UT System project funding.
2.9 The operational units participate in the development of the construction program and are active participants in the acceptance of completed projects: Yes. Facilities operations and maintenance staff are involved in planning, design, and construction of capital and institutionally managed projects, and they participate in campus partnering sessions, design reviews, construction inspections, and provide support to projects as needed. Operational staff are integrated into the project team, and are actively involved in acceptance of all projects.
Projects must be approved by an executive vice president prior to submitting a work request to Facilities. For projects that affect space or function, the project must be approved by the Office of Space Management prior to submitting the request to Facilities. Projects must be fully funded prior to execution of purchase orders or contracts. Only the Vice President for Business Affairs or her delegate is authorized to execute project related contracts. For capital projects, the building program is reviewed by a development and space planning advisory board at major milestones and approved by Senior Executive Leadership including the President prior to submittal to the Board of Regents for approval and placement on the CIP. For institutionally-managed projects, Facilities develops a written Work Plan and Cost Estimate that detail the scope, assumptions, and costs associated with the project; both documents are signed by the end users and other stakeholders prior to commencement of design. All stakeholders in each project have an opportunity to review the project at each design milestone, and are also invited to weekly or bi-weekly construction meetings. A formal, written Closeout Checklist ensures that all operational units receive required final documents.
2.10 Strategies and processes are in place to ensure continuity of functions in the event of staff turnover or other disruption: Yes. The UTSA Office of Business Continuity and Emergency Management coordinates institutional Business Continuity and Emergency Management functions. UTSA Facilities has developed and published both emergency management and business continuity plans that are incorporated into the Institutional Business Continuity Plan.
UTSA Facilities has worked closely with HR to establish a grade structure and job families/career paths that clearly indicate anticipated staff succession. Several functional areas have processes in place to cross-train staff, and the organization actively promotes training to assure staff are prepared to assume responsibility as vacancies occur. The institution utilizes best value method for selecting contractors. Contractors are required to purchase payment bonds and performance bonds according to state regulations.
2.11 Emergency Response Plans are in place, current, and communicated to Facilities employees and the campus community as required: Yes. The University’s Business Continuity and Emergency Management Department conducts periodic emergency management drills and training sessions and has an automated messaging system to notify staff, faculty and students as well as a campus alerts website. The Environmental Health Safety & Risk Management (EHS&RM) department has a HAZMAT response team. UTSA Facilities participates in the emergency response team exercises. The Facilities emergency plans were coordinated with institutional plans and have been updated as part of the development of the institutional business continuity plan. UTSA Facilities maintains on-call trades and an emergency calling tree process to contact its staff.
3.0 Customer Focus
The UTSA Facilities department is dedicated to providing outstanding customer service to all University internal and external clients and stakeholders. During the nearly three years that have passed since completion of the APPA FMEP, which provided excellent recommendations for enhancing the UTSA Facilities’ customer focus, senior Facilities leadership has made customer service an area of emphasis for the entire Department. The Department has been restructured to consolidate all Customer Service functions into a one-stop Facility Customer Services Center, and has implemented a comprehensive customer focused service improvement initiative, designed to provide staff with the resources and information they need to provide the highest level of customer service possible.
3.1 Surveys, tools, and other methods are used to identify customer requirements, expectations, and satisfaction levels: Yes. UTSA Facilities senior leadership meets regularly with major Facilities customers at standing monthly meetings to discuss projects, operational issues and special events needs. Additionally, Facilities staff meets with individual departments on specific project needs and obtains input from auxiliary and fee-funded customers during the development of annual service level agreements. Additional customer needs and expectations are obtained from customers through work requests and through work order, and project customer satisfaction surveys. The Department has also developed a Baseline Customer Satisfaction Survey to assess general external customer satisfaction with Facilities services not necessarily related to projects and work orders. These include occupant comfort, cleanliness of buildings, reliability of building systems, staff responsiveness, value, and, overall Facilities performance.
The UTSA Facilities Organization is structured to provide effective interaction with customers to obtain their work requests using both automated and personal communication methods. Facilities provides points of contact to discuss project needs, prepare detailed formal work plans and cost estimates, manage design and construction, and provide high quality operations and maintenance trades support; as well as personal follow up on customer concerns through customer services representatives.
The newly re-structured Facilities Business and Customer Services Department has established a consolidated Facilities Services Center to provide a “one-stop” shop to directly and personally assist customers with Facilities issues.
Departmental success is measured via periodic customer satisfaction surveys as well as through regular reviews of key performance indicators (KPIs) at monthly and annual Operations Review meetings. These meetings review budget status, customer satisfaction, customer comments, work order schedule compliance, and other performance factors, including responses to customer concerns and timeliness of completion of requested work.
3.2 The roles, responsibilities, and services provided by the Facilities department are well defined, communicated, and understood within the department and by all communities served: Yes. In order to address customer concerns expressed during the 2012 APPA FMEP relating to confusion regarding the role of the director of customer services, UTSA Facilities has created a simplified organizational structure assigned to the newly established Facilities Business and Customer Services Department, and consolidated the various direct customer serving functional areas of administration, work control, and communications & customer representative and implemented a comprehensive customer focused improvement initiative with numerous programs and processes that are designed to improve the understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the customer service organization and to strengthen interactions between Facilities and its customers.
3.3 Levels of service are set to exceed customer expectations and are defined in terms that can be understood by the administration, building users, and facilities staff: Yes. UTSA Facilities has a dedicated customer service organization that works with all levels of Facilities and with Facilities’ customers to ensure that all customer concerns and/or issues are appropriately addressed, and that customers receive the very best customer service and support possible.
The Facilities zonal maintenance organization has been developed to address customer specific needs. Facilities operations and maintenance are divided into Education and General (E&G), Research, and Auxiliary zones with dedicated trades and management staff assigned to support and match our customers’ organizational structures. Customers get to know their zone manager and trades staff, building positive trusting relationships. Our customers have expressed great support for the zonal maintenance approach.
Engineering and Project Management executes a project work plan document with customer departments that fully defines a subject project, project assumptions and user requirements. This is used as a tool to better define and manage customer expectations.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are in place between the Office of Facilities and all major reimbursable customers. SLAs are reviewed annually with customers, and deficiencies are addressed before SLAs are finalized.
The Facilities website provides customers with policies and procedures relating to services provided and “how to” request Facilities support, and obtain updates on requested work.
The Facilities website also provides an on-line tool for customers to obtain billing estimates in advance of their requested events. These estimates are firmly established once customers approve the cost estimate. This mechanism has essentially eliminated customer concerns relating to event billing charges. Facilities managers have been empowered to make billing adjustments up to $500 for event concerns resulting from facilities errors or omissions.
The Office of Facilities has established very clear work order priorities with associated target response times, and closely monitors response time compliance rates at monthly Operations Review meetings.
As an enhancement to inform external customers, Facilities has developed a Facilities Service Guide that describes Facilities responsibilities, services provided, information on “how to” request service, and key contact information. The Facilities Service Guide has been published in pamphlet form and is passed out to customers at external stakeholder meetings, town hall meetings and at presentations provided to campus customers.
3.4 The communities served know how to obtain, monitor progress, and evaluate the services offered: Yes. UTSA Facilities developed a customized web-based electronic work request system (iService Desk) that allows customers to request service and monitor the progress of their work orders. Prior to implementation of the iService Desk, Facilities conducted several town hall meetings with customers to obtain assistance in streamlining the work request process. The resulting electronic work request system has greatly improved customer access and understanding of the work request process. Facilities work control staff developed a simple tutorial program which was presented to customers at several town hall meetings. They have also collaborated with Human Resources (HR) Training staff to develop a formal HR class on how to use the iService Desk work request system.
Follow-up Customer-Focused Town Hall meetings provide valuable review and reinforcement of customer procedures for requesting and monitoring Facilities work. As described above, the new Facilities Service Guide provides helpful information for customers on Facilities services and contact procedures.
A single end-user Point of Contact (POC) is established for each project (documented in a formal Project Work Plan), and the customer is provided a single Facilities project point of contact (project coordinator). At the conclusion of each project, Facilities sends a Customer Survey to the POC. If there is no response within one month, a second request is made to obtain feedback from the customer POC. Survey results are assembled by Facilities administrative staff and reported to Facilities leadership. Survey results are used in annual project management performance evaluations. These discussions continually improve the service orientation of project managers resulting in improved customer service.
For operations and maintenance work orders, Facilities sends customer satisfaction surveys to external customers randomly on 20% of completed work orders each month. Facilities has also developed a baseline customer satisfaction survey that will regularly provide input from external customers on general Facilities’ services. Facilities has also established a customer concern tracking report to monitor customer concerns and feedback and provide personal contact to customers to address their concerns.
3.5 Customer feedback is used to build positive relationships, drive processes, and effect improvements: Yes. UTSA Facilities reviews the results of customer satisfaction surveys at regular monthly and annual Operations Review meetings with key staff, and improvements are initiated as necessary. Additional avenues to obtain customer feedback have been through regularly scheduled meetings with major customers and service level agreement negotiations, where customers often request service improvements. Many of the improvements made in recent years to Facilities processes, including the electronic work request system (iService Desk), Service Level Agreements, Project Management Charter, detailed formal project cost estimates, and event cost estimates, among many others, originated from customer feedback.
The Office of Facilities uses TMA, our computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), to track all trouble calls and customer requests. Frequent trouble calls or problematic issues are investigated, analyzed, and corrective action plans developed as necessary. An example of this was a recent elevator upgrade program that effectively addressed frequent elevator failures, and resulted in reduced costs through competitive procurement of a new elevator maintenance contract.
In addition to the above, Facilities Customer Services tracks specific customer concerns, and reports them to Facilities leadership and responsible managers on a weekly basis. Customer services representatives meet personally with customers to assure concerns are well understood and effectively addressed.
Customer comments on monthly work order customer satisfaction surveys and completed project surveys provide strong evidence that front-line staff do an excellent job communicating with Facilities customers. Customer survey results are reviewed by Facilities leadership regularly and used to initiate corrective action to improve performance.
3.6 Campus users have a clear understanding and positive view of the services provided by the facilities organization: Yes and no. Facilities customers generally have a clear understanding of the services Facilities provides through their interactions with senior Facilities staff at regularly scheduled standing meetings with major customers, and through interactions with Facilities Work Control, skilled trades and Customer Service personnel. Facilities Leadership and staff have worked hard to increase the understanding through town hall meetings scheduled to explain the electronic work request system, the event services estimating process and obtain customer feedback. UTSA Facilities will be scheduling additional town hall meetings to assure all customers are aware of the new one-stop Facilities Services Center and obtain a better understanding of customer issues, and solicit ideas for improving our services.
As described in section 3.3 above, Facilities has developed a Facilities Service Guide that describes Facilities responsibilities, services provided, information on how to request service, and key contact information. The Facilities Service Guide has been published in pamphlet form and is passed out to customers at external stakeholder meetings, town hall meetings and at presentations provided to campus customers.
Not surprisingly, there remain some Facilities customers who do not have a positive view of Facilities services. Some have expressed concerns relating to the high cost of construction services, and how long it takes for Facilities to complete projects. To address customer concerns about the high cost of Facilities projects, senior Facilities leadership has met with major external stakeholder groups and provided information on why costs are higher than expected by some. This same information is posted on the Facilities web site.
In 2015, Facilities implemented a “Best Practice” initiative to reduce costs and time associated with new construction projects by successfully proposing an environmental master plan update that was recently approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Previously, the UTSA main campus was divided into several watersheds that were treated as separate and distinct from one another, requiring expensive Water Pollution Abatement Plan (WPAP) updates and often requiring installation of costly new facilities to treat storm water runoff, each time a project would require installation of new impervious cover. This required an approximate $10,000 application fee and TCEQ could take as much as 90 days to grant approval. The recently approved Environmental Master Plan update treats the UTSA Main campus as a single watershed, allowing the sharing of water treatment credits, which have been calculated to be sufficient to cover the entire UTSA Main Campus Master Plan build-out. This has resulted in elimination of the costly TCEQ application fee and now only requires that UTSA provide 30 days’ notice before constructing additional impervious cover. Predictably, customers are pleased that their project costs will be lower and project schedules will be shorter as a result of this initiative.
In another effort to establish more positive views of Facilities’ services, the department has invested in Dale Carnegie Customer focused training. Two classes with a total of 60 of the approximately 250 (24%) Facilities employees, including leaders, managers, supervisors, project coordinators, and direct customer serving staff have attended and completed the award winning training program and Facilities leadership is preparing to host a third class of 30 employees. Customers and colleagues throughout the institution have noticed the great positive impact the training has had on Facilities staff, and campus customers have asked to participate or have their staff members participate in the next training session we hold.
In addition to the above initiatives, Facilities has established a quality assurance team to monitor both in-house and contracted housekeeping and grounds maintenance performance, to assure consistent delivery of excellent service in these areas. As the quality assurance program matures, it will ultimately be expanded to other areas of Facilities performance management.
4.0 Information and Analysis
UTSA senior leadership has long stressed the importance of using information and analysis to inform decision-making and track progress in achieving departmental and institutional goals. Since 2008, the Department’s monthly Operations Review Meeting has provided senior Facilities leadership and managers in all functional areas an opportunity to discuss performance data critical to departmental success, and to have a dialogue that includes celebration of success, and discussion of potential improvement opportunities. UTSA Facilities is seen as a regional and national leader in using performance metrics to drive improvements and to achieve excellence in facility management. National and Regional presentations to the 2014 University Leadership Summit, 2014 & 2015 Big 12 and Friends, 2015 SRAPPA, and 2014 University of Texas Facilities Conference are evidence of UTSA Facilities’ mastery of and reliance on performance metrics in monitoring and improving performance.
4.1 A systematic process is in place for identifying and prioritizing performance indicators, comparative information, and benchmarking studies for the most critical areas: Yes. UTSA Facilities participates in annual benchmarking surveys from APPA, and uses benchmarks from the University of Texas System, and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, along with UTSA specific facility management key performance indicators to gauge progress and establish departmental goals.
In 2008, the AVP for Facilities established monthly operations review meetings that report performance metrics and key performance measures. These meetings are attended by key departmental staff from all Facilities functional areas, and have recently been expanded to include participation by Environmental Health Safety and Risk Management and Space Management Office staff. The data comes from TMA (CMMS), the institutional accounting system, and other campus information systems, and from customer surveys. Facilities has created several standing reports that are used to consistently report performance factors at monthly operations review meetings. Ad hoc reports on specific critical issues are developed and discussed as necessary. In a recent example, elevator performance concerns at two newer facilities were evaluated using “trouble-call” data from TMA, which was analyzed by our plant engineer, and led to development of corrective action plans that have effectively addressed the concerns and significantly improved elevator performance.
Facilities also uses the operations review meeting to track progress on critical programs and projects, such as the elimination of State Fire Marshal Office inspection deficiencies, elimination of “yellow tag” fire sprinkler system deficiencies, repair of malfunctioning emergency phones, and to drive facility signage and space inventory improvements, improve workers’ compensation injury reports and claim results, and track performance of other facility systems considered essential to the success of the organization.
Facilities performance metrics include financial expenditure performance to budget, projected year-end financial results, customer satisfaction, preventive and corrective maintenance schedule compliance, aging of work orders, fleet maintenance, and energy efficiency and utilization among other areas of interest.
4.2 Benchmarking results, comparisons, and performance indicators are tracked and used to drive action within the organization: Yes. Through its participation in the APPA benchmarking survey program and benchmarking with UT System institutions and the more than 35 Texas public institutions through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board UTSA Facilities is able to drive action to improve operations and performance results. This comparative data and the regularly scheduled Facilities operations review meetings provide facilities management valuable data to gauge performance and identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization. Based upon this evaluation, focus areas for improvement are identified and addressed.
Additionally, Facilities employees and customers regularly provide recommendations to supervisors and Facilities leadership on methods to improve service delivery. These can include formalized process improvement initiatives such as lean process work order management improvements, recommendations for green housekeeping products and other sustainability related ideas, and cost saving recommendations. These recommendations are documented in the Facilities Strategic Plan, Master Plans, Facilities Policies and Guidelines (i.e. uniforms, hiring, design standards, project management fees and shop rates, computer replacement and customer service), Survey of Employee Engagement (SEE) and Project Management Charters with OFPC, EHS&RM among many other improvements.
Faced with apparent systemic capital project failures, Facilities partnered with the UT System Office of Facility Planning and Construction to implement numerous “best practice” initiatives designed to improve performance in the delivery of major capital projects:
Given the scale and complexity of Capital Projects, it is inevitable that conflicts and disagreements will arise. To set projects on the correct path from the start, a “Partnering”
Philosophy has been adopted by Facilities and UT System OFPC. This philosophy engenders a process of team building – established during a 1-day pre-construction workshop –which includes all critical project team members. Recognizing the micro- and macro-goals of team members, establishing a communication chain and issue resolution ladder, and recognizing all team members are part of the foundation to a long-lasting positive and constructive attitude from the overall project team that continues through the entirety of a Capital Project.
The UTSA and OFPC Project Management Charter created in 2008, documents normal interactions carried out between both UTSA and UT System during OFPC-managed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects. Executed by both parties as well as EHS&RM, the Charter has vastly improved project execution, performance and delivery by codifying roles and responsibilities. The success of this document marked the dawning of stronger cooperation between component institution and system structure that has been encouraged at the other institutions in the UT System.
Another capital project improvement “best practice” initiative was the establishment of and subsequent streamlining of a standing monthly capital project update meeting between Facilities, UT System and other campus support departments. These meetings are forums to present high-level project updates; address issues potentially impacting cost, quality or schedule; and share news and success. The meetings particularly key on primary issues of global campus importance and no issue is dropped until all parties agree the issue has been satisfactorily resolved. The tone is collegial and cooperative, and the meeting reinforces partnering concepts that are vital to ensure successful projects of a large scale.
Finally, faced with extensive water intrusion on recently completed capital projects, the AVP for Facilities directed that water intrusion consultants be added to the project team to evaluate building envelop designs and oversee roofing construction and construction of other building envelop components. The result has been the virtual elimination of water intrusion issues on projects constructed since this “best practice” was implemented.
Although the “best practices” described herein have significantly improved project performance, it is inevitable that issues arise. Facilities acknowledges that large capital projects provide an excellent learning opportunity to improve processes and future project delivery. Since 2013 formal comprehensive “Lessons Learned” sessions have been held between Facilities, other campus representatives and UT System OFPC after the conclusion of capital projects to review matters pertaining to project organization, schedule, budget and cost control, procurement, design and functionality, construction administration, commissioning, safety, aesthetics, furnishings, communications, and objectives vs. results, to improve future project execution.
4.3 The department ensures that data and information are communicated and accessible to all appropriate users. The required data and information have all the characteristics users need, such as reliability, accuracy, timeliness, and appropriate levels of security and confidentiality: Yes. UTSA Facilities goes well beyond simple benchmarking comparisons. Data is integral to the conduct of daily operations in Facilities and is used to “Tell our Story” to senior leadership. As an example, a recent benchmark study pertaining to grounds maintenance staffing at peer institutions, coupled with the 2012 APPA FMEP report and analysis of housekeeping and grounds costs were used to make fact-based decisions to hire a landscape architect, initiate a landscaping master plan, and to contract housekeeping and grounds maintenance through attrition.
Other benchmarking driven initiatives included sustainability management, project management staffing, housekeeping staffing and workload balancing. Important benchmarks also include employee compensation analyses and salary equity reviews performed by the Human Resources Department and the internal Survey of Employee Engagement (SEE), which was used to establish a formal Facilities hiring process and a supervisory training curriculum. Facilities participates in regular APPA benchmarking surveys and analyzes and applies the results of these surveys. Facilities also participates in institutional benchmarking of the campus condition index conducted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for all public institutions.
Benchmark data is obtained from a variety of sources, primarily the TMA CMMS system, surveys performed by internal and external organizations, and the UTSA financial accounting system. Facilities has the ability to track maintenance and operation costs in most institutional facilities. The institution also tracks square footage of all campus facilities. This data can be used to report cost per square foot. In addition, utilities data is tracked and reported as a cost per square foot as well as MMBTU per square foot to track energy consumption efficiency.
The Associate Vice President for Facilities participates in regular monthly business affairs staff meetings with the Vice President for Business Affairs and has a standing weekly meeting with the Vice President to discuss a variety of facilities related issues and items including business goals and achievements, funding, project information, and process improvements.
4.4 An effective facilities inspection or audit program is in place that provides a regular appraisal of facilities conditions, identifies maintenance and repair needs, and quantifies facilities maintenance resources requirements: Yes. UTSA Facilities has a very robust preventive maintenance program that includes the scheduling of more than 22,000 preventive maintenance tasks per year. This program assures that qualified trades review and monitor equipment performance on a regular basis, identifying additional maintenance and repair needs as appropriate. In addition, UTSA Facilities uses a predictive parametric life-cycle model, developed by the UT System, called Facility Renewal Resource Model (FRRM), now owned by Sightlines, to identify major building systems that are at or beyond their forecast services lives. This system includes backlogged deficiencies, and current replacement value, which are used to calculate facility condition index for each major building on campus and for the entire physical plant. This model is updated annually and considers the impact of capital renewal, renovation and repair projects, as well as the aging of systems. UTSA Facilities uses FRRM results and CMMS data, along with preventive maintenance and zonal maintenance team recommendations and an objective scoring matrix to develop annual project priority lists for the capital renewal and deferred maintenance program.
Notwithstanding the above approach, UTSA Facilities has, for many years, advocated for establishment of a comprehensive facility condition assessment program to identify facility condition and major system requirements, and has obtained funding to perform individual facility assessments in some core facilities, roof assessments, and pavement analysis. Facilities is hopeful the new Vice President for Business Affairs and the current institutional drive toward “tier-one” research intensive institution status will result in establishment of a comprehensive multi-year, facility condition assessment program, which Facilities will be proposing as part of the next annual budget cycle.
UTSA Facilities has established a quality assurance organization to monitor both UTSA and contracted housekeeping and grounds maintenance services to assure consistency of performance throughout campus, and to develop improvement initiatives. This program is coupled with existing inspection and audit programs in individual departments. Additionally, Facilities uses customer satisfaction surveys and regularly scheduled meetings with major institutional customers and stakeholders to obtain information on performance and client concerns.
4.5 An expenditure report is available to managers on a regular basis and is used to effectively evaluate and control expenditures in assigned sub-units: Yes. During the past three years, UTSA has been implementing a new enterprise software system, PeopleSoft, which affects many aspects of the institution from human resources management to budgeting and financial management to billing and contracting services. Despite the upheaval associated with the PeopleSoft implementation, UTSA Facilities Business and Customer Services has continued to conduct monthly budget reviews with all functional areas, reviewing expenditures spending trends and remaining balances, to assist departmental managers in controlling expenditures.
The overall UTSA Facilities budget expenditure and forecast year-end balance is tracked, reported and discussed at monthly operations review meetings, along with individual departmental expenditures and balances.
4.6 An effective system of measuring and recording utility data is in place and is used to establish trends, minimize costs, promote energy conservation, and encourage environmental preservation: Yes. UTSA Facilities established a new position and hired a utility analyst who has developed electronic analytical tools to more efficiently manage utility billing records, and analyze billing and consumption data to provide transparent information and reporting to customers as well as to drive improved performance in this area. Utility savings are accumulated in a utility reserve account, from which savings have been used to invest in numerous major energy and water conservation initiatives to further improve utility performance. Noted examples include utility efficiency enhancement projects at the Biotechnology Sciences and Engineering (BSE) Building, the largest energy consuming building on campus, and the recent completion of a campus wide sub-metering program to allow the utility analyst, energy manager and utility engineer to perform more detailed analyses to identify additional cost savings and efficiency improvements in the utility area.
4.7 The organization has a process to ensure that hardware and software systems are user-friendly, reliable, up-to-date, and meet the needs of all users: Yes. Faced with the loss of funding to replace departmental computers and other technology systems, UTSA Facilities has developed a Technology Asset Management Policy and Computer Replacement Program to identify elements of technology that need to be replaced to assure hardware and software systems remain current, and meet the needs of Facilities staff and customers. Facilities’ formal computer replacement plan tracks computer age, and other factors and recommends annual equipment replacement priorities. The AVP for Facilities actively seeks funding on an annual basis to implement the plan, which assures the department’s computer assets remain current and effective.
Responding to enhancement recommendations in the 2012 APPA FMEP, UTSA Facilities has also established a dedicated information systems team assigned with integrating and managing all Facilities information and automated systems. UTSA Facilities has a variety of technical systems to support day-to-day operations and plans. These include the Facilities web-site, geographic information systems, building information systems, computerized maintenance management system, automated work management, data base management, and support of all Facilities hardware and software systems.
Additionally, various departments within Facilities actively evaluate their technology needs and submit proposals and work to address technology needs on an annual basis. There are many examples of these initiatives, including Building Information Modeling (BIM), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), web-based TMA, electronic archiving, mobile work tracking and annual work planning, updating of building automation systems, exploration of social media accounts, and utility billing analysis and reporting tools.
5.0 Development and Management of Human Resources
UTSA Facilities has long promoted the ideal of attracting, developing and retaining highly qualified and well-motivated staff to assure success in delivery of Facilities’ services. Upon his arrival in 2005, and in response to employee concerns relating to supervisory effectiveness and fairness construct results of the first formal survey of organizational excellence, the AVP for Facilities worked closely with the Human Resources (HR) Department to develop a best practice hiring process that assures fairness and results in the hiring of the most qualified individuals available. This process has been streamlined over the years. UTSA Facilities, in cooperation with HR, has also developed a formal supervisory training curriculum, job families and career paths for all trades and multi-employee job groups, performs periodic surveys of employee engagement to gauge employee satisfaction, salary and compensation reviews, and encouraged technical and professional development for all employees. The philosophy has been that all employees should be able to clearly understand what is needed to advance within the organization to reach their personal and professional goals.
5.1 Staff positions are properly classified and allocated in adequate numbers to meet the standards for the targeted level of service: Yes. Job descriptions are developed by UTSA Facilities in coordination with the Human Resources (HR) department and are maintained by HR. UTSA Facilities Leadership has established multi-level job families/career paths for all jobs with multiple assigned employees. These include electricians, plumbers, administrative staff, utility operators, mechanical maintenance technicians and other trades functions. Job families also exist for housekeepers, groundskeepers, project managers, customer service functions, and facility planners. Job descriptions are developed based on specific job audits performed by the HR Compensation Department and reviewed by supervisors and Facilities leaders. As vacancies occur, or when warranted by evolving job responsibilities, job descriptions are appropriately updated. In addition, clear employee progression guidelines have been established for housekeepers and groundskeepers along with job families/career paths.
Facilities staff has performed staffing analysis using APPA guidelines to determine staffing needs and provide recommendations for additional staff to support new campus development. In addition, Facilities has established shop rates and project management fee methodologies that provide funding to support additional necessary staffing based on operational requirements.
Facilities performs a number of scenario planning efforts including contract vs. self-performance of housekeeping and grounds maintenance and specialized system maintenance and management, preventive maintenance service levels, evaluating alternative methodologies for maintenance of academic equipment, providing business plans for capital projects and reviewing various system life cycle costs on major projects.
5.2 Training programs provide for new employee orientation and technical skills enhancement for all staff: Yes. The UTSA HR Department hosts Day O.N.E. (Orientation for New Employees) @ UTSA, for new employees three times monthly. During the program, employees become acquainted with the University, are provided information about employment and benefits, secure necessary information and tools to successfully begin employment on the following day, and complete required documents. Day O.N.E. is mandatory for all new employees at UTSA. Upon completion of the Day O.N.E. program, Facilities employees are provided orientation in their respective work areas related to job-specific requirements.
Employees are scheduled to attend training locally and state-wide to improve proficiency in trades, obtain and retain certifications and registrations, and to network and share best practices with colleagues from higher education and both the public and private sector.
5.3 An effective communication system exists within the department to ensure that each employee knows his or her role in the department, the role of related areas, and the overall role of the department: Yes. All UTSA Facilities work groups hold regular weekly meetings to disseminate information to employees, and obtain feedback on issues of concern. The AVP for Facilities holds a weekly Senior Executive Team (SET) meeting to discuss information obtained from The Vice President for Business Affairs staff meeting and regular weekly meetings as well as from other standing and ad hoc meetings on campus. AVP direct reports hold their own weekly meetings with staff to relay information which is subsequently passed down through the organization in shop or team meetings. Facilities also provides input to the Vice President for Business Affairs newsletter, and project and other key departmental information is posted on the Facilities website. Regularly scheduled “All Staff” meetings are held several times each year to provide departmental information, and the monthly operations review meeting affords an excellent opportunity for Facilities leaders in all functional areas to obtain information and provide input on departmental concerns. In addition, two standing committees include Facilities staff membership: The Staff Relations Council (for Business Affairs) and Staff Council (University-wide). These committees provide opportunities for two way dissemination of information within the Facilities organization and the University.
5.4 Safety policies and procedures have been established, written, and communicated to all staff: Yes. UTSA’s Environmental Health Safety and Risk Management (EHS&RM) department is functionally separated from Facilities and is responsible for regulatory requirements and oversight of campus health and safety. Facilities has worked closely with EHS&RM staff to establish an effective occupational health program that has significantly reduced the number and severity of Facilities workers’ compensation injuries and claims. The UTSA Police Department (UTSAPD) is responsible for physical security and emergency preparedness, and UTSA facilities works closely with UTSAPD staff to assure Facilities emergency management and business continuity plans are updated and included in institutional plans. There is a charter between Facilities and EHS&RM that clearly defines roles and responsibilities of each group relating to facility projects.
Overall safety awareness is high throughout the organization and periodic training is provided to employees on potential hazards. Regular safety training is done for asbestos, blood borne pathogens, etc., and documentation of safety related training is kept with EHS&RM. Due to the workplace hazards associated with Facilities Operations and Maintenance, monthly safety “Shop Talks” are held on a variety of topics. Code changes are discussed annually during re-certification of plumbers, electricians and other continuing education provided to the trade shops.
5.5 Accident records are maintained and used to reduce accidents and identify tasks for special attention: Yes. UTSA Facilities is engaged closely with EHS&RM, which tracks and reports on accidents, worker’s compensation claims, and provides training in occupational health. UTSA Facilities and EHS&RM have worked closely on the establishment of a behavioral safety program to further enhance occupational safety.
5.6 The organization promotes employee development and professional development through formal education, training, and on-the-job training such as rotational assignments, internships, or job exchange programs: Yes. UTSA Facilities required qualifications and credentials are documented in job descriptions and the department only hires qualified individuals, typically the most qualified individuals available. The Department assures individuals are trained in customer service, various technical areas, safety, occupational health, and supervisory skills among many others. Individual employees are encouraged to pursue professional development opportunities, paid for by the Department, to increase technical expertise and obtain and retain appropriate credentials. Development plans are incorporated into annual performance plans and are evaluated during the annual performance evaluation period.
All Facilities supervisors are required to complete the Facilities Fundamental Supervisory curriculum, developed in coordination with the HR Department. HR, Financial Affairs and Office of Information Technology train employees in business skills. Additional formal training is provided to individuals in specific job functions when requirements are identified.
5.7 Career development is supported through involvement in job-related and professional organizations, and opportunities to advance within the department: Yes. UTSA Facilities’ Individual Development Plans are incorporated into annual performance plans and are evaluated during the annual performance evaluation period. Although not formally requested, individual supervisors obtain feedback from peers and customers throughout the performance period, and this information is used to help develop staff evaluations. Key performance metrics and customer satisfaction results are also considered during the development of individual performance plans and annual performance evaluations.
5.8 Work performance and attendance tracking measures are in place, are understood by staff members, and are used by supervisors to assess performance: Yes. The University has well defined attendance policies. These policies and attendance expectations are discussed during the employee’s evaluation period and periodic staff meetings.
Facilities supervisors continuously monitor staff performance throughout the performance evaluation period and provide feedback to employees on both positive and negative performance actions. Individual supervisors may obtain feedback from peers and customers throughout the performance period, and this information is used to help develop staff evaluations. When necessary, supervisors employ appropriate progressive discipline to assist employees to improve performance. Employees demonstrating exceptional performance are nominated for the Facilities Celebrating Excellence and “Estrella” (“Star”) awards.
As mentioned above, individual development plans are incorporated into annual performance plans and are evaluated during the annual performance evaluation period, and performance plans are updated following annual performance evaluations.
5.9 The organization utilizes both formal and informal assessment methods and measures to determine employee well-being, employee satisfaction, and motivation. Assessment findings are linked to performance results to identify priorities for improving the work environment, employee support climate, and the supervisor’s effectiveness (coaching): Yes. UTSA Facilities, as part of the Business Affairs Division, has participated in biennial surveys of employee engagement (SEE), and each functional area, including Facilities, developed a response plan to address areas falling below what is considered a minimum threshold for each construct. Facilities results improved consistently for each of the three surveys conducted.
The SEE construct with consistently below standard satisfaction rating, and one of the most difficult areas to address is in the area of compensation. UTSA Facilities often requests salary and compensation reviews for staff at various levels in the organization that frequently result in salary equity increases for employees. The HR Compensation Department conducts salary equity reviews and biannual reviews of the salary structures to determine market competitiveness. The university also offers a free Employee Assistance Program to all staff.
Resources are provided to staff to enhance employee satisfaction and motivation by providing productivity tools and equipment to accomplish their job tasks.
5.10 Employee recognition programs are in place for individuals and groups (may include community service): Yes. UTSA Facilities provides monthly and quarterly employee awards as part of its “Celebrating Excellence in Facilities” and “Estrella” (“Star”) Recognition program. Nominees and Award winners are recognized at regular employee “All-Staff” Meetings:
Award recipients are recognized quarterly, based on the scoring of the Excellence Awards Committee, one for each respective month within the quarter, and then the overall quarterly recipient (highest score) who is ultimately nominated for the Vice President for Business Affairs (VPBA) Excellence Award.
Committee members review and score the nominations submitted by any University Employee, outside customers, as well as fellow Facilities staff. The Facilities Excellence Awards Committee is comprised of five (5) members, four (4) are appointed by the Associate Vice President for Facilities (AVPF) (recommendations for Committee members are provided by Directors/Managers), and the fifth member is the previous quarter’s VPBA nominee. Membership is representative of the various Facilities areas. Members must have an interest in serving on the Committee.
Nominations are sent to the AVP for Facilities throughout each quarter. Nominations may be emailed or submitted in writing, and no particular form is required.
In accordance with the Business Affairs Celebrating Excellence Employee Recognition Program, nominations should describe how the individual or team has exemplified the Business Affairs guiding principles and demonstrated:
• Customer Service
Recognized staff members receive a certificate of recognition, ball cap or visor with “Promoting Excellence” embroidered on the back, “UTSA Facilities” along with the top portion of UTSA’s mascot, Rowdy Roadrunner, embroidered on the front, and a pin recognizing their hard work and efforts. Presentations are made at the “All Staff” Meetings.
5.11 Processes are in place to determine the effectiveness of recruitment and retention programs and to identify areas for improvement: Yes. The University is mandated by state regulations to post all new and vacant positions. For certain positions, postings are sent to professional associations such as APPA, IFMA, AFE, AIA and others. The HR Department tracks and reports on hiring and retention goals.
Staff retention is influenced by annual performance evaluations, which typically result in merit awards and potential promotional opportunities. Upward mobility opportunities are available in newly formed job families with defined career paths, and Facilities participates in the University’s simplified reclassification/promotion process when employees meet qualifications for a higher graded position.
Performance evaluations are aligned with Facility Management Goals and Objectives which are aligned to the Facilities Strategic Plan, which is further aligned with the Business Affairs and Institutional Strategic Plans all of which include vision, mission and values.
Business Affairs, with the direct involvement of senior Facilities leadership, has created a Purpose statement and Guiding Principles for the entire organization. Additionally, training on the guiding principles is mandatory for all staff. This training is offered in bilingual format. Candidates for UTSA Facilities positions are required to answer questions related to organizational guiding principles during hiring interviews.
The university’s annual merit program rewards employees for their achievements towards meeting the department’s goals and objectives. Facilities’ Celebrating Excellence and Estrella, recognition programs recognize the staff for their accomplishments and achievements. The Vice President for Business Affairs has a complimentary recognition program.
UTSA Facilities has established a formal hiring policy and procedures that are consistent with university and state guidelines. These formal written guidelines mandate non-Facilities stakeholder as well as diverse staff level representation on prospective employee applicant review and interview committees.
6.0 Process Management
Development of a cohesive approach to process management has been a focus of UTSA Facilities for the past ten years, as Facilities leadership has worked to establish a modern, professional facilities management organization that is fully equipped to help the institution achieve its strategic goal of becoming a “Tier-One” research intensive institution. UTSA Facilities has developed, implemented and continuously improved basic and advanced processes over the years, including many that are considered “best practices”. The Department’s process management approach was described by the 2012 FMEP as providing “a unified approach to process management” in all Facilities areas. These processes, which are essential to assure consistent excellent delivery of services, are performed very well by highly trained, motivated and dedicated employees. As gaps in service levels are identified, the department initiates appropriate corrective action plans that are tracked to assure these issues are fully addressed.
6.1 Processes are in place to ensure department facilities and equipment are adequate for the provision of effective and efficient services. Yes. UTSA facilities has established a fleet management program to effectively manage the University vehicle fleet, and a vehicle replacement program to track the condition of Facilities vehicles and motorized carts, and identify those requiring replacement. As previously described, Facilities has also established a Technology Asset Management Policy and Computer Replacement Program to assure computers and other automated systems are sufficient to support Facilities operations. A process exists to allow each department to request equipment and facility modifications during the annual budget development process, and Facilities leadership often allocates year-end carryover funds to address one-time departmental needs that have been identified by the various departments and assigned priorities based on criticality of need. Examples of equipment purchased using this approach include new tractors, mowers, vehicles, motorized carts, desk-top and laptop computers, tools and specialized equipment to enhance departmental capabilities.
6.2 An effective work management system is in place to identify, report, correct, and document substandard conditions and maintenance requirements. Yes. As described in Section 4.4, UTSA Facilities has a very robust preventive maintenance program that includes the scheduling of more than 22,000 preventive maintenance tasks per year. This program assures that qualified trades review and monitor equipment performance on a regular basis, identifying additional maintenance and repair needs as appropriate. In addition, UTSA Facilities uses a predictive parametric life-cycle model, developed by the UT System, called Facility Renewal Resource Model (FRRM), now owned by Sightlines, to identify major building systems that are at or beyond their forecast services lives. This system includes backlogged deficiencies, and current replacement value, which are used to calculate facility condition index for each major building on campus and for the entire physical plant. Updated annually, the model considers the impact of capital renewal, renovation and repair projects, as well as building system aging.
The Department has also established an annual interdepartmental deferred maintenance and capital renewal review process with an objective matrix priority assignment system to identify the highest priority deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects, which are then presented to the Vice President for Business Affairs for consideration for funding approval.
The Facilities automated iService Desk provides a mechanism for the campus community to identify deficiencies and urgent corrective maintenance requirements, and Facilities evaluates each request and develops work orders with assigned priority/urgency codes and forwards work orders to the appropriate zone manager for completion. As a “best practice”, Facilities is implementing an innovative annual work plan approach that allows all planned work to be appropriately scheduled, tracked, planned, coordinated, and assigned for completion in a manner that involves the customer and minimizes disruption of customer activities.
6.3 Work authorization and scheduling procedures have been established that are consistent with the identified role of each work unit, and achieve an equitable distribution of resources: Yes. UTSA Facilities has established a centralized customer service center that provides effective work authorization and scheduling, as described above. Additionally, Facilities operations and maintenance trades are divided into three primary zones; Research, Auxiliary, and Education and General, based on similarity of customers, general geographic distribution, and type and complexity of work. A fourth Preventive Maintenance Zone has been established whose sole focus is on the completion of assigned preventive maintenance work orders, assuring resources are always available for this critical maintenance program. Monthly Operations Review meetings track overall performance as well as performance by the various zones, including corrective maintenance and customer satisfaction. These monthly reviews also offer opportunities for operations and maintenance leaders to identify resource needs which can be requested to address resource equity concerns.
6.4 An effective preventive maintenance (PM) program is in place to provide regular inspection and servicing of facilities equipment to assure maximum service life, reliability, and operation: Yes. Ten years ago, UTSA Facilities had a preventive maintenance (PM) shop, but there was no formal PM program in place. As might be expected, there was a great deal of urgent corrective maintenance occurring, including corrective maintenance work performed by the so-called PM shop, and catastrophic failures were frequent and costly. To address this urgent need, the new AVP for Facilities set about to establish a first rate PM program that, in the ensuing years has transformed the UTSA Facilities maintenance program from one where frequent emergent repairs were performed as equipment failed, to a formal, scheduled, and well-managed professional PM program that has all but eliminated catastrophic equipment and system failures, and that we believe represents a “best practice” in higher education facilities.
UTSA Facilities first hired a plant engineer to oversee the PM shop and to develop and implement a phased PM program using the four levels of PM (developed by Applied Management Engineering for Preventive Maintenance for Higher Education Facilities): Level 1 – Statutory, Level 2 – Mission-Critical, Level 3 – Mission-Important, and Level 4 – Significant. This process allowed for the incremental establishment of a PM program that would provide the best value to the institution within existing maintenance and operations budgets. Today the UTSA preventive maintenance program includes the scheduling of more than 22,000 PM work orders each year at a schedule compliance (completion) rate of more than 92% and an average monthly PM backlog of less than 300 work orders. UTSA Facilities has been approached by several well-established universities for assistance in developing and improving their PM programs, and we have benchmarked with Missouri State University to further enhance the UTSA PM program.
6.5 An estimating system is used that provides accurate estimates of labor and material requirements in order to plan and schedule the execution of work and to determine the causes of significant deviations between actual costs and estimated costs: Yes. As described above, UTSA Facilities is organized into four maintenance zones, including the PM zone. The CMO has approved an annual process for updating Facilities shop rates in five categories (Maintenance, Housekeeping, Events & Set-ups, Grounds, and Fleet Maintenance). This makes cost estimating a matter of estimating the number of labor hours and material and equipment costs. UTSA Facilities has a central Stores warehouse that provides data on the cost of material and equipment rental to the four PM zone managers. Once work requests are received, zone managers or their shop leaders meet with clients to validate the scope of work being requested and to review the facility where the work will occur. Each zone has multiple diverse trades who are knowledgeable in all construction activities, and they provide estimated hours associated with each set of tasks that will be required. Formal cost estimates are prepared from the data provided and shared with the client. Once the client approves the estimated cost, work is planned and completed. Clients are billed based on the actual costs of completing the work. Outside vendor price quotes are obtained for work requiring specialized equipment or skilled labor beyond Facilities capabilities, or when clients request comparison quotes.
For larger projects the Facilities Planning and Development Department employs a professional estimator who develops “opinions of probable cost”, which are shared with the client. Once an agreement is reached to proceed with the work, the work order is routed to the Facilities Engineering and Project Management Department for execution.
All Major Projects managed by the Engineering and Project Management Department use a standardized process called a Work Plan that we believe is a “best practice” to manage the expectations of customers. Project management personnel meet with customers and write a Work Plan that includes the intended scope of work, the planned methods of procurement, the desired schedule, and assumptions. Customers and other significant stakeholders (e.g. Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management) are asked to sign the Work Plan. Once signed, project personnel develop a project cost estimate and deliver that estimate to the customer. The Work Plan and Cost Estimate may go through two or more iterations before the project proceeds to the next step.
Engineering and Project Management cost estimates are typically RS Means based, a well-established, reliable and defendable project estimation tool. EPM staff have access to RS Mean’s software and publications, and attend training sessions hosted by RS Mean’s when available. Once the client agrees to the estimate, the project proceeds to design and is either competitively advertised or assigned by delivery order to the campus job order contractor for completion. Project costs are reviewed at project closeout for deviations between actual costs and estimated costs, and lessons learned information is shared with project staff.
6.6 Design guidelines that incorporate such elements as energy consumption, operating costs, environmental concerns, maintainability, sustainability, accessibility, and safety have been prepared, updated and utilized: Yes. UTSA Facilities has established formal design and construction standards (currently in 14th edition) that represent “best practices” in the design and construction industry, and that articulate requirements specific to the institution. These standards are designed to assist architects, engineers and other design professionals, contractors and UTSA staff in understanding the requirements and preferences of UTSA in the development, maintenance, and repair of its facilities, and to provide clear guidance on the types of design, materials and equipment that are considered acceptable or not acceptable to University. These standards incorporate elements of energy consumption, operating costs, specific environmental concerns, maintainability, sustainability, accessibility, and safety, among others. Under the responsibility of the Director of Capital Projects, the standards are centrally managed by a degreed architect and experienced senior project manager who provides periodic updates that are reviewed both internally and externally before being formalized.
6.7 The delegation of budgetary responsibilities for management of sub-units of the budget is effective in controlling expenditures: Yes. The UTSA Facilities Department provides annual budget allocations to each of its major departments and appropriate sub-units and the Department’s Business and Customer Services Department meets with other Facilities leaders on a monthly basis to review budgets and expenditures throughout the year. In addition, annual budget and expenditures are reviewed in monthly operations review meetings with the AVP for Facilities to track budget performance, and forecast year-end balances in major accounts. Facilities functional areas that are not controlling expenditures appropriately are revealed and must explain what is happening. This provides a strong incentive for departments to control expenditures, and also helps identify resource equity issues that can be effectively addressed.
7.0 Performance Results
As described in section 4.0 Information and Measurement, The UTSA Facilities organization has a particular focus on fact-based performance measurement and reporting, that is used to continuously improve Facilities operations maintenance and performance of the physical plant. UTSA Facilities assesses performance through a variety of key performance metrics, including regular operations reviews with well-defined performance metrics, customer and employee satisfaction surveys and tracking of concerns to completion, financial reports and analysis, regular meetings with stakeholders and University leadership, utility billing reporting and analysis, and project and quality assurance inspections and coordination.
7.1 The appearance of the buildings and grounds is in keeping with the surrounding community and the stated image of the institution: Yes. The University of Texas at San Antonio is favorably situated at the edge of the Texas Hill Country, and blessed with an abundance of flora and fauna on the four UTSA campuses that are well maintained by the UTSA Facilities department. Despite being in a strict regulatory environment associated with its unique location over the Edward’s Aquifer recharge zone, and the presence of a ten-year drought, UTSA was named as one of the 2015 “Top 10 Most Beautiful Places to Attend Graduate School” by GradschoolHUB.com.
The implementation of the Campus Master Plan and an effective governance model coincided with expansive growth of the university over the past fifteen years, and the construction of numerous beautiful and functional buildings and the establishment of protected greenspaces on campus have helped to define the University as a “top tier” campus. UTSA Facilities is responsible for facilitated development consistent with the Campus Master Plan, which has established appearance guidelines for buildings and grounds. Implementation of campus appearance guidelines is governed by a campus development and space management advisory board. This committee meets regularly to discuss any proposed changes and to make recommendations on all plans for renovations and new construction on campus that impact the appearance of facilities or the University’s civic structure.
In an effort to further enhance University landscaping and grounds, the institution has established a landscape architect position and has funded the development and implementation of a landscape master plan to provide increased specificity to existing campus appearance standards.
Facilities uses service level guidelines defined by APPA for custodial, maintenance, and grounds work. Our PM program uses the four APPA level categories outlined in APPA’s Maintenance Staffing Guidelines for Educational Facilities, as well as other regulatory requirements to determine the appropriate levels of services for our varied customer base. These levels of service are included in our annual service level agreements with customers, and published on the Facilities web site.
7.2 The condition and cleanliness of Facilities are in keeping with the image and standards adopted by the institution as well as activities associated with its mission and programs: Yes. The UTSA Facilities Housekeeping Department has established custodial service levels developed from APPA custodial guidelines and through customer meetings. These service levels are posted on the Facilities website and are included in service level agreements with reimbursable customers. In 2013, UTSA embarked on a plan to contract housekeeping and grounds maintenance operations through staff attrition that has proven to be very effective and in keeping with the organization’s guiding principles of “Respect and caring for each other” and “Doing the right thing”. UTSA housekeeping and grounds staff who have decided to remain with the University, continue to be respected and valued, and as vacancies occur buildings and grounds are transitioned for cleaning and grounds maintenance by the housekeeping and grounds contractor. To assure consistent excellence in the delivery of both UTSA staffed and contracted housekeeping and grounds services, UTSA Facilities has established housekeeping and grounds performance standards and a formal quality assurance inspection and reporting program. The result has been consistent continuing outstanding housekeeping and grounds performance.
7.3 Building Systems and Infrastructure are maintained and operated at a level of reliability that contributes to the successful implementation of the institution’s mission and programs: Yes. UTSA Facilities’ monthly operations review meetings provide an excellent forum for discussions with key staff and to review metrics for building and infrastructure systems to ensure efficient operations.
Facilities uses service level guidelines defined by APPA for maintenance. Our highly regarded PM program uses the four APPA level categories, as well as other regulatory requirements to determine the appropriate levels of services for our varied customer base. These levels of service are included in our service level agreements with customers. As a result of the completion of more than 22,000 PM work orders per year, emergent equipment failures have declined significantly. The combination of a dedicated preventive maintenance shop, a strong zonal maintenance program, and a 24 hour utility operations team have maximized the reliability of facilities systems.
The university’s two thermal energy plants are operated by a third party whose contract includes incentives for efficient management of chilled water, steam, and heating hot water. Energy utilization on a square foot basis is monitored by a dedicated Energy Manager and analyzed by a utility analyst to identify aberrant consumption. UTSA Facilities recently completed a campus wide metering project funded by utility savings and rebates and designed to provide opportunities for increased investment in energy and water conservation. The implementation of a transparent automated utility billing, tracking, and reporting system has been submitted for consideration as a 2015 “Best Practice to the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO). A prioritized list of utility/infrastructure upgrades (for both reliability and efficiency) is maintained, and funding opportunities for these upgrades are sought as utility savings and rebate funding present opportunities for investment in these initiatives.
7.4 Funding resources are effectively used and are adequate to support a level of facilities maintenance that prevents the deferral of major maintenance and repairs: Yes and no. UTSA Facilities has established a formal deferred maintenance program and provides regular recommendations to the Vice President for Business Affairs for the use of allocated renovation funds and utility reserves funds for investment in utility savings opportunities.
The capital renewal and deferred maintenance program has been formalized and includes key staff from operations and maintenance, engineering, and planning departments to identify and prioritize known deficiencies based on historical data, FRRM information described earlier and limited facilities condition assessments. Facilities has completed facilities condition assessments of a representative sample of facilities and has plans to perform a comprehensive facilities condition assessment on all major facilities. As described previously, Facilities uses the UT System Facility Resource Renewal Model, now owned by Sightlines, which provides predictive information regarding building component life cycles and expected renewal requirements. This information provides a starting point for identification of potential facility renewal requirements and is used to help identify annual deferred maintenance funding requests.
Set aside funding is provided each year at levels that have historically been shown to be sufficient to address major maintenance and repairs, although UTSA Facilities is well aware that the aging campus buildings and capital renewal of systems in buildings that were part of the expansive growth in new facilities over the past fifteen years will have to be addressed in the not too distant future. In anticipation of this eventuality, the Department is developing a multi-year comprehensive facility condition assessment and capital renewal funding proposal to address anticipated deferred maintenance and capital renewal requirements as systems progress toward the end of their anticipated life cycles.
UTSA Facilities is proud to have worked closely with the Vice President for Business Affairs and campus leadership to implement several “best practices” that have generated additional revenues that allow the Department to effectively maintain campus facilities and infrastructure now and into the future.
One of the more notable initiatives include the establishment of annually updated shop rates based on the average salary and benefits actually paid to those performing the work, implementation of a 4% of total project cost fee to provide sustainable project coordinator support for institutional projects. The rapid growth of UTSA has resulted in a deficiency of appropriated salary funds and caused many areas of the university to work with a shortage of personnel for several years. In 2010, at the request of Facilities, the CMO approved the application of a flat 4% fee applied to the total project cost of every institutionally-managed project. Campus projects are accomplished with the guidance of project coordinators who perform cradle to grave project management. All Project Coordinator salaries and benefits are paid from the collection of this project management fee. For over five years now the 4% fee has been sustainable. The 4% fee is reasonable and competitive based on a 2009 benchmarking review of other universities charging a project management fee.
Another significant initiative has been the establishment of a CMO approved process to update Facilities operations and maintenance shop rates on an annual basis. Upon his arrival at UTSA, in 2005, the new AVP for Facilities was advised that Facilities shop rates were ten-years old, meaning the institution was effectively subsidizing auxiliary and fee-funded operations that were required to pay their own way. In 2007, Facilities brought a proposal to the CMO to provide for annual shop rate updates that reflect the average salary and benefits of employees working in the five shop rate areas: Maintenance, Housekeeping, Events Support, Grounds, and Vehicle Maintenance. The approved process has assured that shop rates are updated annually, resulting in increased ability to hire sufficient staff to support auxiliary and fee-funded organizations, and allowed for the establishment of service level agreements to help manage expectations relating to Facilities services.
Another notable funding initiative includes VPBA approval of a proposal to allow Facilities to “sweep” unspent deferred maintenance funds as projects are completed and reinvest them in emergent maintenance and repair projects. This process has increased maintenance funding expenditures by an average of more than $1M per year.
VPBA approval to reinvest utility reserves which accrue from budget savings and utility rebates from providers following energy and water conservation projects has been another notable funding initiative. In excess of $4M has been reinvested to date in additional energy and water conservation projects and improved operational efficiencies that have generated additional utilities reserve funds.
The Vice President for Business Affairs has assisted Facilities in satisfying critical research and academic affairs customers by providing annual renovation account funding to help offset departmental project costs by addressing maintenance and infrastructure requirements that would otherwise have to be funded by the departments.
7.5 Staff is highly motivated and productive, taking pride in the accomplishment of their duties: Yes. Hiring the most qualified staff available, who support Facilities established guiding principles is one key to assuring the UTSA Facilities workforce is highly motivated and productive. UTSA Facilities through the Vice President for Business Affairs has conducted biennial surveys of employee engagement and Facilities results have increased for each of the three surveys conducted. On the last survey of employee engagement, the only Facilities construct with a below standard satisfaction rating was in the area of “fair pay”, which employees consistently score low throughout Business Affairs.
The FM organization has established key performance indicators to track the general performance and productivity of specific functional areas, and staff is proud to compete to obtain high customer satisfaction and maintenance results
Facilities conducts quarterly all staff meetings that review the overall progress, accomplishments and successes of the organization. At these meetings employees are recognized for outstanding performance through the “Celebrating Facilities Excellence” and “Estrella (“Star”)” awards, kudos from colleagues and customers, and staff promotions. New employees are also recognized, completed projects are discussed and employees are given the opportunity to bring forward concerns and suggestions to senior Facilities leadership.
7.6 Customer satisfaction measures ensure that the levels of service are consistent with customer needs and requirements and within the facilities department’s capability: Yes. UTSA Facilities has established formal customer service guidelines and written communication/notification guidelines for both emergency and non-emergency work. Additionally, Facilities has established and participates in a number of standing meetings whose primary purpose is to inform customers and communicate the status of projects and other Facilities related activities. Facilities has also established a customer services department that includes work control, administrative customer representatives and a communication and customer representative, and maintains an effective Facilities website. Facilities’ automated work request process allows customers to request work and to track the progress of their work requests to completion. Town Halls are held to communicate the new work request process and to obtain input from customers on improvements Facilities can make to better meet their needs. Facilities communicates construction/renovation project expectations through a formal work plan and provides detailed cost estimates that are approved by customers.
Facilities has established formal, signed service level agreements with auxiliary and other fee funded customers that include very clear levels of service and the basis for each level of service provided. Facilities meets with its customers annually to determine their operational requirements, then enters into a formal service level agreement. All services are billed to customers on a monthly basis.
UTSA Facilities also surveys customers upon completion of facilities work orders and closeout of institutionally managed projects, and recently implemented a baseline customer satisfaction survey to obtain satisfaction on non-project or work order services such as cleaning, occupant comfort, responsiveness of Facilities staff and other measures. Customer satisfaction data is presented and discussed at monthly and annual facilities operations review meetings.
7.7 Managers and supervisors stay in touch with the needs of higher education: Yes. UTSA Facilities employees are encouraged to participate in professional higher education Facilities organizations and the institution supports and funds professional registrations, trades and professional certifications, and memberships in trade and professional associations. Many UTSA Facilities staff have obtained or upgraded professional credentials while employed in the Department.
Facilities participates in APPA, UT Systems, and other ad hoc benchmark studies, and Facilities staff attend and present at local, statewide, regional and national professional conferences, sharing performance data and best practices with colleagues, and staying abreast of changes in higher education. Benchmarking examples include a recently completed benchmark study pertaining to grounds maintenance staffing at peer institutions, review of facility shop rates, and housekeeping and grounds services provided. Other benchmarking initiatives include sustainability management, project management staffing, housekeeping staffing and workload balancing.
8.0 Other Considerations
8.1 Sustainability: The UTSA Facilities organization is regarded throughout campus as one of the leading proponents and most effective implementers of sustainability initiatives on campus. The AVP for Facilities first recommended the Institution establish a sustainability program in 2008, and at the direction of the University President, participated in a task force to evaluate various approaches to implementation of an effective sustainability program on campus.
The task force completed a new UTSA Sustainability Policy and recommended the establishment of a standing UTSA Sustainability Council, championed by the University Provost. The AVP for Facilities is a charter member of the UTSA Sustainability Council, and has supported the implementation of numerous sustainable initiatives on campus.
Largely as a result of newly installed artificial turf recreation fields that save more than 14M gallons of water per year, and a project to use condensate recovery from a newly constructed Applied Engineering and Technology Building for cooling tower make-up water, UTSA was awarded the 2011 “Pinnacle” Award for water conservation and environmental protection by regional and municipal water provider, San Antonio Water System (SAWS). Additional artificial turf recreation fields have been installed that will save an additional approximate 8M gallons of water per year; and UTSA Facilities collaborated with the UTSA Alumni Association, Student Green Fund committee, and supported an internal capital campaign to renovate the central Sombrilla fountain and capture condensate water from the Peace Library to provide make-up water to the fountain.
8.2 Education: UTSA Facilities led an effort to establish an IFMA accredited Facility Management curriculum at UTSA to help address the national shortage of facility managers precipitated by the aging of the facility manager population. UTSA is uniquely positioned to support all of the constructs associated with the IFMA Certified Facility Manager (CFM) designation, and Facilities collaborated with the UTSA College of Business to establish a facilities management curriculum that allows students to obtain a minor in facility management.
Several UTSA Facilities staff have participated as guest lecturers in facility management courses and several of our most capable trades have taught apprentice program classes at local trade organizations and community colleges. UTSA staff regularly attend college classes and several have earned degrees while employed by the Facilities Department.
UTSA Facilities is a leader in collaboration with campus research and academic organizations, and played a pivotal role in completing renovations and improvements that supported the accreditation of the Live Animal Research Center (LARC). Additionally, Facilities supported a multi-phased multi-million dollar transformation of the Peace Library to support Library accreditation efforts, and supported Biological Safety Laboratory-3 upgrades.
Facilities has also collaborated with academic departments to establish “Quiet Periods” during finals week each semester to minimize disruption to students during final exams. Other collaborations include supporting the Monument Lighting initiative to establish new campus traditions, collaborating with Student Government representatives to address student concerns relating to cell phone service, sidewalks, furnishings, the restoration of the Sombrilla Fountain, and participation in the “Extreme Campus Makeover” public service project to install landscaping improvements and to work with student groups to clean areas of campus.
8.4 Student Engagement: Facilities regularly supports student leaders and academic and research staff in their efforts to enhance the educational experience for UTSA students. Senior Facilities staff meets monthly with members of the Student Government Association to work collaboratively to address student requests relating to Facilities support. Some examples include support for a furniture replacement program cell phone service improvements, construction of sidewalks, upgrade of the campus clock system and classroom upgrades to provide more electrical outlets for charging of electronic devices. Another example of student engagement includes collaboration with faculty and students from the Colleges of Architecture and Engineering to perform a utility audit of a campus building that resulted in establishment of a template for utility audits at buildings throughout campus. Another example is the recent support for a College of Architecture initiative to establish a limited impact development studio to develop best practices for protection of the groundwater drinking supplies. UTSA Facilities also provides numerous student work study and internship opportunities for students to obtain real-world, hands on, experience in engineering, architecture, business practices, and facility management. Frequently UTSA hires UTSA graduates who show a particular aptitude for higher education facility management, including former interns and work study students.