Instituting and Sustaining a Culture of Excellence: A Phenomenological Study of the Winners of the Award for Excellence, the Highest Institutional-Level Award Issued by APPA - Leadership in Educational Facilities
Joseph K. Han, Ed.D., Cleveland State University
[Read the report/doctoral dissertation]
American institutions of higher education are being challenged to ensure the provision of quality, affordable, accessible, and accountable education. Developing and providing a service culture of excellence is vital to achieving these challenges; Baldrige quality criteria is accepted as one standard for excellence. In 1988, APPA instituted an Award for Excellence program based on the Baldrige criteria. Only a handful of universities and colleges have formally pursued and secured the Award for Excellence issued by APPA. If the external and internal pressures for excellence are so critical, what does it take for a campus to initiate and sustain a culture of excellence?
The purpose of the study is to better understand, based on the perceptions of excellence award winners, the key factors and conditions needed to initiate and sustain a culture of excellence. This phenomenological study explores the shared experiences among the winners of the Award for Excellence in Facilities Management, the highest institutional-level award issued by APPA.
The Development of an Instrument Measuring Elements of the Outdoor Physical Campus Environment for Student Satisfaction and Perceived Importance
Erica Eckert, Ph.D., Kent State University
[Read the report/doctoral dissertation]
With limited resources, it is difficult to justify expenditures that fail to yield results. Assessment provides for the investigation of initiatives for their relative success or effectiveness with a specific population. An institution’s outdoor physical campus environment is rarely the object of careful assessment, and yet is an area of great expense. As campus planners prioritize projects, there is value in knowing which ones net the greatest satisfaction and are of the most importance to current students, which can serve as proxy for prospects. As institutions are charged with the task of bringing the most qualified prospects to fruition as enrolled students, and at the same time retaining the ones who do enroll, expenditures should be considered as they relate to increasing satisfaction of prospective and current students in an efficient way. Assessing the outdoor physical campus environment will allow administrators to understand the level of satisfaction students have with the physical campus environment and which areas, if improved or left to languish would have the greatest impact.
The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument that asks current students about their satisfaction with elements of the outdoor campus environment as defined by campus design and campus ecology literature. Additionally, the participants were asked to rate the importance of these elements, which provided a sense of magnitude not necessarily found in a simple measure of satisfaction. The information collected through the developed questionnaire provided valuable feedback for campus planners and facilities managers, and may even be useful as a tool for benchmarking or competitor analysis.
Relating Facility Performance Indicators with Organizational Sustainability in Public Higher Education Facilities
Gregory K. Adams, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
[Read the report]
This research sought to identify how an organization’s facility management (FM) practices relate with the state of sustainability in the organization. A review of the literature led to presentation of a model defining these relationships. The concepts of direct and indirect FM sustainability roles in organizational sustainability are presented. Accepted facility metrics found in the APPA Facilities Performance Indicators (FPI) survey and report are used as indicators of FM in University System of Georgia institutions and are tested for correlation with sustainability best practices scores generated in an assessment performed for this research. FM performance indicators representing the direct role of FM are not found to be correlated with organizational sustainability best practices and the indirect sustainability role of FM likely offers facility managers greater opportunities to advance sustainability within higher education organizations.
The National Campus Safety and Security Project and Its Impact on Educational Facilities
William M. Elvey, University of Texas at Dallas
[Read the report]
Historically, colleges and universities have thought of campus safety and security in the context of crimes against individuals or property. In recent years, safety and security efforts on campus have grown to include both random and organized violent actions that represent threats to our human, physical, and cyber assets. Additionally, the impact of natural disasters have necessitated the need for comprehensive emergency preparedness planning.
The focus of the research, conducted through the National Safety and Security Project, was to develop comprehensive emergency management plans to deal with all hazards that address the four phases of emergency management: prevention/mitigation; preparedness, response; and recovery.
The National Safety and Security Project was an initiative spearheaded by the National Association of College and University Business Officers and supported by several education associations, including APPA. The principal investigator was the 2008-09 APPA President and APPA's representative to the project.
Strategic Capital Development: The New Model for Campus Investment
Harvey H. Kaiser, Harvey H. Kaiser Associates, Inc.
Eva Klein, Eva Klein & Associates, Ltd.
[Read an excerpt: The Six Principles of Facilities Stewardship]
[Read an excerpt: Beyond the Condition Audit]
[Order the book]
This research presents a bold approach for planning capital investments from a strategic and long-range perspective. The researchers define stewardship principles necessary to create and sustain a built environment that is responsive to institutional strategies and functions; remains attractive to faculty and students; and optimizes available resources.
The report, published in book form in 2010, provides a summary of how capital planning and funding practices in higher education have evolved from the late 1940s to the present; makes the case for why change is needed, based on an examination of environment/context factors; and provides the proposed model for improved campus investment.
Sustainable or green building practices have been adopted recently by many higher education institutions for their new campus buildings and major renovations. To date, no formal study has been conducted to determine if policy is essential for sustainable building practices and the implementation of LEED® for these institutional green buildings in North America. A mixed-methods approach consisting of a quantitative survey and qualitative interviews was undertaken with senior facility professionals at higher education institutions in North America. The first portion of this research has been published as "Evaluating Institutional Green Buildings Policies: A Mixed-Methods Approach."
The survey evaluated the institution's use of a policy, guideline, standard, law, or goal related to sustainable building practices and the interview identified specific practices as well as issues such as leadership, policy compliance, and barriers to adopting sustainable building policies. This paper provides a framework for an institutional sustainable building policy that is suitable to use as a template for senior facility professionals and their specific policy development. This work contributes to a foundation for future research related to sustainable/green building policy development and its application to the higher education sector.
Mining for Gems Using APPA's 2007 and 2008 Facilities Performance Indicators
Margaret P. (Maggie) Kinnaman, University of Maryland, Baltimore
[Read the report]
[Learn more about the FPI]
This research project was intended to add credibility to the results of the APPA Facilities Performance Indicators (FPI) survey results. Currently survey results are examined using descriptive statistics such as the mean, median, and standard deviation. Additionally, a number of functional slices of the data are examined. These include such areas as Region, Carnegie Classification, and Funding.
This research study examines relationships amongst ratios to assist survey participants in telling a story of cause and effect. The study focused on 75 relationships that span the range of the seven essential questions that form the organizing framework of the annual FPI survey and report.
The Impact of Levels of Cleanliness on the Academic Achievement of Students
Alan S. Bigger, Earlham College
Jeffrey L. Campbell, Brigham Young University
[Get the report]
The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a direct corrrelation between cleanliness and the resulting academic grade(s) of students. In 1992, APPA published the first edition of Custodial Staffing Guidelines for Educational Facilities; the second edition was published in 1998. This seminal document set the precedent for correlating levels of productivity and cleaning of facilities and has been used as justification for appropriate staffing levels at institutions. In addition, ISSA has long established cleaning times and guidelines that also address productivity issues.
However, such data is now being brought into question as performance indicators are being used to address specific outcomes of maintenance programs. The principal investigators led a team of researchers representing APPA and ISSA to collect data, review and research relevant literature, and determine whether levels of staffing and cleaning have an affect on the academic achievement of students.
Buildings...The Gifts That Keep on Taking: A Framework for Integrated Decision-Making
Douglas K. Christensen, Brigham Young University
Rod Rose, STRATUS - A Heery Company
Terry W. Ruprecht, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
[Buy the book]
APPAs Center for Facilities Research (CFaR) is sponsoring and conducting research that is expected to produce a widely-accepted model for understanding the total cost of investing in and maintaining college and university facilities. This Strategic Investment Model and Asset Investment Strategy is intended to assist higher education policy makers (e.g., presidents and chancellors, boards of trustees, legislators, etc.) to better understand the impact of major decisions on such key issues as resource allocation, building design criteria, recruitment and retention of faculty and students, construction strategies, the nature of the learning and research environment, and accountability measures. Completed and published in July 2007.
The Effect of Educational Facilities on Recruitment and Retention of Students
David A. Cain, Carter & Burgess, Inc.
Gary L. Reynolds, The Colorado College
[Read Executive Summary: Research Findings;
Read Executive Summary: Comparative Analysis;
Order the full report]
In 1984 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching conducted a study evaluating the decision-making process of parents and potential students in selecting an institution of higher education. [Carnegie Foundation Survey of the Transition from High School to College, 1984-85; a summary of results was published as How Do Students Choose a College in the January/February 1986 issue of Change.]
This research project will update and more fully explore the impact of the type and quality of educational facilities on the recruitment and retention of today's parents and students. The project will confirm and clarify the relative correlation of the various facilities related issues to recruitment and retention decision-making process of parents and students.
Thirty-three institutions responded to a Web-based survey instrument. The institutions ranged from a small, private liberal arts baccalaureate college to a multi-campus, public doctoral research extensive university. Twenty-four of the responses were from doctoral research institutions. Most of the responses were from public institutions.
The data was analyzed to determine: 1) the current ratio of recharge rates to direct wages as a way to control for dollar amount variances due to geographical location, union versus non-union, private versus public, and small versus large institutions; and 2) the factors that influence the ratio (or multiplier) to the direct wage. The development of a template for structuring in-house construction rates will be a fundamental part of the study conclusions. A summary was published in the July/August 2004 issue of Facilities Manager.
The Facilities Condition Index as a Measure of the Condition of Public Universities in the United States as Perceived by the End Users
Robert J. Quirk, California State University, Long Beach
The Facilities Condition Index (FCI) is a relatively new term gaining more widespread use by university administrators to determine the relative condition of their campus facilities. This study will attempt to determine if the FCI is a reliable measure of facilities condition from the perspective of the end users in the classroom.
Data will be collected through existing empirical studies of universities who have established their FCI as reported through recognized sources such as the Strategic Assessment Model for Continuous Improvement, as published by APPA: The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers, and through a proportionate stratified sampling of the populations faculty and students.
This study will question the null hypothesis that there is no relationship between the FCI and the perspective of the end users of public university facilities. The researcher also expects that these findings will provide additional credence to the FCI measurement and reveal an association between customer satisfaction and the condition of our public universities as measured by the Facilities Condition Index.
The selection of a design professional is an important task for an institution, concerning its physical assets, and it is imperative to hire the best-qualified professional. When combining the interest of being a good steward of university assets, along with the interest to obtain services better, cheaper, and faster, these paradigms come together at a focal point, when an institution goes into negotiations with an external A/E vendor. At stake is more than the acquisition of services. There is also the establishment of a partnership to arrive at the best outcome satisfying all interested participants dealing with capital projects, which usually have a long life span.
Using a single case study qualitative research methodology, in conjunction with contemporary continuous quality tools and LeanSigma techniques, Iowa State Universitys Facilities Planning and Management Department launched a quest to discover those factors most influential in this negotiating process.
In an interest to secure the most qualified consultant, and receive the best services for the agreed upon fees, all pertinent factors need to be taken into consideration. In order to achieve this win-win scenario, representatives for the institution must negotiate with the external A/E service providers to arrive at an acceptable professional agreement having equitable terms for both sides. In order to optimize the arrangement, it is recognized that establishing a common understanding between the groups by using a published basic services guide is a valuable first step. In other words, the expectations of the customers entitlement and the providers needs and intentions are aligned.
The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if there is a difference between college and university chief business officers, facilities directors, and personnel directors regarding their views of workplace violence issues. The target population was the 1,200 United States higher education member institutions of APPA: The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers. From the 1,200 APPA member institutions 400 were randomly selected. The three administrators at the selected institutions were sent a letter inviting participation in an electronic mail (e-mail) survey.
The data from the responses indicates there is a difference between the three administrators regarding; 1) their understanding of workplace violence, 2) their organizational need for prevention and training, and 3) there are differences based on demographic characteristics. The comments from 50 respondents provided additional insight into the three administrators understanding of workplace violence and added support to the findings.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between measures of organizational climate and measures of job satisfaction as applied to directors of physical plants. Another purpose of this study was to determine if there were significant differences in the means for job satisfaction when controlling for gender, ethnicity, classification of the institution by size and type, number of years as director of physical plant at current institution, and type of institution.
These analyses revealed that personal concerns, internal communication, organizational structure, and evaluation were the organizational climate factors related to job satisfaction for directors of physical plants. The eight job satisfaction variables investigated were: decision-making; autonomy, power and control; relationship with peers; relationship with subordinates; relationship with supervisor; salary; benefits; and professional effectiveness.
The organizational culture of our institutionsthat collection of assumptions, behaviors, values, rites, rituals, and folklores (to use James Coles model)is so resistant to change that it is preventing us from controlling our own destiny as the hurricane force winds of 21st century change blow over us.
Until we understand the concept of institutional culture and the forces at work that determine each institutions unique culture, and until we start to realize the cultural alternatives that exist and how to go about making conscious cultural choices, we will never control our own destiny. We will be constantly frustrated in our attempts to realize our vision, and likely to become victims of those forces of change outside of our control. It is a simple concept that results are derived from behaviors, but behaviors are reinforced by an organizations culture. Our ability to control resultsto form our own futureis dependent upon our ability to adjust our culture.
The culture continuum identifies five major components that work together to create an organizations cultureleadership style, assumptions about people, motivational techniques, relationships, and sustaining forces. Each of these components spans a continuum of extremes, from a traditional culture at one extreme contrasted with a stewardship approach on the other. Any meaningful culture change must start with a realization of where an organization currently resides on this culture continuum, and an understanding of where it needs to reside in order to improve its effectiveness in this ever-changing world.
Developing a comprehensive long-term capital plan to manage the facilities portfolio is a major challenge. Implementing that plan is yet another. Not all projects in the capital plan carry the same priority. Generally, most projects fall into one of two categories: 1) projects necessary to maintain the operational integrity of the institution, including code compliance or regulatory mandates, support infrastructure such as utilities or transportation, and major repairs or rehabilitation; or 2) projects that have a strategic importance to the institution and those that further its mission and goals, such as new construction or renovations necessary to enhance programs or accommodate growth or mission expansion or redirection. Some projects may have elements of both categories; for example, the renovation of an older building to support a new program may also include a number of repair projects, such as a new roof and upgrades to the building faade, as well as necessary code compliance improvements. Published as chapter in the APPA-NACUBO book, Planning and Managing the Campus Facilities Portfolio, 2003.