Royal Roads University  

Royal Roads University - Director of Facilities

Director of Facilities - Royal Roads University

Director of Facilities

As Royal Roads University’s Director of Facilities I was responsible for the development and maintenance of the university’s facilities, environmental stewardship of the university’s 640 acre campus, campus security and risk management. In addition I was responsible for three (3) profit centers, the University Bookstore, the Student Residence and University Food Services.

Upon arrival I found a very demoralized staff that had been somewhat abused by the former Director. They had little autonomy and no incentive to improve.  To address this I established regular meetings and encouraged staff to raise issues. I ordered business cards for all service staff interfacing with students and other staff and encouraged a customer-focused approach for all maintenance and support staff.  As a result morale skyrocketed in just a few weeks.  For example I observed one engineer in particular who had a reputation for being non-productive voluntarily staying beyond normal working hours to complete a task and not claiming overtime. It's amazing how you can stimulate productivity simply by treating people with respect and giving them the autonomy to do their job.

Having recently completed my MBA I was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to oversee three profit centers in the Bookstore, Residence, and Food Services.  My focus was two-fold; improve customer service and increase profits. Once again I found that achieving these goals involve unleashing the managers and treating them with respect.  They all came forward with great ideas on how we could achieve these goals in our regular meetings and just needed a little encouragement to put their plans into action.

Royal Roads University - Director of Facilities

Greenhouse Before

Royal Roads University - Director of Facilities

Greenhouse After

During my time at RRU I had one major construction project to undertake which was the restoration of an 95 year old greenhouse. The greenhouse was build by James Dunsmuir in 1908 and had been poorly maintained over the past 50 years. This work was extensive and required all glass to be replaced and the steel frame to be restored.  I documented the requirements and facilitated a consensus among the stakeholders. I then wrote the Request for Proposals (RPF) and distributed it throughout Canada and the USA since contractors with experience restoring greenhouses are rare.  After the International search I found that the highest rated contractor, Vintage Woodworks Inc, was right in our back yard in Victoria. After being awarded the project Vintage Woodworks completed in the very reasonable time of 18 months.

After a couple of years in this position I felt I needed to look for a position with a larger business component to apply my MBA knowledge. Fortunately after applying to only a couple of positions I was offered a position with Seneca College in Toronto as their Director of College Services and Ancillary Business Development.
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