Why this is important.

The facilities committee helps shape the physical character of its institution by ensuring that the campus is functional, attractive, and well maintained. The committee should strive to maintain accountability to the board, act as an information-sharing liaison between the facilities staff and the board, and continually advocate for the crucial need for facilities maintenance. The facilities committee offers trustees an opportunity to be part of a process that yields a concrete and tangible outcome. Strong facilities stewardship sustains the legacy of past generations and ensures the preservation of the facilities for the benefit of future generations.

Source: The Facilities Committee by Harvey H. Kaiser, AGB 2012

Questions for boards.

These are key questions for your board to consider:

Fundamentals

Consequential Questions:

  1. Does our committee charge or charter provide clear guidance on the responsibilities, composition, and structure of the facilities committee?
  2. How does our campus master plan support the strategic plan? What is the process for updating the campus master plan, and who is involved?
  3. Does our institution have a stated policy with respect to sustainability?

Sources:The Facilities Committee by Harvey H. Kaiser, AGB 2012

Discussions

Consequential Questions:

  1. What level of involvement should our committee have in long-range physical planning, capital planning, and campus aesthetics?
  2. How should our facilities committee be involved in resource allocation? What role does our committee play in reviewing operating and capital requests during the budgeting process?
  3. What projects should be brought to the full board for approval? What information should our committee provide to the full board for discussion and decision-making?
  4. What portion of our institution’s annual operating budget is devoted to operations and maintenance?
  5. What is our board’s policy for addressing deferred maintenance? Is it adequate? When was it last revised? How does our facilities committee track the deferred maintenance backlog?

Sources:The Facilities Committee by Harvey H. Kaiser, AGB 2012

Relationships

Consequential Questions:

  1. How does our facilities committee work with the administrative staff? Do committee members understand and accept their role as providing direction and oversight rather than project management?
  2. Do physical condition assessments address campus-wide infrastructure in addition to building conditions?

Sources:The Facilities Committee by Harvey H. Kaiser, AGB 2012

We carefully curated these staff-picked resources for you:

The Facilities Committee

2012
Harvey H. Kaiser, AGB

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