You may have seen an email earlier this afternoon from University of Tennessee System President Joe DiPietro regarding the state’s Facilities Management Initiative. The State of Tennessee’s Central Procurement Office released documents identifying the vendor(s) selected to identify potential cost savings for facilities management.
I have been engaged in conversations about this initiative since my on-campus interview in November, and I have been assured numerous times since then that my leadership team and I will be able to choose whether or not to opt in to the state contract based on what is best for our campus. System President DiPietro reiterated these assurances today.
The documents released today by the state procurement office include projected cost savings for our campus. These projected numbers are based on an initial review of our campus operations during the bidding process. Over the next few months, we will have an opportunity to work closely with representatives from the state’s vendor(s) in order to identify and verify their cost-savings analysis.
Once all the information is available and the data have been analyzed, which will likely be this summer, I will be conferring with my senior leadership team to make an informed decision about whether or not to opt in. My decision will be based solely on what is in the best interest of our campus and our employees.
Every single person who works here is central to our core mission. Our facilities and maintenance workers are essential to creating an environment in which we can successfully recruit, retain, and graduate students who thrive on our campus.
I want to thank our facilities workers—dedicated members of our campus community—who work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make this a better place.
I will be sure to update you on this process as more information becomes available.