By Ryan Swanson, Associate VP, Facilities & University Architect
I hope everyone enjoyed a well-deserved holiday break. A big thank you goes out to those of you who attended to critical tasks in the physical plant here on campus last week and over break. The Manhattan campus was very quiet with no major unforeseen events – as it should be due in large part to the work many of you do behind the scenes.
As for my crew, we had a great time visiting family and friends. Rebecca, Annika, Nels and I have learned the Kansas landmarks (west on Highways 24 and 36 to Phillipsburg and then north) so well that Annika has stopped asking how much farther it is to grandma’s house. Instead, she updates the ETA to the rest of us as we pass key places like implement dealerships, windmill farms, and the occasional convenience stop.
Speaking of the landmarks and paths we travel, 2016 will be filled with many for the K-State Family. We’ve officially moved into the new Engineering Phase IV building – adding 3 new fulltime custodians and an additional team member soon to be on board for building maintenance Zone Team 1. The month of May will mark the opening of our new front door at the Berney Family Welcome Center in historic East Stadium. May also brings us the closing of Mid Campus Drive to daily traffic as we lay down the last sections of the new campus chilled water loop and create a new pedestrian centered walking mall complete with new site lighting, outdoor seating and natural landscape features. July means serious business as the new CBA building wraps up construction. In August we’ll move students into the new 8 story 540 bed Wefald Residence Hall and Dining Center and the Student Union renovation project should be very close to wrapping up in December. If you add in the new North East Connector project at Bill Snyder Family Stadium we’ll put a great big purple K-State bow on seven major landmark projects at the end of this New Year.
As a Facilities Department we recently had the pleasure of seeing our new budget request proceed past the second round with the campus budget committee. This request includes additional funding for new building utilities, staff, and operational expenses. We asked for a total of 19 new centrally funded front line staff in the areas of custodial, landscape, maintenance and chill plant operations starting in the 2017-18 FY. We do not yet know the final outcome of our request, although we remain highly hopeful in receiving added resource assistance in these mission critical areas. I’ll keep you posted on the final outcome as soon as I know more.
Kudos to the entire team on the great things I see happening out on campus. I’m walking campus more (part of my New Year’s resolution to be healthier) and I truly enjoy seeing the enthusiasm you all have as you work. I try to stop and say hello to as many of you as I can. If you see me pass by, feel free to simply catch me for a quick conversation. I’m always interested in what you’re doing and learning how I can help get the resources you need to do it better. This is truly a special place and you make a world of difference in the lives of the students, staff, faculty, administration and the alumni through the work we do together each day.
2016 is a big year for K-State – let’s all make it a safe and productive one together!
The employees of Dole Hall would like to thank Hye Suk Stoddard for doing such a great job keeping their building beautiful.
“The staff of Central Mail Services and I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Moving and Hauling crew, especially Barb Elliott, Kit Tebbutt, and Matt Henry, for their assistance with clearing the snow and ice around our buildings and vehicles on Monday, January 4th, 2016. They saw a need, stepped up and cleared the area without being asked. This is quality customer service in its purest form (yes, we in Facilities are each other’s “internal” customers)! Thank you so much Barb, Kit, and Matt! You are appreciated!” -Loleta Sump, Director of Customer Service
Congratulations to John Woods on his retirement from the Division of Facilities after 17 years of Service.
“I said good-bye to a cherished supervisor when John Woods retired. John worked for Facilities for over 17 years and was, by far, a dedicated employee. Almost every night when I left, John would still be in his office working on his computer. He took time out of his hectic daily schedule to talk to his employees. Whether they needed advice on how to handle a situation or just needed encouragement, John would take the time to listen. . He very rarely raised his voice and if he had to correct an employee, he would correct them behind closed doors. He was very concerned about confidentiality. Many times John would go out of his way to keep an employee working even if they were having problems. He would say that we needed to help them.
John always led by example. If there was an emergency, many times he would personally go to see the problem and help with the clean-up work. He would be gone for a long time and then come back and you could tell he had been doing the labor with his staff. I have had several family members work for John. Each one of them told me of a time when they were doing an emergency clean-up and John was there helping. John did not expect anything of his staff that he did not expect of himself. He said many times that all his supervisors and managers were working supervisors and managers. John proved overand over again that he was a working supervisor.
I have had many supervisors over the course of my working years and I can say that John was the most honest one I have ever had. He always conducted himself with honesty and integrity and I know he was well respected by many on campus. John will unequivocally be missed by me as well as many other members of our K-State community”. – Terri Wyrick, Senior Administrative Assist., Facility Services
The Division of Human Capital Services is accepting nominations for the President’s Award of Excellence for Unclassified Professionals. All winners receive a $1,000 award. The nomination deadline is February 1, 2016.
The President’s Award of Excellence for Unclassified Professionals fosters excellence in the workplace by rewarding and recognizing unclassified professional staff members who achieve excellence and/or make exemplary contributions to the mission and values of K-State. Unclassified professional staff, or nonfaculty, with a minimum of three years of continuous service who are employed at five-tenths or greater on a regular or term appointment are eligible.
Four awards are made, one in each of the following categories:
Team building, group activity, service to the university
Exceptional productivity, creativity or innovation
More information about the President’s Award of Excellence for Unclassified Professionals, including the nomination form and procedures, is available online.
The K-State University Support Staff Award of Excellence recognizes exemplary performance and contributions of University Support Staff members who consistently excel in their positions and demonstrate integrity and a strong commitment to the mission and values of K-State. All USS benefits eligible staff members, full or part-time, are eligible to be nominated for this award.
Three award winners are selected, one from each of the following categories:
Ruth Rowlands has worked at K-State University for five years and is currently the Senior Administrative Assistant in Key Control within K-State’s Division of Facilities. The people on who she describes as“Friendly….for the most part!”
Ruth was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (‘Steeler Country’) but many of her co-workers may not know that she has roots to K-State that go back to the 1960’s. Her dad as well as two of her uncles, one aunt, three cousins, and one brother are all K-State Alumni. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys crafting, knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, reading, and (most importantly)…
“…finding ways to embarrass my kids….especially in public!”
Anyone who knows Ruth very well will not be surprised that her favorite show is “Doctor Who”. And the reason?
…it’s bigger on the inside!”
When it comes to dining her favorite foods are pizza, spaghetti, and Chinese. Her favorite vacation spot reveals her loyalty to “Steeler Country” as she claims Tionesta, Pennsylvania is about as close to ‘God’s Country’ as you can get,
“When you hike to the top of a hill and look out over the valley,the view is beautiful. The different shades of green from the trees against the blue sky…..beautiful!”