To acquire wisdom, one must observe

New VP of Campus Operations outlines first-year plan

Lois Stanley, the new vice president of campus operations, is working on a process to better determine what buildings require maintenance. This process will help the university decide which buildings need the most immediate attention. 

Stanley joined campus in October 2019 after her previous role as the director of campus and capital renewal planning at Tufts University, according to a BrandeisNOW article. While at Tufts, she helped to create a deferred maintenance process to address maintenance issues on Tufts campus, Stanley said in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. 

Deferred maintenance is “a backlog of repairs that are necessary to keep the building stock, the building portfolio in good condition, in good operating condition,” she said in an interview.

“[This process] factors in more qualitative aspects of a building, like utilization and academic priority,” she said. Stanley has made this her goal within her first year at Brandeis. “I know I can do that as a first-year goal because I did it for the last two and a half years at Tufts,” she said. 

“Three years ago, Tufts was just like Brandeis,” said Stanley in an interview. “When it came to deferred maintenance, [they] were looking strictly at building condition.”

While working at Tufts, Stanley helped to develop a scoring method that would get more feedback from the academic side and gather data beyond just building condition, like utilization. Examples of these types of data include recognizing which buildings are more heavily utilized because these spaces need extra consideration for deferred maintenance. 

There is a budget through which deferred maintenance projects are paid. The recent springboard funding plan is also helping to subsidize some of the projects. 

A majority of the deferred maintenance projects are completed over the summer when there are fewer students on campus. Stanley explained that this is done to ensure the safety of the students.

Stanley said in an interview that she is a “process-oriented [person], particularly around communication and data gathering both of which are critical to informed decision-making.” She also found campus to be extremely organized and found her staff to be very accessible and welcoming. “I’m also glad that I started in the fall because this may well be when the campus is most beautiful due to the landscape and the most impressive mid-century architecture I’ve ever seen in one place.”

She is still not sure about upcoming deferred maintenance for 2020 but is working with groups around campus to update buildings on campus and ensure that buildings are compliant with the American Disability Act.

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