Bob Hascall takes the reins at FMD

Bob Hascall, who became associate vice president for Facilities Management on Jan. 1, plans to bring to the Emory campus many of the ideas and strategies he has used at other universities over the years. Hascall replaces Dave Gojdics, who retired in December after 13 years at Emory.

Since 1969, Hascall has served in facilities management roles at the University of Southern California, the University of California at San Francisco, Western Washington University and the University of Washington.

One idea that Hascall first implemented at San Francisco and later USC is the Start Team approach, which brings together a cross-functional group of employees, including carpenters, painters, electricians and plumbers, who provide services to the university on a "see it, fix it" basis. "These people regularly tour the facilities, and as they see things that need fixing, they fix them," Hascall said. "No one asks them to do it and no one writes a work order."

Hascall also has established apprenticeship programs that allow facilities employees to acquire additional education and training required to pursue a particular career path. Under the program, if a custodial or landscaping employee has an aptitude for electrical work and wants to work toward becoming an electrician, the university provides the training and opportunities for on-the-job experience to qualify the employee for that job.

"We also set up a pay-for-skills program for skilled trades people so they could advance themselves in pay by learning new and different skills," said Hascall. The program allows a plumber, for example, to move from Grade I to Grade III based on the acquisition of certain additional skills. The program allows employees to take the initiative to upgrade their pay without having to wait for staff vacancies, Hascall explained.

Improving the building construction process will be one of Hascall's immediate priorities at Emory. "As I understand it, there needs to be more structure brought to the program of delivering projects to the campus, mainly in terms of ensuring that things are kept on schedule and on budget," Hascall said. "I also think there needs to be some focus on pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow on campus. That seems to be very problematic, particularly vehicular traffic."

Above all, Hascall wants to know as much as possible what faculty and staff need from Facilities Management. "I'm a very people-oriented person," he said. "I don't like to sit in my office writing memos or e-mail. If there's a problem, I want to go out and understand what the problem is myself. I want to talk with people and hear what they have to say. I want employees to know who I am and to see me on a regular basis and have an opportunity to talk with me if they have issues they want to discuss."

-Dan Treadaway

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