July 6, 2010

First Person: Bob Hascall

Career reflections on a shared vision

Bob Hascall

Bob Hascall is vice president of Campus Services. He retires July 31.

Coming to the end of my full-time professional career has been both a scary and inspiring experience. I’ve reflected on my 40-plus-year career of leadership in facilities management, and am delighted that Emory has served as the platform for my best work. Sustainability initiatives at Emory have been the hallmark of my legacy and that means so much to me.

These 13.5 years represent the capstone of my career, and it is fitting that I take a moment to share some of my thoughts about this institution, as well as to thank the remarkable employees whom I’ve been privileged to lead and work beside. 

Together we developed a pedestrian-only campus core; built the first LEED certified building in the Southeast; built one of the largest transit systems in Georgia and it’s entirely alternatively fueled with biodiesel! We have set a goal of reducing our energy consumption 25 percent by 2015, and we have already achieved a reduction of 13.7 percent.

We have also established collegial relationships with local entities such as DeKalb County, Druid Hills High School, the CDC, the Alliance to Improve Emory Village, and all our neighborhood associations through the Clifton Community Partnership and the CCTMA.

Perhaps the most significant accomplishment of all is represented in the atmosphere and culture we’ve created within the Campus Services organization. When I came to Emory, the Facilities Management Division (as it was called then) was perceived as ineffective. I take great pride in the role I’ve played in shifting this organization’s image to one that is highly regarded for its “See it-fix it” maxim, its friendly and positive team spirit and its “can do” attitude.

Campus Services has developed a sense of purpose, belonging, and acceptance that has been encouraged and nurtured. We understand more than ever that we are part of one team working together for the betterment of Emory.

Our Vision Map has provided the foundation and framework upon which the Campus Services organization has been built, and done much to pull us together, providing guidance as we perform our duties every day.

Our employees are the heart and soul of this organization and we continue to strive for excellence with compassion, dedication, commitment and loyalty. Our positive impact on Emory is significant, and I am proud of the way we contribute to Emory’s vision of becoming a destination university.

We have established many proud traditions over the years such as the annual Chair Rodeo that now hosts more than 100 volunteers from all over the campus that help us set up the 14,000 chairs on the Quad for Commencement each year.

We hold the “Breaks with Bob” twice a year where my direct reports and I meet with all of our employees on all three shifts to share information about what’s happening in Campus Services and the University.

For me, this is not only about ensuring a level of transparency with our employees, it is about accessibility — about being there with the front line, and not being afraid to take the tough questions and hear their concerns and feedback.

When I see the positive results of our Vision Map inside Campus Services, and within the campus community, I am both astonished and proud. Every employee had a hand in developing the vision we follow and it translates into action for each of them everyday.

Front line employees present the map to new employees at our monthly CS Orientations. They share what the Vision Map means, and why it is important to them.  Every employee I’ve ever seen make this presentation does it differently, and they all have parts that are particularly meaningful to them.

There are many roads to reach our goals, and all of them are paved with our values — respect, integrity, compassion, openness, pride, fairness and of course fun. The impact our vision has had on our employees is huge, and I feel so honored to be able to leave such a legacy behind.

As I look back on my time here at Emory, I reflect on the things that are important to me, having integrity to always do what you say; to be respectful and responsive in addressing employees and customers on the job; encouraging others to achieve their highest potential in whatever form that takes.

I have enjoyed mentoring others, both formally and informally, over the years. Those mentoring sessions have always given me a wonderful sense of hope and accomplishment as I see young people choosing to do things that express their passion and excitement while at the same time growing in their careers.

Emory is such a wonderful place, with such remarkable people. My personal appreciation for the courageous leadership I’ve seen from the Board of Trustees, senior administration, and my colleagues and friends lingers large in my heart.

As I look to enjoying my retirement, I am fulfilled in knowing that I’ve done my very best work right here at Emory. My deep and abiding love of the people at Emory is what has motivated me and given me hope and excitement for the future. 

The gift you have given to me is one of complete satisfaction and appreciation. The legacy I hope to leave for you is a strong and effective Campus Services organization that understands the importance of strong relationships with others and most importantly understands its role in helping to make Emory University the destination of choice. Our people are our biggest resource and it is through people that you can accomplish all things.

I will miss Emory, its wonderful people and all the fantastic times I’ve had here but I am ready to move to the next phase of my life. As for me — I have a wonderful wife Brenda, a dream house on a lake with a boat, and a sweet dog named Andy. I can ask for nothing more.

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