Ken Pollard named interim director of Facility Services; SMU plans to finalize new Aramark agreement by June 1, 2016

Ken Pollard has been appointed acting/interim director of Facility Services by Aramark, as announced by Associate Vice President and University Architect Philip Jabour, Office of Facilities Planning and Management.

Pollard will serve in his new position through at least May 31, 2016 and “will work closely with me and the entire department as we begin to transition the management of the Facility Services division in preparation of the new agreement,” Jabour said.

Jabour also provided an update on the new Facility Services Agreement between SMU and Aramark:

We continue to remain on track to achieve our goal of an executed agreement by June 1, 2016.  At this time, we are nearing completion on the Articles of the Agreement, and we continue to refine the scopes of work for the various Exhibits of the Agreement related to Operations & Maintenance Services, Grounds and Landscaping Services, Custodial & Housekeeping Services, Support Services, and the Quality Assurance Program.  We expect to be complete with the Exhibits in the next two weeks in order that each party’s attorneys may begin to finalize the documents for execution. Once the Agreement is completed, we will make available the final scopes of work.

For additional information, questions or comments, contact Philip Jabour.

ARAMARK to manage SMU facilities operations

Effective May 13, 2011, professional services provider ARAMARK will lead SMU’s Facilities Management and Sustainability operations.

Current FM&S employees are being offered the same or similar positions as part of the ARAMARK facilities services team. Each staff member’s salary and length of service at SMU will be transitioned to ARAMARK. There will be no salary decreases and no interruptions in pay or health benefits.

More information is included in the following statement released today:

Effective today, SMU has made a change in the leadership and management of the Facilities Management and Sustainability (FM&S) team. ARAMARK, a professional services provider well known to the SMU community and an industry leader, will now manage this component of the University’s operations.

Current FM&S employees are being offered the same or similar positions here on campus as part of the ARAMARK facilities services team. Each staff member’s salary and length of service at SMU will be transitioned to ARAMARK. There will be no salary decreases and no interruptions in pay or health benefits. ARAMARK will make every effort to provide employees with a benefits package that is comparable to the SMU plan.

This decision was based on three important considerations, as explained by SMU Vice President for Business and Finance Chris Casey:

Core competencies/organizational effectiveness – SMU’s core mission and competency is in the areas of teaching and research. Engaging with a respected professional service provider is a sensible solution that will allow the University to remain at the forefront of industry best practices and improve services to the campus. It also affords our FM&S employees with enhanced career and staff development opportunities.

Good stewardship – The SMU Board of Trustees has entrusted the administration of the University with the careful and responsible management of all funds, especially during challenging economic times. The University has been charged with managing budgets closely and initiating cost savings wherever possible while continuing to deliver first-rate service. The contract with ARAMARK is expected to result in significant savings to the University.

Proven track record – SMU has a long track record of engaging with professional service providers. Since 1995, the University has contracted with ARAMARK for Dining Services and more recently, for Custodial. During the past 25 years, SMU employees in the SMU Bookstore, Dining Services, Custodial Services, Copy Center and Parking Enforcement have made successful transitions to outside service providers.

Keith Gardner will serve as the Director of FM&S at SMU through ARAMARK. Keith has more than 30 years with ARAMARK in facilities management, most recently in health care. We welcome him to the SMU campus. Julie Wiksten will serve as the SMU contract administrator, just as she does for Dining Services, the Bookstore and other services. Those needing FM&S services should continue to access FM&S employees through their usual channels.

For more information or to ask questions, please e-mail

Food, fitness & fun the focus of SMU Farmers Market April 28-29, 2011

Stock photo of tomatoes on the vineThe University community is invited to take a fresh perspective on cooking, eating and living well at the Spring 2011 SMU Farmers Market. The events take place 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, April 28, and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, April 29, in the Hughes-Trigg Commons.

Shoppers can expect to find fresh items including blueberries, plums, mangos, nectarines, seedless watermelons, avocados, bell peppers, tomatillos and snow peas. Organic offerings will include apples, carrots, grape tomatoes, spring salad mix and Texas-grown shiitake mushrooms. Herbs like cilantro and mint, as well as more exotic items such as blood oranges and starfruit, also will be available.

Produce is priced by the pound. Cash, credit and Pony Cash will be accepted. Bags will be available; shoppers are encouraged to go green and bring their own reusable bags.

In addition, SMU experts will share tips for eating well, living healthy and being eco-friendly throughout the market:

  • Fancy feasting: SMU Dining Services Executive Chef Tim Schaub will demonstrate the art of garde manger – making memorable garnishes such as tomato roses and apple swans. He’ll also have recipes for delicious dishes featuring Farmers Market produce, some of which appear on the menu at RFoC @ Lee.
  • Soul food: 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Thursday and 12:45-1:30 p.m. Friday, meet at the Farmers Market. McCreless Associate Professor of Evangelism Elaine Heath, Perkins School of Theology, will conduct walking tours of the SMU Community Garden, which benefits the North Texas Food Bank. Information about how to become involved with the project also will be offered.
  • Good dirt: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, Hughes-Trigg Forum. Ann Allen and Cathy Coates of SMU Facilities Management & Sustainability will share tips for growing vegetables in containers.
  • Sage advice: SMU Dietitian Claire Florsheim will share nutrition information and tips.
  • Healthy living: Get the latest on Dedman Center exercise programs.
  • Going green: Learn about sustainability at SMU.

The SMU Farmers Market and programs are open to the public. They are presented by SMU Wellpower and SMU Dining Services.

Written by Pat Ward

> Find more information at the SMU Farmers Market webpage
> Get updates at the SMU Farmers Market blog

Making the green grade: SMU scores highest among DFW colleges

SMU has earned a “B” for its campus sustainability efforts, the highest score among DFW-area colleges and universities and a significant improvement over previous SMU scores.

The ranking was assigned by the College Sustainability Report Card, a comparative evaluation of campus and endowment sustainability activities at 332 colleges and universities with the largest endowments in the United States and in Canada.

> Watch Erin Hedrick’s winning 2010 Green Minute Video by clicking the YouTube screen or opening this link video

“We are really very pleased with this score,” said Michael Paul, SMU’s executive director of Facilities Management and Sustainability. “I think it reflects a serious and growing commitment here at every level to preserving the environment and our resources.”

Data collection for the College Sustainability Report Card 2011 took place from June through August 2010. The profiles of the schools were created using information gathered through independent research as well as through voluntary responses from school administrators and students. In total, 290 of the 300 schools (more than 96 percent) responded to at least one survey out of four that gathered information about sustainability in campus operations, dining services, endowment investment practices and student activities.

SMU’s “B” grade for 2011 is a significant increase from the “C+” score earned on its 2010 report card. Increasing the campus commitment to sustainability and raising awareness of green practices on the Hilltop is the mandate for the SMU Sustainability Committee, a group composed of faculty, staff and student members.

> Learn more about the College Sustainability Report Card

The University has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than 6 percent since 2005. Energy efficiency technologies, including economizers and high-efficiency motors, have been installed in many campus buildings. A demonstration photovoltaic array generates renewable energy, and SMU purchases some electricity from renewable sources.

SMU’s high marks also are attributed to such things as its commitment to LEED green building practices, aggressive recycling programs and waste reduction in campus dining services.

> Visit SMU’s Sustainability hub

Water service interruption scheduled for June 26, 2010

SMU Facilities Management and Sustainability is taking advantage of the summer break to make final connections on new water service in some campus buildings. As a result, water will be unavailable in the following facilities for a period between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, June 26:

  • Clements Hall
  • Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Science Information Center
  • Fondren Library and Fondren Link