New Facilities FAQ: Explaining the Role of Building Liaisons

I understand Building Managers will now be called Building Liaisons, but am confused about their role in relation to Facilities Managers. Can you explain who does what?

Before OE2C, one person, who might have had a title such as Facilities Director or Building Manager, had responsibility for both facility oversight (including grounds, maintenance, custodial services, security systems, and design/construction) and for emergency management (including risk control, data control, emergency preparedness, fire inspections, and notification/communication) within a particular building. To increase operational effectiveness throughout campus, that role has now been divided into Facility Managers and Building Liaisons. (For a while, Building Liaisons were called Building Managers, but to avoid confusion with the old roles, the title will now be Building Liaison.)

In a nutshell, the Facility Manager is responsible for the building, and the Building Liaison is responsible for the people in the building.

The Facility Managers report to the Office of Facilities Planning and Management and are responsible for building policies and procedures, building safety, grounds maintenance, custodial services, and preventive maintenance. Facility Managers may be responsible for more than one building.

The Building Liaisons report to the Office of Risk Management, though they are not Risk Management employees, and are responsible for risk control, emergency preparedness, and notification/communication, in  addition to their day-to-day responsibilities. Building Liaisons will work with their assigned Facility Manager to oversee the life safety, property, operational, financial, and reputational risk considerations of the University. In the area of risk control, they will conduct risk assessments in buildings, make sure building events are entered into SMU’s scheduling software, and provide analysis data.  For emergency preparedness, they will help conduct training drills, maintain emergency notification procedures with building occupants,  and participate in emergency preparedness meetings. In the realm of communication and notification they will maintain emergency contact lists, keep building occupants informed about scheduled Facilities work in the building, make sure maintenance work does not interfere with classes and events, and ensure each occupant is informed about SMU’s emergency notification procedures.

For questions about Facility Managers, please contact Ali Day at or 8-4042. For information about Building Liaisons, contact Lisa Morris at or 8-1550.

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By Nick Rallo