Industry Challenges Prompting Increasing Role Complexity for SFOs

Historically, many senior Facilities officers (SFOs) viewed their role as keeping the physical plant running smoothly behind the scenes, with minimal interruptions to campus operations, teaching, or research. This historic stewardship persona, however, is increasingly difficult to maintain in face of new market forces.

A growing maintenance backlog, a shrinking skilled labor pool, and overall tighter budgets make it nearly impossible for Facilities to continuously meet customers’ high expectations. At the same time, necessary tradeoffs and resource reallocations erode campus confidence in Facilities performance. SFOs must take on new responsibilities to maintain service levels despite fewer resources and ensure Facilities gets the credit it deserves for supporting the academic mission.

The 2018 Facilities Forum national meeting series will focus on equipping SFOs to take on these new responsibilities.