Facilities Operations & Maintenance (FOM)

Director's Welcome

Headshot of Associate Director of Facilities Operations & Maintenance, Scott Griffin

 

Welcome! I am proud to lead the Facilities Operations and Maintenance (FOM) division’s team of dedicated and professional men and women. We take great pride in all we do to support our many clients and strive to exceed the expectations of all The University of Texas at Austin’s campus communities.

In order to exceed expectations, it is critically important that we all share a common understanding of those expectations. In recent years, resources have been constrained and/or reduced, while new facilities, programs, and increasingly complex systems have been added. I intend to focus the unique skills within all three of the division’s branches on the stabilization, and ultimately the reversal, of these divergent trends. It is fundamental for the long-term good of the university, our clients, their missions, and FOM personnel.

To achieve this endeavor, we must recommit ourselves to a number of initiatives:

  • Clearly communicate the levels of service provided by FOM to the campus community. 
  • Based on these levels of service, refine a preventive maintenance program that efficiently manages the risk to the university's core mission for the life of the facility.
  • Train and support our people to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to meet the increasing technical demands required and provide incentives to recruit and retain the most qualified technicians.
  • Quantify and communicate the risk we accept or avoid that result from the effectiveness of the initiatives above.

The challenge is daunting and the solutions are complex, but the consequences of denial are extreme. Fortunately, for me the challenge is its own reward. We have before us a great opportunity to transform our operations, allowing us to reach new heights of excellence, efficiency, and client satisfaction while ensuring the university's mission continues uninterrupted. We will do all this, seamlessly, to ensure our students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to change the world each and every day.

I sincerely thank you for the part you play in this effort.

Putting it All Together

Facilities Operations and Maintenance teams consult each other to solve problems, generate new ideas, and share information. This consultative approach extends to those we work with outside of our division, too. Overall, Facilities Operations and Maintenance supports The University of Texas at Austin's mission, core purpose, code of conduct, and values of learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility.

These form the cornerstone of how Facilities Operations and Maintenance (FOM) delivers services, how our team manages work, and what we expect from every team member.

Our branch teams are:

FOM is more than meets the eye:

We are:

  • Collaborative stakeholders in the university's academic and research missions.
  • Technically proficient in large-scale and complex facilities operations and maintenance.
  • Good stewards of the university's time and money.
Quick Stats
FOM Staff:241
Campus buildings maintained:224
Gross sq. ft. maintained:15,101,029
Avg. annual work orders completed:129,450

FOM Feature Story

Forklift in front of outside railed staircase leading to door and installed AC unit with new ductwork

Read our story, Facilities Team Finds Fix for Bellmont Hall Elevators AC Fail, Saves Texas Longhorns Football Season, Academic and Operational Access, to get a behind-the-scenes look at how one of our tenacious engineers led a team to solve an HVAC system issue that had to be resolved quickly, despite the multiple challenges they faced and ultimately overcame--just in time!    

This article is also part of our: Values at Work Series

After-hours Maintenance Call Response

A campus as large and complex as The University of Texas at Austin can face facilities-related issues that must be addressed immediately. Facilities monitoring operators on duty from our Building Operations branch respond to after-hours calls and dispatch trade-specialized first responders who are on call. They can address the issue at hand, avoiding extensive property damage and preventing building downtime. 

For after-hours emergencies, call 512-471-2020, 24/7.

Technical Expertise: The Tools of the Trade

Facilities Operations and Maintenance (FOM) employees collectively hold over 252 trade licenses, certifications, academic degrees, and other relevant credentials. Our facilities have become more complex and sophisticated over the years. We have a staff with strong technical skills and experience to maintain our buildings and systems efficiently and provide an effective energy and water conservation program. We offer training and development so our staff is well-matched for the needs of a modern university.

UT Campus aerial view

Good Stewards: What FOM Means to the University

FOM brings these benefits to the University:

  • Achieving the expected life of our building systems and equipment
  • Improving asset reliability – fewer repairs and replacements
  • Reducing downtime – less disruption to campus community
  • Providing more efficient service at a lower cost
  • Properly diagnosing and treating maintenance issues
  • Proactively using preventive/predictive techniques

People in spaces work better when spaces work better for people.

What does it mean to provide facilities operations and maintenance to the university? What if we weren’t here?

Like an automobile that needs its oil changed and its parts checked or serviced at certain intervals, if its performance isn’t evaluated and maintenance doesn’t occur, the vehicle doesn’t operate well—or worse, becomes dangerous to its driver. Plus, the cost of repairs can increase as the vehicle condition continues to deteriorate. No car lasts forever, but with proper review and maintenance it can run more smoothly and efficiently at less cost and last much longer, as originally intended.

It’s the same with our buildings on campus. FOM monitors the performance of our building systems and provides proper maintenance, including preventive care.

Norman Hackerman Building (NHB) at dusk

Not Your Ordinary Crew

What makes us unique? How have we increased our value? Here are more ways we benefit the University:

  • Our experience in managing specialty environments such as labs and museums avoids costly damage to research, equipment, works of art, and more.
  • By using and developing in-house expertise, we can often avoid higher costs with outside contractors.
  • We are prepared to face the challenges of one of the largest public universities in the United States—be it campus growth, aging buildings and systems, increasingly complex facility technology, or tightened budgets.
  • We bring pride in our work because we know we are supporting the University’s mission.
FOM team member monitoring alarms on lcd displays

The Proactive Plan

We look for ways to move from reactive mode to proactive, as in these examples:

  • Monitoring operation of equipment critical to researchers to avoid damage or loss of valuable research
  • Providing engineering and technical support to our field maintenance technicians to achieve real solutions, not patch problems
  • Raising the bar on improved customer service through our zone-based strategy
  • Reaching out to the campus community to reduce energy and water use for improving conservation
a refrigeration mechanic performs preventive maintenance on an HVAC unit

Innovation and Technology

High-tech or low-tech, prevention works!

The best organizations know they must keep evolving, adapting, and growing. It's about being nimble. Facilities Operations and Maintenance teams look for innovative ways to save money, time, or both.

Mobility is a major trend for improving efficiency and communication. We are applying this trend on campus through the use of hand-held devices so our front-line workers can access our work order system from the field.

Technicians use hand-held devices to connect to the work order system remotely

Safety: An Integral Component

Safety begins with communicating with our people to:

  • Take those few extra minutes to put their safety first
  • Follow shop safety procedures and guidelines, including regular assessments of safety knowledge
  • Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

We work closely with our department’s Safety Manager & Programs to:

  • Train our employees and provide guidelines for fall protection, asbestos awareness, confined spaces, lock-out tag-out, and other relevant safety areas
  • Comply with national, state, and local safety requirements
  • Advise on our Arc Flash Analysis Program and other safety programs
  • Track number and type of incidents that occur to implement improvements.

Our client satisfaction survey says: Our overall “scorecard” average range is 90-95%.

Maintenance Operations, a branch of the Facilities Operations and Maintenance division, provides comprehensive maintenance services in support of the University’s operations.

We’re here for you - the students, faculty, and staff who carry out the mission of this university. We appreciate the opportunity to hear from you about how we’re doing. When we don’t get it right, we take your feedback and act on it. You help us to improve. When we do get it right, we share your accolades. Here are recent ones:

Client Satisfaction: What Our Clients Say About Us

Animal Resource Center

“I’m writing to express my sincere gratitude for the help and support extended to me by Facilities Services. Our cage washing equipment is at the heart of our animal care operations, and this morning we discovered that a critical heat exchanger had failed, shutting down our only rack washer in the ARC.  The outstanding plumbing crew at Zone 1 showed up early this morning on short notice to disconnect the heat exchanger and was on hand to reinstall it by 11:30 am.  Thanks to the efforts of these outstanding staff members, ARC operations are back on track within 4 hours, instead of weeks.“   

Enterprise Business Information Technology Solutions (eBITS)

“As part of the FAS team, I know the importance of the FAS core values. I wish to commend Mr. Middleton for his integrity and stewardship. His action has brought great relief to a distraught UT undergraduate and has delighted her father and her circle of friends on social media.  Thank you for encouraging us all to practice the FAS core values. Mr. Middleton clearly lives by them.”

College of Natural Sciences

“Hernan and I are extremely grateful for the fast response and resolving the issue!  Please pass on our gratitude to Josh & Geoff.  Their diligence and attitude is a great example for all to follow.”

UT Bureau of Economic Geology

“I want to tell you both how much I appreciate this task being seen through to completion.  This will help keep our building looking sharp and professional for decades to come so it is not trivial. I appreciate the skill and excellence in which you perform your work.  Without having to talk about it, the finished product shows not only your knowledge and skillset but also your dedication to your craft – well done, and keep up the good work!”

Utilities, and Energy Management

“I just wanted to pass on a good word for the Zone 2 I&C techs. They have been very impressive in their responsiveness and their can-do attitude. They have also consistently come from a place of “yes” instead of the typical place of “no”. This has been one the best zones to work within my five years at UT, so give them a gold sticker or a Kudos from us at Energy Management.”

Dell Medical School

“I am truly grateful for the collaboration, positive attitude, and competency of your teams!”

FOM Management Team

Headshot of Associate Director of Facilities Operations & Maintenance, Scott Griffin

Scott Griffin, P.E.

Director, Facilities Operations and Maintenance  
scott.griffin@austin.utexas.edu

Scott has been working in facilities management since 1993. Before joining UT, he served in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as colonel. During that time, he served as an Air Force civil engineer officer, where he held various positions, including three commands and five combat deployments. He served in various capacities where he oversaw facilities and infrastructure operations and maintenance across numerous installations worldwide. Scott holds a master’s degree in engineering management from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a Master of Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University, and a bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is also a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) and certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Headshot of Facilities Maintenance Manager, Zach Adcock

Zach Adcock

Associate Director, Maintenance Operations 
zachary.adcock@austin.utexas.edu

Zach has over 30 years of experience in facilities engineering and maintenance in the higher education, aerospace, defense, and manufacturing industries. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University.

Maintenance Operations, a branch of the Facilities Operations and Maintenance division, provides comprehensive maintenance services in support of the university’s operations.

Brian Stokes portrait

Brian Stokes

Assistant Director, Building Operations 
brian.stokes@austin.utexas.edu

Brian has a substantial history with systems engineering, facilities support, and project management. He is a U.S. Army veteran who served on active duty from 1991 to 1994. Brian earned an associate's degree in corrosion technology from Kilgore College in 1997, then his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 2001.  Since then he’s harnessed a wide variety of knowledge and experience in commercial and industrial environments.

Building Operations, a branch of the Facilities Operations and Maintenance Division, consists of three main areas of support to university operations:

Headshot of Engineering and Technical Support Manager, Darnell Mack

Darnell Mack, P.E.

Assistant Director, Engineering & Technical Support 
darnell.mack@austin.utexas.edu

Darnell has over 30 years of experience in electrical engineering and 13 years in managing quality and continuous improvement initiatives for manufacturing facilities and maintenance. She is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) and holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University.

Engineering and Technical Support (ETS) is a branch of the Facilities Operations and Maintenance Division. This team consists of technical experts in several areas with credentials including Professional Engineer (PE), and Qualified Commissioning Process Provider (QCP). This branch provides five main areas of support to university operations: