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May 08 77 UniversityofMinnesota biennium. Some are remodeling, and a few tend to be new initiatives. Every year we get some significant retrofitting issues for the oldest buildings.” The largest current project is TCF Bank Stadium, a new 50,000-seat football stadium on the main campus, with a total cost of $288 million; HOK Sports is the architect, and M.A. Mortenson is the general contractor. It’s been under construction for a year and is slated for completion in the fall of 2009. The stadium sits in the middle of the university’s East Gateway District, which focuses on biomedical research. “We’re in the process of constructing our second building there,” says Perkins, “a $60 million biomedical sciences building. And associated with it is a $10 million deep steam tunnel, part of our infrastructure plan, running from another facility to serve the buildings in this district and scheduled for completion in about 16 months.” In the West Bank District they’re just completing Hanson Hall, a $48 million, 129,000-square-foot new addition to the West Bank Campus, attached via skyway to the Carlson School of Management, with nine classrooms supporting the business school. Recently completed is a $22 million renovation to the Mineral Research building, which has now become the Education Sciences building. It’s a very old structure overlooking the Mississippi River and downtown Minneapolis. Near the Classic Mall District, a $15 million exterior renovation focusing on exterior stabilization is being performed on one of the largest turn-of-the-century properties, Folwell Hall, with its classic style architecture. There’s a similar type of renovation, a $21 million project at Northrop Auditorium, originally constructed in the 1920s, and the board is considering a retrofit of the interior, which could be a $70 million project. Perkins says his department is currently embarking on a short-term strategy after being in a constant state of change for the last five years. “Hopefully, the final stage of this process will be taking a look at four different strategic areas of our organization, then making some significant changes to improve our customer service and our ability to plan with, and for, the university’s clientele. In that process, we’re looking at improving our organizational structure, our leadership competencies, and our general resources: do we have the right people in the right places in the right amount? Finally, we’re looking at our business practices and processes, and assessing whether we should make changes. We have to prioritize what we can do versus what we should do, because there are so many aspects to consider.” Organizational structure is one aspect. “Most of this group’s work is project delivery, and the planning component is not that strong,” says Perkins. “Trying to plan as large, complex and disparate an institution as the university is a very challenging task. Add the governmental and academic aspects and it becomes more challenging. As a department we’ve been organized into two groups by project size: a division that handles larger projects, $2 million plus, and a midrange that handles below that. The selection of people to work on these projects is based on availability and is somewhat random. We’re going to move to a structure similar to the way the university is organized.” His goal is to redefine how his department interfaces with the university constituency,

to the clients,” Perkins says, “and hopefully plan better with them. It’s an advantage over randomly assigning projects, because this way you get to know who you’re dealing with and can plan ahead more. We’re breaking down our entire project team into these four action teams in the most appropriate way, in order to serve these areas, based on skills and knowledge, experience with those clients, and previous exposure to projects. We’re also improving our leadership competencies and continuing to develop the leadership structure. We need to examine our policies, procedures, guidelines and standards, in order to improve our business processes. We’re also undertaking some kaizen initiatives—the Japanese process for lean, effi cient management—looking at what we’re doing over a period of time, putting our processes and systems through kaizen in order to improve productivity.” with four teams defi ned on a functional basis to address both larger-sized bonded projects and smaller-sized remodeling and repair projects. The fi rst team covers a major area: the academic health center, including the university’s hospital. The second is another major area: the offi ce of provost, covering academic buildings containing classrooms. The third is the offi ce of the president of the university, covering all administration, facilities management, parking and transportation, and dormitories. The fourth covers the other campuses—Crookston, Duluth, Morris—and includes the research and outreach centers around the state, the student wellness facilities, athletic facilities, recreational facilities, the student union building and Northrop Auditorium. “We want to reorganize this way to get closer UniversityofMinnesota 78 May 08