Comprehensive Standard 3.11.1

The institution exercises appropriate control over all its physical resources. (Control of physical resources)

X Compliance ___Partial Compliance ____Non-Compliance

 

Narrative:

Physical resource management is critical to the long-term stability of an institution.  The institution has a fiduciary responsibility to operate in a prudent and responsible manner.  This responsibility extends to the care for its physical assets by obtaining, sustaining, and maintaining them in order to achieve its mission.  This requires the institution to employ qualified staff, who are empowered to provide systems and procedures for adequate checks, balances, and control over assets.

Control of Physical Resources

Nicholls maintains accountability control over its land and buildings with a State inventory-monitoring system through the Division of Administration Facility Planning and Control.  The University’s Department of Physical Plant Operations works in conjunction with the State office to ensure that all land and buildings are accurately and appropriately accounted for within the State system.  In addition, in 2004, the Board of Regents contracted the services of VFA Facilities Lifecycle Solutions of Boston, Massachusetts, to conduct a review and assessment of all University buildings [1].  This review has provided an accurate accounting of all University structures for the Board of Regents and for the Division of Administration Facility Planning and Control.

The University maintains a facilities inventory of all buildings.  This data is annually reported to the Board of Regents’ Facilities Inventory and Utilization System [2]. The building data summary reference provides additional information, including building construction and renovation dates, gross square footages, net assignable square footages, building costs, and types of space maintained within each building.

The day-to-day maintenance and repair of University facilities and grounds are the responsibilities of the Maintenance and Grounds Departments, respectively.  A work order system [3] is utilized to schedule, track, and account for repair and maintenance of facilities; the system is also used to track customer satisfaction.  Maintenance and/or repairs needing immediate attention may be reported by phone to the Maintenance Department as service calls.  The University utilizes preventative maintenance contracts for some equipment and has a departmental preventative maintenance program in place.

The University utilizes its custodial staff to assist in inspecting and reporting problems to the Maintenance Department.  Repairs identified as the correction of safety problems, continuity of utility services, and operations requirements are given first priority.  Most preventative maintenance work orders are scheduled and completed by maintenance staff when resources are available.  Some maintenance, repair, and minor, new construction projects that cannot be facilitated by the Maintenance Department may be outsourced and completed by outside contractors.

The State Department of Facility Planning and Control administers all new construction projects over $500,000.00.  Nicholls’ Office of Physical Plant Operations works closely with the State department to ensure that all new construction activities are in accordance with appropriate plans and contract documents.  The University’s Office of Physical Plant Operations coordinates construction, planning, and specifications with the University’s Maintenance Department, the University of Louisiana System, the State Department of Facility Planning and Control, and the State Fire Marshal [4] to ensure that plans meet fire safety and building code requirements, as well as the University’s standards for construction.

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety administers a number of safety programs about fire safety, hazardous chemical storage/labeling safety, disposal safety, radiation safety, and other regulations which are outlined by city, state, or federal compliance agencies.  This department is also responsible for publishing the University’s Safety Manual [5], conducting periodic inspections of campus buildings and facilities, maintaining a reference library for various safety and environmental regulations, as well as coordinating routine safety training and driver education training, as required by the State’s Office of Risk Management.

The Department of University Police [6] is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all persons and property on the Nicholls campus.  This includes but is not limited to crime prevention, traffic and parking control, criminal investigations, and first response to all emergencies that occur on campus.  Nightly, routine building checks are conducted after regular business hours to ensure the safety of all buildings.

Security of buildings is further maintained by the Office of Purchasing and Property Control.  This office is responsible for issuing and tracking all building keys for the University, as stated in the University’s Policy and Procedure Manual, Section 5.8.3.2.1  [7].  The Maintenance Department produces keys under the direction of the Office of Purchasing and Property Control.

Figure 1: Nicholls State University, Policies and Procedure Manual, Section 5.8.3.2.1
5.8.3.2.1 Keys and Locks
To enhance the safety and security of the campus, the University has developed a key control system. For each new or replacement key requested, faculty/staff must complete a key request form and hand carry the form to the Office of Purchasing and Property Control. Key request forms are available at the Office of Purchasing and Property Control, the Department of University Police, and in the deans’ offices. Issuance of keys requires authorization, by signature, of an administrative official in the chain of command. No stamp or signing for supervisor will be accepted. The requester must personally sign for each key when the request is turned in to the Office of Purchasing and Property Control. If for any reason the employee no longer needs a key, it is the responsibility of the employee who has signed for the key to return that key or all keys in to the Office of Purchasing and Property Control. Lending of keys is prohibited. In order to secure state property and personal possessions, faculty/staff shall keep laboratories and offices closed and locked during those periods when faculty are not present at these sites. Faculty/staff shall not lend office and laboratory keys to students. Lost keys should be reported to the Office of Purchasing and Property Control immediately. There is a $5.00 charge for each lost key. This fee is subject to change. Only one duplicate key will be issued. All keys must be returned to the Office of Purchasing and Property Control when faculty/staff members cease employment at the University.

Control of Movable Property

Movable property is procured in accordance with purchasing procedures identified in Section I of the University Purchasing Manual [8].  Movable property is handled in accordance with Section IV of the Purchasing Manual, which is derived from the property rules and regulations of the Louisiana Property Assistance Agency (LPAA) [9] and Title 34 Part VII, of the Louisiana Revised Statutes [10]. The University attaches tags [11] to movable property with a value of $1,000.00 or more when the item is received.  The item information is entered into the University and Louisiana Property Assistance Agency (LPAA) asset record systems.  In addition, the University maintains a separate inventory of moveable assets valued at $250.00 – $999.99, such as electronic computer equipment, band instruments, and scientific equipment, etc.  The items are tagged when received and recorded in the University record system.

Annually, the University conducts a physical inventory of all moveable property.  Departments are required to visually verify the location of each item listed on their inventory and report the items as either located or unlocated to the Office of Purchasing and Property Control [12].  Additional searches may be conducted at the request of the administration. The University provides final results to the Louisiana Property Assistance Agency (LPAA) for items valued at $1,000.00 or more.  Additionally, the Office of Purchasing and Property Control conducts random audits of departments separate and apart from the required annual report.

Moveable property is disposed of in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Louisiana Property Assistance Agency (LPAA) and Title 34.  Items that a department wishes to surplus may be offered to other departments on campus, may be transferred to Louisiana Property Assistance Agency (LPAA) for disposition of the asset, may be dismantled for parts by the University, or scrapped should the asset be severely damaged, old, or of no value.  University departments request the surplus or disposal of the item by completing the appropriate forms [13] provided by the University Office of Purchasing and Property Control [14].  A list of the items to be surplussed is entered into the State’s asset system as a transfer. Assets are delivered to or picked up by the Louisiana Property Assistance Agency (LPAA).  When received by the State, the State’s asset system reflects the disposition of the asset, and the item is removed from the University’s asset listing. The Office of Purchasing and Property Control will complete a disposal form for each asset [15], which is provided to the University’s Controller’s Office so that the item may be removed from the asset record system.

Risk Management

The State of Louisiana is self-insured.  As a state agency, Nicholls is covered through the Office of Risk Management, created within the Division of Administration by R.S. 39:1527, et. seq [16]. The mission of the Office of Risk Management (ORM) is to develop, direct, achieve, and administer a cost-effective, comprehensive risk management program for all State agencies, boards, and commissions, in order to preserve and protect the assets of the State of Louisiana.

The Office of Risk Management provides a wide range of coverages for State agencies, including but not limited to, workers’ compensation, coverage for employee bonds, crime, automobile liability and physical damage, comprehensive general liability, and boiler and machinery coverage.  Other coverages are provided as needed, such as excess property coverage.

Coordination of insurance claims by Nicholls is under the direction of the Office of Purchasing and Property Control.

 

Documentation
1 VFA Facilities Lifecycle Solutions
2 Louisiana Board of Regents>Facilities Inventory and Utilization System
3 Nicholls State University, Word Order Form (PDF)
4 Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshall Public Safety Services
5 Nicholls State University>Office of Environmental Health and Safety>Safety Manual
6 Nicholls State University>Department of University Police
7 Nicholls State University>Policy and Procedure Manual, Section 5.8.3.2.1 Keys and Locks
8 Nicholls State University>Purchasing Manual
9 State of Louisiana>Division of Administration>Louisiana Property Assistance Agency
10 State of Louisiana>Division of Administration>Louisiana Property Assistance Agency>Government Contracts, Procurement, and Property Control (PDF)
11 Nicholls State University, Property Control Tagging Form (PDF)
12 Nicholls State University, Sample Asset Certification Report (PDF)
13 Nicholls State University, Change in Status and Location of Property (PDF)
14 Nicholls State University>Purchasing Department>Forms
15 Nicholls State University, Disposal of Asset Form (PDF)
16 State of Louisiana>Division of Administration>Office of Risk Management