What are the property management challenges facing universities and research institutions?

We all know that universities and research institutions depend on grants and contracts to fund their operations. With grants and contracts, there comes the responsibility of reporting and compliance in property management. These reports generally require the recipients to track what they buy, how they are used, and how they are disposed. With federal grants, there are specific government property management requirements. For example,  “Contractors shall establish and implement property management plans, systems, and procedures at the contract, program, site, or entity level”. The purpose of establishing these policy and procedures is to track:

  • Acquisition of property
  • Receipt of property
  • Record of property
  • Physical inventory
  • Subcontractor control
  • Relief of stewardship responsibility
  • Maintenance
  • Property closeout

Tracking property and equipment funded by grants and contracts could be tedious. To most researchers, it’s the less exciting or intellectually challenging part of the job, although it’s part of the deal to continue receiving funding. Researchers can do the job themselves or find some easy to use tools to help them with that.

In my previous blogs, I have shared my discussion with Robert Kaehler, a leadership member of the National Property Management Association (NPMA) about the technologies behind asset management. Robert is not only a forward thinking technologist, also an expert in the business processes underlying enterprise asset management. I had lunch with Robert recently when he visited Washington D.C. Every time when I talked to Robert, I found his views and insights refreshing. Robert holds regular webinars and he brings experts to talk about what is going on in property management. In his upcoming webinar on Dec. 5th, he will discuss the challenges facing universities and research institutions for property management. I hope you have an opportunity to join him.

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