Ask Curtis

Photo Oct 17-2Each month we want questions from our village teams on any facilities-related issues. Please email all questions to In the subject line please put “Ask Curtis” along with your question topic.

Dear Curtis,
I am having a heck of a time with these contracts.  I feel so overwhelmed with that task along with having my other daily duties in the village.  Plus when I send a contract in it gets sent back to me with stuff I have to change which is just  more work.  What can you suggest I do in order to get these contracts done and do it efficiently?


Dear E-xhausted,
Well the first thing I would say is to stop and breathe.  Contracts can be overwhelming and yes they do take a lot of work.  The biggest thing you have to remember is the goal of the contract.  You want to give your village the best possible service it can receive.

A few tips I would suggest is that you really need to work with your GM and your facilities team.  Your GM is going to have all the technical knowledge needed in order to complete your contracts.  Where you need to be helpful is leveraging your contacts and your relationships with the business community at large in order to get solid contractors signed up for your village.  Your RFM and Ops leads can suggest courses of action and can give you a broader view of what is going on in the region as well.

Don’t forget you have a great procurement team in Nora Leblanc and Kevin Rogers that can assist you with writing the SOWs, completing the paperwork, and provide feedback.  If you get a contract returned it is not because they don’t like you personally, it is because they identified an issue in the contract that needs to be fixed so you can get the best service possible and the company is protected as well.
Dear Curtis,
I am worried about summer turn.  We have so many students spread out across the village, and I need to get them moved so we can turn apartments.  What do I need to do?

Summer Bummer

Dear Bummer,

Summer is a great time of year to be in a village.  Not only do you get to do all those little projects you haven’t had time for with the students in room for the majority of the year, but you get to start fresh again with a whole new crop of residents ready to take their first steps into adulthood.

The first thing I would suggest you do is sit down with your village team, and discuss the plan for the summer turn.  What buildings are getting retrofits, how much labor do you need, what other support can other departments provide to you during summer turn.

After that, I would suggest a summer consolidation plan.  Your Director of Leasing and Assistant Directors of Residence Life can be very helpful here.  Your DOL can provide you the summer roster for the units you need to vacate and your ADRL and RA team can assist with preliminary room assignments for your summer students.

You will want to communicate to those students ASAP during the spring semester so there are no last minute surprises for them.

Your goal during summer turn is efficiency and quality control.  The easier you make it for your contractors and your staff the easier it will be on you to manage all those vendors and keep your village summer residents happy and content.