St. Olaf has made tremendous strides the last several years. The college’s position as one of the leading four year, liberal arts schools in the nation has been strengthened, and it has achieved recognition as one of the best bargains in higher education at the same time. Perhaps no other school ranks so highly in both areas. This status is indicative of the quality of our facilities and staff in all areas. Living up to this status, and striving to do better still, creates challenges for all of us. The demand for admission to the college is high, and the opportunity for the college to attract better students is at hand. Good faculty are being attracted by the college. Our facilities, and the care they receive, are a major factor in our recruitment efforts for both students and faculty. In fact, a recent survey by the Carnegie Foundation confirmed that the appearance of the campus and its facilities was the single most important factor influencing most prospective students decision to accept admission. We have good students and faculty who want us, but the market is very tough. There are about thirty schools throughout the country that are after the same group of prospective students.
Your efforts are very important in all of this. We are given good buildings to work with, but the working environment is set by you. If an academic building is not clean, or the rest rooms are smelly it becomes a distraction. If a residence hall shower room is dirty it detracts from the educational effort of the college. Our student population is here twenty four hours a day, many are far enough from home that they get there very seldom. Your work in the class room buildings makes teaching and studying easier, and your work in the halls eases the burden of residence hall life.
There is no group on campus whose work is more important than yours. We know you take it seriously, and hope that this material will be a help to you in your efforts. the college is committed to helping you, and we will do whatever is necessary to keep you informed about new materials and methods that will make things better for the whole group.
We are going to ask you to do an exercise to help establish the importance of developing a routine for each building. Just below you will find a daily schedule, marked off in half hour segments. The hours marked are not time of day, they are the first through 8th hours of your work day. The first is shown as 1:30, and that row should be the first half hour of your day.
We want you to think about the way you actually go through your day now, and write your day out on the sheet. Please repeat the process for each day of the week if there is some variation from one to the next. Your supervisor will be doing this same sheet for each building, and meet with you shortly to compare the two routines. The two of you will then sit down together and establish a routine that should help to keep your building in good shape every day. The goal in all of this is to eliminate the peaks and valleys that may seem unavoidable in our business.