Lucy Black, head of facilities and student accommodation at the University of Plymouth and IWFM board NED, will chair a new strategic FM group of the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE).
Created to enable strategic collaboration on FM issues between members and representing 166 institutions across the UK, the group will focus on the pivotal role of workplace and facilities management in bringing campuses back into operation after the Covid-19 crisis. The new group’s key objective is to be recognised as the authority on FM in higher education.
Black said: “These national priorities align closely with those of the University of Plymouth, which like others in the sector is tackling the implications of social distancing on teaching and learning, research and residential accommodation for the coming academic year.”
Linda Hausmanis, IWFM chief executive, said: “Lucy is a valued member of IWFM’s board, and I know she will work hard to bring focus onto the key strategic issues that matter for the higher education sector. The workplace and facilities profession has been central to every organisation’s ability to operate during the lockdown, and as the economy switches back on FMs have a great opportunity to prove their value by bringing together the physical space, culture and technology aspects of workplace which hold the key to organisational and individual productivity.”
AUDE’s executive director Jane White added: “We’ll be running events for members, initially by making use of digital technologies, and we’ll be identifying learning and development needs so we can support members in their FM careers. AUDE at its best is an amazing professional peer support network and the strategic FM group will act in that way, enabling the sector to develop the FM leaders of the future.”
AUDE acts as a conduit for information between sector agencies and the government, including on issues around coronavirus crisis planning. In the longer term the new group will develop and share approaches to new ways to operate buildings and services post-Covid-19, in an environment that may be fundamentally different.