3.11.1 Control of Physical Resources

The institution exercises appropriate control over all its physical resources.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Prairie View A&M University exercises appropriate control over its physical resources through a strong infrastructure with qualified personnel, solid master plans and capital plans for campus improvement, attention to deferred maintenance, annual inventories of facility space and use, procedures for property administration, and management of risk and emergency situations.

Campus planning [1], the physical plant [2], and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) [3] all report to the Vice President for Business Affairs [4] and are led by qualified individuals. The current director of Space Management has worked in facilities administration at the institution since 1995 and overseen $150 million in new construction and $21.5 million in rehabilitation [5]. The Assistant Vice President of the Physical Plant came to Prairie View in 2007 after fourteen years directing the physical plant at West Texas A&N; he is a certified mediator and state-license air conditioning / refrigeration contractor [6]. While the Director of EHS has been at Prairie View for less than a year, in that time he has completed 12 relevant trainings and certification courses. He also has over 20 years' experience in the field, including time with the air force, and earned a bachelor degree in Environmental Management [7].

Campus Master Plans and Capital Plans
The Campus Master Plan, updated in 1984 and again in 2000, set a vision for Prairie View through 2015 [8]. Expected enrollment increases under the Closing the Gaps plan of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) helped dictate goals for capital improvement and increased physical resources, particularly educational and general use space. Accordingly, between 2005 and 2009, the gross square footage of campus facilities increased 30%, from 1.87 million to 2.44 million [9] [10].

Buildings such as the Don Clark Juvenile Justice and Psychology Building were designed and located with attention to land use, open space, pedestrian circulation, vehicle circulation, and parking. The Campus Master Plan included not only new facilities for education, administration, and athletics but also the demolition of several outdated buildings. Of the twelve facilities targeted for demolition in the Master Plan, eight have been removed from the campus and one is in the process of being demolished; the remaining three have over 28,000 educational and general use square footage needed for students while renovations, deferred maintenance, and/or replacement facilities are secured. 

The most recent Capital Plan, for FY2009-2013, focuses on completion of the exterior repairs for the John B. Coleman Library and the veterinary clinic, a major switchgear replacement for the electrical system, and demolition of the L.O. Evans building (projects that already have received board approval) and proposed funds of $2 million each year for general upgrades, renovations, and repairs [11].

Deferred Maintenance
Together, the Director of Space Management and the Assistant Vice President for the Physical Plant are responsible for scheduling, reviewing, and coordinating deferred maintenance activities. Two reports, the MP2 and MP4, must be submitted annually to the THECB. The current MP2, the assessment of deferred maintenance and demolition needs, identifies 29 non-critical projects totaling $13,630,000 for fiscal years 2009-2013 [12]. MP4 reports for deferred maintenance expenditures show $5,309,000 in FY2007 and $1,390,000 in FY2008 respectively [13] [14].

Prairie View has addressed deferred maintenance needs aggressively in the past five years. For comparison, in the THECB report for 2004-2008, Prairie View A&M University's MP2 total was $27,605,193, with an MP4 amount of just $588,773 for FY2003 [15]. The University was assisted by $15 million in extra funds designated in the 2000 Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Priority Plan to complete deferred maintenance, along with renovations and repairs [16].

Space Inventories
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) requires each university to perform an annual 100% audit of its space, and the Office of Business Affairs sends out memos listing Senior Building Coordinators (SBCs) and the walk-through schedule [17]. Each SBC reviews the current inventory and forwards any updates regarding room type, classification of instructional programs (CIP) codes, usage codes, percent usage and capacity to the Director of Space Management, who then updates records with the THECB to meet specific formats [18]. The process, in addition to meeting state requirements, allows Prairie View A&M to track and evaluate requests for space moves and ensure equitable and effective use of the university's space.

Property Administration
Assets Management, Space Management, and the Physical Plant all contribute to appropriate control over physical resources. The president is the custodian for all University property and has delegated custodial responsibility for tangible personal property to property officers, typically the department head, within each department of the university. Management of physical assets, including policies for missing and surplus items and annual inventories, falls to the assets coordinator under the Assistant Vice President for Financial Accounting, Reporting and Procurement Office (FARP) [19]. This individual is responsible for recording and reporting acquisitions, transfers and dispositions of tagged property; recording and reporting depreciation of tangible property over the estimated useful life; maintaining property records in the FAMIS Fixed Asset system; and reconciling those records with the general ledger. University capital assets include land, buildings, infrastructure and other improvements, furniture and equipment, vehicles, property under capital lease, library resources, construction in progress, and other capital assets, and the State Property Accounting (SPA) User’s Guide is used in determining its capitalization thresholds [20].

The assets coordinator also is guided by the Texas A&M University System Asset Management Manual (AMM), which "sets forth the overall policies for management of real and personal property within the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) and prescribes the duties and functions of selected key personnel" [21]. It also details class and expense codes for various assets to be used in conjunction with the State Property Accounting (SPA) User’s Guide, which lists the useful life of the various assets [22].  These documents provide the basis for multiple PVAMU Administrative Procedures. 40.01 outlines basic policies for inventory, transfer of goods, missing or stolen property, leased equipment, and surplus [23], while Procedure 40.12 addresses Vehicle Fleet Management [24] and 40.04: Key Control covers authorized access to buildings [25].

At Prairie View A&M University, multiple forms are used to ensure compliance with system, state, and institutional policies. New equipment must be recorded on an Asset Information Form, which is forwarded to the coordinator for review and entry. When assets are assigned to a university employee, the receiving individual, along with the appropriate property officer and manager, must sign a custody card acknowledging financial liability for any damage to the asset. Forms also must be completed for transferring assets between units or to salvage, repairs, missing or stolen property (with accompanying police reports), and destruction of salvage assets. All forms can be downloaded online and are accompanied by instructions [26].

The university performs monthly reconciliations to ensure that the Fixed Asset Inventory System ties to the general ledger, which is maintained in FAMIS (Financial Accounting Management Information System).  Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and both its totals and asset inventories are reported to the Office of Business Affairs for inclusion in Prairie View's annual financial reports [27].

The Fixed Assets Office oversees annual inventory audits for every department. After notification of training dates and inventory schedules by the Office of Business Affairs [28], each department is given a current inventory list and issued a bar code scanner to record, track and verify equipment location, custody and condition.  Scanner data then are loaded to a web-based inventory system to check for completion. Following any adjustments and corrections, a certification of inventory and a statement of liability are issued for the accountable property officers to sign. Final, certified, and signed inventories are kept on file [29].

Risk and Emergency Management
Further control over the safety of campus resources comes from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. As described in the narrative for Comprehensive Standard 3.11.2, Prairie View's DPS works to protect physical resources through officer patrols, a crime tip hot line, and partial campus lockdowns during vacation periods, while the Director of Environmental Health and Safety coordinates safety training, including laboratory protocols and fire drills.

For broader risk management, also as discussed in Comprehensive Standard 3.11.2, the University follows Texas A&M System Policy 24.01: Risk Management [30] and PVAMU Administrative Procedure 24.01.01.P1 [31]. The TAMUS Information Security Awareness, Assessment, and Compliance (ISAAC) System allows Prairie View to develop policies for business continuity and disaster recovery and risk assessment, especially for servers and electronic data [32], and the University works with the TAMUS Office for Risk Management and Safety.

Internal System Audits
In FY2004, the Texas A&M System audited the Physical Plant [33], and as a result, many of the procedures, policies, and forms described in this narrative were created and implemented. No follow-up audits were required.

In FY2006, the Texas A&M System performed an audit of Financial Management Services that included inventory procedures [34]. Based on the audit findings, the use of bar code readers for property inventory was introduced, as described above. TAMUS was satisfied with the University's response, and no follow-up audits have been required.

Supporting Documentation and Links

Comprehensive Standards 3.11.1

© 2009 Prairie View A&M University