UF |UNIVERSITY of
I From the Physil P t Dv isn of te Ut -
Vol. XXIII. Number 2
Asst. Vice President
In This Issue:
OB'Gram: EAD 2007
Question AndAnswer With Systems
Assistant Director Ralph Giro
Gatortales: Since becoming Asst. Director of Systems, how do you feel the depart-
ment has progressed under your leadership?
Ralph Giro: My vision was to use the technology available to maximize the efficiency
of all of our staff. With a lot of hard work from the staff, we are on the path.
GT: Are there any specific goals that you have made a priority?
RG: With the critical nature of the research performed at UF, it is imperative that PPD
respond in a quicker and more efficient manner. The goal was to get on the technology
path with all three major shops; hvac, electric and water. This we have accomplished with
still plenty to do.
GT: What do you feel are the department's greatest strengths?
RG: Its personnel and their dedication to providing the best service possible to sup-
port the University's goals.
GT: What areas do you feel the department can improve on, and what do you feel is
the best way to address those areas?
RG: Technology and the sophistication of the systems we maintain are a constant
II See SYSTEMS Continued On Pg. 2
Employees of the Year
Congratulations to Physical
Plant's 2006 Departmental Em-
ployees of the Year! They are:
(front, left to right) Clark Collins,
Support Staff; James Graham,
Grounds; Jim Brillhart, HSC;
(middle, I-r) Christina Birming-
ham, Resource Mgmt; Mike
Hutchins, Systems; (top, I-r)
Ronnie Thompson, Facilities; and
Ricky Law, Building Svcs. (not
pictured: Michael Richarme,
Ronnie Thompson of Facilities
was also selected as PPD's
Divisional Employee of the Year -
look for an upcoming article in
Gatortales and on the PPD
Emerson Perry Retirement
After 35 years with PPD, Emerson Perry has
S retired from the Facilities Department A
reception was held for him in the Cabinet
Shop on January 30.
Const. Projects Specialist Wayne Wainwright
said, "Emerson Perry was one of the first
employees that I worked with when I started
at PPD, and we worked together for a couple
of years. Emerson was dependable and was
always willing to report to work at any time
when called upon. He was always supportive
of me, his supervisors, and his peers
throughout his career. I wish him well in his
SLeft: Emerson Perry (on left) receives his UF
Medallion commemorating his years of
service from PPD Associate Director Eric
SYSTEMS Continued From Page 1
challenge. It takes a tremendous effort to try to keep up and provide the time necessary for our technicians to be trained.
With the limited manpower, we are working on setting up a "Training Center" in Bldg. 702 which will allow us to perform
in-house training. We have an area and have already started the process.
GT: Can Systems employees expect any new training programs, new policies or procedures on the horizon?
RG: We are working with some of our major vendors to work cooperatively with us on on-site training. I do not
foresee any major policy changes or procedures. Our staff does a pretty good with our limited resources.
GT: Over the past few years there have been a lot of retirements at PPD, and quite a few long-term Systems
employees have retired or are scheduled to retire soon. How do you feel that this has affected the department?
RG: We have had 8 major retirements this last year, which accounted for over 200 years of experience at PPD. At
least 3 more are schedule to retire in 2007. The loss of this knowledge is huge. Our challenge is to be better organized
with our information to continue with their legacy of outstanding service to the University. I always try to look at the
positive, and so does our staff. We have big shoes to fill, so we need to step up and fill them.
In closing I would like to say that I'm very privileged to work with such a dedicated group.
SOB 'Granr EAD 2007
Circle April 27th on your calendars! That's the date selected for this year's annual PPD Employee
Appreciation Day. The planning committee is already hard at work. They've selected the theme Florida
Pioneer Days and I think this could give some of our staff a unique opportunity to show off.
As has been done in the past, we will invite PPD employees to bring their cars and motorcycles to
display. But we are adding another, very special category for exhibits this year. There are a number of talented
people associated with PPD who are knowledgeable about Florida's history. For example, do you know
someone who would like to demonstrate quilting, making cane syrup, blacksmithing, or weaving baskets?
We already have a volunteer to set up a roping contest! If you have a special skill related to pioneer days or
treasures from earlier times you'd like to share, please get in touch with committee members Buster Johnson, Dolly Warner, or Pam
Walker to arrange for an exhibit.
We set aside time one day a year to have fun, share lunch and get to know each other. Pioneer Days at PPD could be an
opportunity to learn about interests away from work and learn a little about our heritage as well. I hope everyone will consider
being involved somehow in this year's event!
Plant Answers With KJ
Q: KJ, my St. Augustine grass is full of brown spots should I re-seed the grass to fix this problem?
A: Those brown spots are heavy thatch which comes from too much fertilizer and water. This serves as a breeding
groundfor insects andfungal diseases. St. Augustine grass can't be re-seeded, only plugged.
Ifyou have a question for KJ, send it to PlantAnswers, PO Box 117700 at UF
Schedule Of Upcoming Training At PPD
Lunch & Learn, presented by Living Well "The ADA's 10 Recommendations for Eating Right" (Tues-
day, March 6, 12-12:30pm at Main Street): This lunch & learn will cover recommendations for eating right,
maintaining a healthy weight, and more. The presentation is open to all employees who wish to attend.
Bloodborne Pathogen Training (Main Street March 19 and 27, 8:30-9:45am; HSC, Lecture Hall C1-15 -
March 8, 8:30-9:45am; March 15, 8:45-10am; March 19 and 21, 5:30-6:45pm): This training is required for
employees, staff, students, volunteers, and affiliates with potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens (BBP)
from human blood or other potentially infectious material. The session will coverthe Bloodborne Pathogen
program, diseases, risks, protecting yourself, disposing of contaminated material, handling an
exposure incident, and more.
Employee Education Program Information Session (Wednesday, March 28, 9-10:30am at Main Street): This
session will discuss opportunities for full-time UF employees to take college courses at UF, other state universi-
ties, or community colleges/vocational institutions. The session will familiarize employees with the procedures
and paperwork associated with participating in the program. It is open to all employees who wish to attend.
For more information on these or othertraining programs at PPD, contact Education and Training Coordinator
Sarah Hanson at 392-7898.
Communication Breakfast Notes
PPD experimented with a complete shutdown of some 70 campus buildings during the Christmas-New Year's break
to cut down on electricity used. Previously, we had shut down fourteen buildings during Thanksgiving '06. Mr. O'Brien
said that we are still studying the cost benefits of these shutdowns, and that PPD might begin doing this more regularly
during long holiday periods in order to conserve energy and save money.
The university is considering building a four story office building at the Eastside campus for office staff that do not
have to be housed on campus, as part of UF's ongoing attempts to create more space. OB said that PPD staff would not
be part of this move.
Mr. O'Brien said that he is not sure when the O'Connell Cen-
ter roof dilemma will be solved. The matter is still in litigation. OB
said that in the meantime we will be cleaning the roof a couple-
times a year.
The FlexCar service has been implemented on campus. OB i
said that there are eight cars currently on campus and more may
be coming if utilization dictates. FlexCars are reserved with an
online registration (at www.flexcar.com) and cost $5.50 per hour,
which includes insurance, fuel and maintenance.
Performance appraisals are to be completed in March. All PPD
supervisors have attended classes on the new system in 2007. OB
said that he feels the new PA process is better than our old one,
because it allows for more supervisor/employee interaction.
Question and Answer:
Q: Why are our parking fees increasing?
A: The state does not pay for parking garage construction and
upkeep at UF that is funded through the university decal pro-
gram. There's a new parking garage going up soon on Lemerand
Drive, and that is probably the reason for the rate increase.
PPD Electrician Glen Corbitt checks fuses on a
Q: The card-readers at the gas pumps at Motor Pool don't
always work well if your Gatorl card is scratched it often takes hent
five or six passes to get it to read the card. Physical Plant had been renting portable
A: We will look into this we have a contractor who main- tices, butthe installation of the newsystem
tains those readers and we will find out if there is anything that can will provide a cheaper, permanentsolution to
be done to make the process easier. the situation.
UF g UNIVERSITY of
Thomas Boynton, Systems
Cynthia Brownfield, Building Svcs.
Koko Frazier, Building Svcs.
Lorenzo Goggins, Building Svcs.
James Hoffman, Grounds
Jimmy McGrder, Building Svcs.
Charles Parrish, HSC
Alex Poole, Building Svcs.
Randolph Cash, Grounds
Mark Knabb, Building Svcs.
Pierre Walton, Building Svcs.
November Employees of the Month:
John Black Glen Corbitt
Lamar Sims irrany wrignt
Facilities Building Svcs.
Editor's Note: The employees of the month for November missed being pictured
in the December GT issue, so we are running their pictures now.