Greetings and a Look Ahead from AVC Cramer

FP&M employees:

It is a honor and a privilege to serve as interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning & Management. As I start my tenure, I want to offer my thanks, introduce myself, and highlight several initial priorities that I will be focusing on as AVC.

First, the thank yous. To Alan Fish, for the extraordinary work he’s done this year, almost all of which took place during the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to spending a significant amount of time and effort on COVID-related initiatives, Alan’s leadership has positioned FP&M for future success.

To all of you, I recognize and acknowledge your dedication and remarkable work through these extraordinary and trying times. FP&M employees underpin all of UW-Madison’s operations, whether coordinating campus planning, partnering on the management of construction, maintaining and operating buildings and grounds, supplying utility services, ensuring health and safety, providing parking and transportation services, or promoting sustainable operations.

In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to meeting with and getting to know you, whether you are working on campus, at home, or some of both (as I will be doing). We will continue to be flexible about how we work together, and I know that FP&M employees have been collaborating effectively throughout the pandemic so we will make the best of this challenging situation.

Finally, I want to share some of the high-level priorities that have emerged from discussions with Alan, Margaret Tennessen, and VCFA Laurent Heller.

  • Partnerships. We will continue to build effective, collaborative relationships with key stakeholders in schools, colleges, and divisions across UW-Madison and with the university’s executive leadership, as well as with our partners at UW System and the State of Wisconsin. These relationships are the key to supporting the university’s education, research, and outreach activities through operations and maintenance, capital renewal, and new construction.
  • Capital Budget. We will continue the ongoing and excellent work on the 2021-23 Capital Budget to advance capital projects from planning to design, construction, and completion, as well as begin the process for the 2023-25 Capital Budget.
  • Budget Initiatives. In the last two fiscal years, FP&M received increased funding for operations and maintenance. The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant financial challenges for the university and we will work to help resolve these challenges thoughtfully, so that we maintain our momentum and progress.
  • COVID-19 response. FP&M has played a critical role in the university’s COVID-19 pandemic response and we will serve these needs as long as the pandemic persists, while also preparing for our post-pandemic future.
  • Excellence. FP&M’s mission—to provide excellence in facilities and services for our university community—remains at the heart of everything we do. We will continue to build on the momentum you have developed over the past several years and work to continue to make improvements across the division.

I want to emphasize the importance of continuity. We will work hard to maintain recent progress in each of these areas, as well as continue to build on the solid foundation established by Alan, the FP&M leadership team, and all of you.

I am very excited about this new challenge and I look forward to working with you to support UW-Madison’s mission of research, education, and outreach.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving,

Robert Cramer
Associate Vice Chancellor (Interim)
Facilities Planning & Management
Robert Cramer