Evaluating Campus Operations


By Mike Harris, CAPP

Operating campus parking and transportation departments on campus is very complex. When doing so, it is extremely important to have a plan. This helps to keep you focused, provides clarity for all involved, and helps lay the foundation for things to come.

There are as many ways to set up a plan as there are ways to implement it. Here is one that has severed me well over the years.

Please see the outline below as an example of items that may need to be evaluated. It is not meant to be an all-inclusive list but a guide.

  • Personnel-Evaluate current employees for the potential to elevate through training. Making sure you have the right personnel in the right position is key.
  • Processes-How do things get done? What is the paperwork flow? How do policies get changed and or added? What is the vetting process?
  • Relationships-No decision is made in a vacuum and shouldn’t be since they affect many different constituents. Build the relationships needed so all stakeholders have a voice.
  • Data-What type of data should be collected, analyzed and communicated so as to help justify the decisions made.
  • Financials-Evaluate and understand revenue, expenses and short/long term maintenance obligations.
  • Transportation Demand Management (TDM)-Campus Mobility is critical to the overall parking environment, transit comes in many forms and all need to be considered.
  • Sustainability-Always look for ways to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs for the future. It’s about balance as we have all heard before between planet, people and profit.
  • Emergency Preparedness-Be involved and a part of the Crisis Action Team. Know your role.
  • Risk Management– Reducing your liabilities through proper risk management can help reduce injuries throughout the campus community.
  • ADA-Make sure to review your ADA process and policies in all areas, parking, transit and micro-mobility.
  • Strategic Planning-It is important to exam the Campus Master Plan. It is imperative you have a seat at the table to fully understand your current and future role as it relates to campus growth.

Our industry shares a lot and I am glad to be able to hopefully help others by sharing what has worked for me in the past.

Mike Harris, CAPP, is Director of University Services for SP+, and a member of the IPMI Accredited Parking Organization Working Group. He can be reached at gharris@spplus.com.