Listed below are explanations of VCU Division of Administration major projects.
De-commemoration of campus buildings
In summer 2020, the VCU Committee on Commemorations and Memorials made 18 recommendations on memorials, commemorations and de-commemorations to President Rao. The committee’s recommendations and public feedback resulted in three resolutions to de-commemorate buildings and monuments on campus that honor historical figures with ties to the Confederacy, name the School of the Arts building after former dean, Murry DePillars, and allow the Department of African American Studies to rename its academic building.
The demolition of the former Franklin Street Gym began in early 2020 to make way for a new STEM building. The state approved funding for VCU to construct a 168,000-square-foot, six-floor building dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math education on the Monroe Park Campus. The building will house lab, classroom and office space for the College of Humanities and Sciences.
Engineering Research building
The new Engineering Research building opened in February 2021. This 133,000 square foot, four-story building connects to the Engineering East Hall and contains 24 flexible research laboratories and associated support space, plus a vivarium on the basement level. Support space includes researcher office space and workspace for graduate students and postdoctoral staff. It also offers collaboration space, conference rooms, and a collaboration hub to support Engineering outreach efforts such as employer and student work fairs.
Energy performance contracting
Energy performance contracting is performed to: 1) identify relevant Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) to reduce the consumption of energy in campus buildings, 2) quantify the projected savings and 3) leverage the energy savings realized to replace or repair items that are on deferred maintenance log.
ONE VCU Master Plan
The ONE VCU Master Plan process began in Fall 2017 and is guided by VCU’s Quest 2025: Together We Transform strategic plan, VCU Health’s Vision by Design strategic plan, as well as these six guiding principles: student success, patient experience, program synergies, placemaking, mobility and safety, and campus unity.
Rice Rivers Center Research Facility
The 14,000-square-foot Rice Rivers Center Research Facility will enhance researchers’ ability to conduct their work on-site and facilitate new collaborations. Researcher teams will gain needed space and support facilities such as an environmental chemistry analysis laboratory and a geospatial data analysis laboratory. Meeting space also will be provided for idea-sharing and regular lectures by guest scientists and environmental managers. The single story building will provide space for VCU faculty and staff focused primarily on river and wetland research. Construction began in Spring 2020 and is set to end in Spring 2021.
In an effort to contribute to our community both on campus and off, the Office of Sustainability has committed to managing two gardens on VCU’s campuses. As growing space for students, staff and faculty on campus, VCU Learning Gardens provide access to hands-on, educational opportunities related to gardening, food access, and food systems. The gardens help alleviate food insecurity at VCU and in Richmond via regular produce donations to our community partners as well as create universally accessible spaces that enrich the lives of those in our community.
Flexible Work Arrangements
The university recognizes that flexible work arrangements (FWA) are an important part of being a Great Place to work with options for remote work, hybrid remote/on-campus work, compressed scheduling and job-sharing. FWAs allow flexibility in work schedules so staff are better able to balance their work and home life while still meeting the needs of the university and supporting an engaged living, learning and working environment. For more information, visit together.vcu.edu/fall-2021-info/timeline/.
VCU HR Work, Life and Well-being programs
Each month, the Work, Life and Well-being program coordinator brings VCU employees programs like strength training, meditation/mindfulness sessions, financial wellness seminars, investment tips, and other programs focused on building a healthy work/life balance. See the most recent programs on the work/life page under the "upcoming employee well-being programs" dropdown box.
HR Service Support System
VCU HR utilizes a robust self-service ticketing system for employees to submit HR service requests, search HR information, and find answers to questions. This system provides easy access to HR teams and a real-time look at the timeline of a service request.
HR Service Delivery
The second phase of the Great Place: HR Redesign puts policy into practice by evolving how HR services are delivered throughout the university. The intention is to equip schools and departments with the tools they need to deliver HR services locally, and have VCU HR provide strategic services such as executive search support, career and leadership development, and succession planning.
Career development is an important component in creating a culture of appreciation at VCU. As part of VCU's performance management process, all employees and managers must work together to identify and plan for career development opportunities throughout the year. Employees and managers can now track career development plans using Talent@VCU, the university’s performance and talent management system. VCU HR will also work with employees to expand career communities, a professional development opportunity for employees who are doing similar work or who have similar career interests to connect, strengthen competencies, promote innovation and share best practices.
COVID-19 Health and Safety
Safety and Risk Management works with schools and departments across the university to provide leadership for VCU's COVID-19 response and recovery plan. SRM has also prioritized on-site staff to support both the health system and university’s continuity of operations in the following areas: fire safety, industrial hygiene, emergency response, chemical waste disposal and radiation safety operations. Changes in operations can be found in the university's One VCU: Responsible Together website.
Incident Rate Reduction
Safety and Risk Management worked collaboratively with Human Resources to improve employee incident rates at VCU. Incident rate metrics help VCU compare its safety performance against national and industry averages. Through targeted education and better reporting, VCU’s incident rate is now well below the national average incident rate as well as the state average incident rate (as reported by the North American Industry Classification System).
SRM is also engaged in activities to assess, mitigate and reduce the number of injuries that occur among the employees of the university. These include, but are not limited to trend analyses to determine highest incidence cause and highest incidence group; implement training plans targeting groups with highest incidence rate, and assist leadership in designing workplace safety solutions resulting from job hazard analyses.
Fire Prevention Through Education
In cooperation with the Richmond Fire Department, VCU Fire Safety conducted a series of educational events to inform the VCU community of fire safety practices and procedures. The fire safety team kicked-off the fire prevention through education series by working with the Richmond Fire Department to build a “Burn House” to highlight the need for sprinkler systems. To see our team in action visit NBC12 or News 8.
Mature the Enterprise Risk Management Process
Enterprise Risk Management is the process VCU has undertaken in order to identify key areas of risk that can keep the university from achieving its strategic vision. The ERM Steering Committee, risk owners and process owners have completed their assessment and identification of the enterprise risks. In the coming year, the ERM Steering Committee will focus on developing recommendations to the cabinet about the level of acceptable risk for the university.
VCU partners with The Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) to provide unlimited transportation access on the GRTC Pulse Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and regular local and express fixed-route bus service for all VCU, VCU Health System, and Virginia Premier ID holders at no cost to the rider.
Five Year Plan
Parking and Transportation continues to move forward with the development of a Five Year Plan, which will address several issues including the development of an interim solution for the space reduction on the MCV Campus, a detailed financial plan and an inclusive maintenance schedule.
To meet the long-term parking demand across the Monroe Park and MCV campuses, VCU needs to convert four percent of employees and two percent of students to alternative transportation modes, an insight revealed in a comprehensive university parking and transportation study. Moving forward, we will strengthen our focus on alternative transportation across both the university and health system.
Student safety ambassadors provide a resource for the VCU community after dark. The ambassadors, part of the university’s transition to a more equitable public safety model, provide assistance when people need help but don't need to contact law enforcement. Learn more.
VCU Police launched an initiative to educate students, faculty and staff on both campuses about crosswalk safety. VCU Police supported Richmond’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic crashes that cause injuries and deaths on city streets. In the first year, officers spoke with more than 600 drivers, cyclists and pedestrians about traffic laws. In some cases, officers issued summonses for violations including speeding, failure to obey traffic signals, driving under the influence (DUI) and jaywalking. The department continues to work diligently with the city and safety partners to address the concerns of students, faculty and staff.
New Student Orientations
VCUPD’s Crime Prevention Unit speak with thousands of incoming freshmen students, transfer students and their families. Officers and staff developed a new student orientation video and presentation that highlights basic safety on campus, the department’s services and collaborations across VCU.
VCU Police 45th Basic Law Enforcement Academy
VCUPD is the only campus, law enforcement agency in Virginia to host an academy certified by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. New recruits will attend classes at VCUPD headquarters and complete physical fitness training and community outreach projects on both of VCU’s campuses. As part of training, recruits learn about police operations and topics such as crisis intervention training and fair and impartial policing.
Enhanced Technology Tools for Teaching
Technology Services will implement Lecture Capture software, which will enhance or replace Echo360, VCU’s current video education platform. A thorough evaluation led to a two-year continuation of Echo 360 for most lecture capture. VCU is also piloting Kaltura/Cattura technology in several schools with plans to migrate to that solution over the next 18 months.
Identity and Access Management
Technology Services will implement a new Identity and Access Management system with an associated process and governance model. The new system will ensure safer and more efficient access to VCU information systems for faculty, staff and students.
VCU will implement a managed print service to deliver cost and environmental savings to individuals, departments and the university while providing increased features including secure, print-anywhere technology.
IT Systems Infrastructure
Planning, Assessment, and Accreditation System
This is a central integrated system for the Office of the Provost that supports assessment, academic program reviews, accreditation, and other initiatives to promote consistent planning, management, and reporting for academic programs.
Access point replacement
Technology Services is replacing more than 3,700 wireless network access points in academic, administrative and public spaces with a new cloud-managed, highly redundant system of access points. This will reduce the hardware and software footprint on-premise while at the same time expand the ability to use Big Data techniques to provide a better customer experience.
ONE VCU Master Plan
CARE is engaged as a major stakeholder in the ONE VCU Master Plan, which will drive the development of university strategic real estate plan. The ONE VCU Master Plan process began in Fall 2017 and is guided by VCU’s Quest 2025: Together We Transform strategic plan and VCU Health’s Vision by Design strategic plan, as well as six guiding principles: student success, patient experience, program synergies, placemaking, mobility and safety, and campus unity. Learn more at masterplan.vcu.edu or sign up to receive updates by emailing email@example.com.
CARE recently relocated to offices at 800 W. Broad Street. The move collocates all real estate staff, offers better access for VCU customers, and provides an innovative professional workspace.
Leasing and other facility agreements
Examples of work involving real estate leases serving VCU programs includes the following:
- Lease of ~5,600 square feet of space to house a collaborative initiative between VCU and the VCU Health System that will provide unique health education and wellness center designed to invest in building a healthy community specifically addressing needs in Richmond’s underserved east end;
- Lease of ~60,000 square feet of research laboratory space in the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, adjacent to the medical campus, for the express purpose of advancing grant-funded research opportunities arising out of a $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; this lease delivers a home for the Medicines for All Institute which, through research and development, addresses essential global health issues that will increase access to lifesaving medications for HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases around the world.
- Ground lease for land at the Brook Road Campus of the Children’s Hospital of Richmond made it possible for VCU to use state funding to build a 119,000-square foot state-of-the-art facility to replace the Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC); relocating this replacement facility frees land for dense urban redevelopment of the former VTCC site on the MCV Campus;
- Ground lease of the former VTCC land (on the MCV Campus) to VCU Health for the development of an adult outpatient hospital facility aligned with the hospital’s strategic master plan;
- Lease of ~8,000 square feet of office space on West Broad Street on the Monroe Park Campus to create a start-up space for VCU’s Center for Urban Communities and provide critical space for the Division of Student Affairs’ student technology services and student conduct and academic integrity; and
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between VCU and the Monroe Park Conservancy to provide funding for the renovation and use of a portion of the “Checkers Building” in the newly renovated city park.
- Lease of ~8,000 square feet of office and research space at 100 West Franklin Street for the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products (CSTP). The CSTP will use the space to study the use of electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products.
- Lease of space for VCU Business Services to operate a fast casual restaurant and bakery (Au Bon Pain) to help enliven that part of Grace Street and provide additional dining options to the student body, faculty, staff and the community at large.
- Expand leased space in the BioTech Park by an additional 18,124 square feet. The expansion allows for additional research activities for the College of Engineering.
Load capacity assessments of leased space
CARE is analyzing the VCU leased portfolio to determine load capacity ratios. Analyses look at employee workspace utilization by unit; e.g., academic, research, administrative, etc. These metrics are vitally important to the university as higher education faces heightened pressure on cost and efficiency.
Recent acquisitions include the following:
- Acquisition of properties in the 600 block of West Grace Street assembling ~70% of the half block on the north side of Grace;
- Acquisition of 906 ½ West Broad Street adjoining another university-owned property to allow expansion of critical programs and to allow an improved streetscape;
- Acquisition of 534 North Harrison Street adding to an assemblage of the city block bounded by West Grace, West Broad, Ryland and North Harrison Streets, where major investments by the university have been made in developing residential centers; and
- Acquisition of the land tract at the site of Snead Hall and Engineering East necessary for the construction of a state-funded 133,000-square foot engineering research building.