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David Irvin

To: UT Faculty and Staff
From: Dave Irvin, associate vice chancellor for Facilities Services

I want to give the campus community an update about our efforts to implement the Total Cleaning program and bring custodial services back in-house.

Our goal, which we announced last spring, is to provide a more extensive and professional level of cleaning service in every campus building. This involves more attention to both common high-traffic areas and individual offices. Gordon Nelson, a general superintendent with Facilities Services, is overseeing the initiative.

We are committed to our goal, but our timeline has been delayed by a number of complicating factors. We began the transition in August with the goal of moving all buildings to in-house staff by July. Because we want to do this right, it likely will be next fall before all buildings are brought in house and being serviced to the level we have promised.

The plan requires transitioning seventy-three buildings that are being cleaned through a contract with GC Services to in-house services. Accomplishing that transition requires that we hire as many as 120 people as regular UT employees. These also include front-line supervisors and training staff. So far, we have transitioned twenty buildings and hired fifty new UT employees.

When we transition a building, we should perform a “deep clean” so its occupants and frequent users will see immediate positive results. We have been unable to immediately do that with the last several transitions due to a staffing shortage. We are, however, performing deep cleaning of buildings as our staffing permits.

We are recruiting to fill the remaining positions, but finding the best people for the jobs requires that we invest the necessary time. I encourage you to refer potential employees by having them visit the Human Resources jobs database and searching for the keywords “service aide.”

We appreciate your patience as we work through our plan. Please feel free to share feedback about your building or office so that we can continue to improve our service. We cannot address problems until they are brought to our attention. If you want more information about the status of your building, please visit call or e-mail Gordon at 865-974-2054 or

Thank you again for your patience. Over the next few months I plan to update the campus community about how things are going.