By Steve Peary

Just as NNECERAPPA and ERAPPA each have a Technology and Communications Committee, APPA International also has a corresponding committee called the Information and Research Committee (I&R).

I&R is a permanent committee of APPA as established in its bylaws and is comprised of association members whose work supports the specific mission and scope of that committee. Members become part I&R through appointments made by the APPA President with the recommendation of the committee chairperson and the regional president.

I&R has a key role in fostering the growth and dissemination of the collective body of knowledge that elevates the role of educational facility professionals. This body of knowledge includes research projects, books and publications produced by APPA, Facilities Performance Indicator (FPI) surveys and reports, the APPA website, and Inside APPA e-newsletter. The committee also selects the annual Rex Dillow Award recipient (best feature article annually) and I&R Committee Chair is the staff liaison for the Center for Facilities Research (CFaR).

Currently I&R is actively engaged in two primary initiatives that support the APPA Strategic Plan.

• Incorporating a utility management tool into the FPI Survey. APPA has reached an agreement with Green Globes to embed their utilities management tool in the FPI. This marks a significant departure from the current use of the FPI as an annual event for benchmarking to a daily/weekly/monthly tool also. This will enhance the FPI and create a tool that can be used all year long by APPA member schools. It is due to launch with the FY12 FPI opening in July, 2012.

• Utilizing the FPI as a recruitment tool for new APPA members. This is gaining momentum and had been recognized as a part of the Marketing and Communications of the organization. As such a formal working group has been formed as part of the Marketing and Communications Sub-Committee to focus on this opportunity.

Be sure to stay tuned as these two exciting initiatives come to fruition. There is sure to be a benefit to our membership and in perhaps an opportunity to engage more schools in the FPI.