Experienced facilities manager keeps research going despite supply chain problems

"Scott Jeffress"

Scott Jeffress | Facilities Manager | Research Facilities

Scott Jeffress keeps research facilities running thanks to years of experience and tenacity in spite of supply chain issues.  

Jeffress has been at KU for more than 20 years and is currently the facilities manager at the Life Sciences Research Laboratory and the Higuchi Biosciences Center. In that time, he has managed both recurring and unexpected building needs. 

“Scott was the facility manager at Oread Labs in the same location for many years previously. He knows that building inside and out, as well as many other KU buildings,” said Suzanne Kerich, the facilities manager for Youngberg Hall, St. Andrews Research Facility, and Wakarusa Research Facility. “Scott has many great stories about KU buildings and KU history, which is always interesting. Plus he has a good sense of humor, which is a relief during challenging events and difficult problems.” 

Research, especially in the natural and life sciences, can’t be conducted in just any building. Facilities such as the LSRL and HBC need stable temperatures and sanitation standards to ensure the integrity of the work that occurs inside. Jeffress’ experience with both buildings is essential to maintaining those high standards.

“We’ll be talking about a building, and he’ll say, ‘You know when they put that in, right?’ (Of course not.) ‘Oh, it was 20 years ago, and so and so replaced that air handler 10 years back.’  The things inside his brain are amazing,” said Laurie White, facilities manager at Gray-Little Hall. 

One recent example of Jeffress going above and beyond to keep a building functioning for researchers involved HVAC problems in the LSRL. 

“This issue could have impacted research in the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, but Scott was able to keep the doors open so that the working system could deliver at least some heat,” said Erik Lundquist, associate vice chancellor for research and professor of molecular biosciences. “He had to negotiate supply chain issues to get the new unit.”