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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Minnesota State Mankato sweeps statewide financial, facilities management awards

Larry Kohanek: Outstanding Service Award

University is best in financial, facilities management.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office news release [2/6/2009]

Minnesota State University, Mankato swept the recent statewide Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system awards for financial and facilities management excellence.

The university received awards in all three categories: Excellence in Financial Management, Excellence in Facilities Management and Outstanding Service by an individual (Larry Kohanek, director of planning and construction). The awards were presented in January at the MnSCU Chief Financial and Facilities Officers Conference.

“During these challenging economic times, I am particularly grateful that we have leaders in finance and facilities with strong accomplishments,” said Laura King, the system’s vice chancellor and chief financial officer. “It is a pleasure to recognize them for their achievements. They work hard to increase efficiency, and we know it pays off for our students and the people of Minnesota.”

“We’re pleased that others recognize the high-quality work that our finance and facilities employees consistently perform,” said Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport. “I want to congratulate Larry Kohanek, who was recognized for his outstanding contributions in managing the construction of two buildings. We are proud of the excellent work performed by our employees in the Finance and Administration Division.”

Kohanek has been at the university since 1986, serving as a planner, project manager, physical plant director and planning and construction director. He is a member of the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers and is a volunteer director for Mankato’s Open Door Health Center, which cares for the uninsured and under-insured.

Finance and facilities employees have developed many innovations, including:

  • Computerized maintenance software that last year generated 3,107 preventative maintenance routines – 13.5 percent more than in the previous year.
  • Online maintenance requests from faculty and staff.
  • Computerized central irrigation, with a weather station that records rain, humidity and solar radiation and meters irrigation to compensate for rain deficiency.
  • Energy efficient equipment in the new Julia Sears Hall and Ford Hall that have provided more than $40,000 in energy rebates.
  • A hybrid Security automobile that operates on battery power much of the time.

Minnesota State Mankato has received the Excellence in Facilities Management Award for eight consecutive years (2001-2008), and the Excellence in Financial Management Award for seven of the last eight years (except 2003). It was one of eight institutions earning the 2008 financial management award, and one of five receiving the 2008 facilities management award.

The awards, started in 1997, recognize the outstanding contributions of the system’s college and university employees who work in finance and facilities management. The winners were selected from nominations made by presidents and college and university leadership.

Financial management awards are for significant contributions to increased efficiency and effectiveness of finance and administrative services. Facilities management awards are for successful and timely completion of capital improvement and repair projects; increased efficiency and effectiveness of space use throughout the institution; and customer service excellence to students, staff and faculty.

Outstanding service awards go to individuals who exhibit extraordinary professionalism in financial management.

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