Working with the CSU
The CSU makes professional appointments on the basis of demonstrated competence and professional qualifications. Professional appointments are made at the campus level.
As with any client, assuming a well-executed effort, past experience is a plus; however a firm with no higher education experience, but with demonstrated success in projects of similar size and complexity, should be readily able to make a compelling argument for serious consideration.
Campus capital projects come about from expressed campus need. This need is validated based on various entitlement formulas that are related to campus physical capacity and campus projected demand growth. A project feasibility study is often commissioned early on by the campus to help analyze need and justification for a particular project.
Once the internal decision to develop a project is made, a campus will convene a 3 to 9 member interview panel to make an appointment recommendation. The panel may include various ‘user’ representatives, but building technical representatives will represent a majority position.
The interview panel will use the Systemwide Prequalified List to develop an invitational RFQ listing of approximately 12-15 firms for initial consideration. In making their initial searches from the prequalified list, experience self rankings will be considered, along with the size and location of prospective firms. At this point, firms that have expressed specific advance interest on the project to the campus will also be considered. Non-public factors including: firm reputation, recent past performance and peer references is heavily weighted.
From the initial RFQ solicitation, a short list of 4 or 5 responding firms is selected for interview. The assumption is that any firm on the short list is technically capable of performing the work.
At this point it becomes a subjective evaluation confirming RFQ information and seeking the best fit based on interview performance. At the conclusion of the interviews, firms are ranked and the highest ranked firm is nominated for the commission. A confirming reference check occurs and assuming a positive outcome an agreement is proffered, executed and work begins.
The appointment of supporting consultants and appointments for minor capital projects may abbreviate some steps, but the process generally occurs along the same lines.