Like a confident businessman, J. Lawrence Joyce walked through the Buildings and Grounds office yesterday where he will soon be the director, introducing himself to employees and greeting by name one man whose picture he remembered from the staff book.
"I'd like to tell you I'm going to improve morale in the department," he said, "but I don't know that it needs improving."
President Bok's choice last week of Joyce, Boston facilities manager for Honeywell Inc., as director of Buildings and Grounds shows Harvard's desire to import professional management to run the University more efficiently and less expensively.
Like the appointment five years ago of former Sheraton executive Stephen S.J. Hall as vice president for administration, Joyce's appointment, which takes effect on June 15, will probably result in Harvard operations that look more like those in big business.
"I've been successful in the past introducing industry engineered programs which make work easier," Joyce said, adding that he is looking forward to trying them in an academic environment.
Joyce also said he wants to decentralize Buildings and Grounds and make it more independent.
"My impression is that the real direction of the operations of the Buildings and Grounds department has been coming out of the vice president for administration's office," Joyce said.
"I want to implement a system where decision making is at the lowest possible organizational level in order to avoid the escalation of problems," he said. "I don't want a girl at Radcliffe calling up President Bok because her heat doesn't work."
He hopes in his system the girl would call the unit supervisor--the person who could take care of her problem.
Joyce does not have any specific solutions to offer for Buildings and Grounds because, he said smiling, he does not yet know the specific problems. He emphasized that all his impressions so far are tentative, that some ideas he has may already have been carried out.
Joyce explained he left Honeywell after 18 years because there were no more promotions for him in facilities management unless he was willing to move to Minnesota.
"I was born in Boston," he said, and added that his family still lives in the area.
Students and faculty had mixed reactions to Hall's efforts to bring business efficiency and innovations to academia, Joyce hopes they will react positively to his efforts.