Chapter 06: Lured to MD Anderson: A New Position and The Three-Building Plan

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Chapter 06: Lured to MD Anderson: A New Position and The Three-Building Plan

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Mr. Daigneau explains that around 1992 he was working with others to conduct Facilities Management Evaluations at the request of institutions. David Bachrach initiated an invitation that he serve as a team leader of a peer review of the newly begun Three-Building Plan. Mr. Daigneau explains that he conducted the review and sent the report and later received a call from an executive recruiter on behalf of MD Anderson. He turned down the job and explains his ethical reservation about taking job as Assistant Vice President for a building plan that arose from service on a peer review team. Mr. Daigneau next explains that two years later MD Anderson was looking to fill the new role of Chief Facilities Officer (the scope of responsibility for this position was based on one of the recommendations in his report). Mr. Daigneau explains why he took the position.

Identifier

DaigneauW_01_20131003_C06

Publication Date

10-3-2013

Publisher

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

City

Houston, Texas

Topics Covered

The Interview Subject's Story - Joining MD Anderson/Coming to Texas; Joining MD Anderson; Professional Path; Evolution of Career; The Administrator; Overview; Professional Practice; The Professional at Work; The Leader; Ethics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Disciplines

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Oncology | Oral History

Transcript

Tacey A. Rosolowski, Ph.D:

Well, tell me how MD Anderson came into the picture.

William Daigneau, MBA:

So I'm sitting in Rochester, and I'm doing very well again there.

Tacey A. Rosolowski, Ph.D:

And the year was?

William Daigneau, MBA:

This was let's see" it must have been around '92. Anyway, I, as part of my professional activity, participated in these organized peer reviews through the Association of Higher Education Facility Officers. They're called an FME" facilities management evaluation. And basically how they're run is usually there's three to four facility officers create a team and go and visit a campus and look at their processes and their policies and their management, the results they're getting. They'll look at resource use. So you get into productivity, how many square foot per custodian, things like that. And then you write up a report with recommendations. It comes from people who are in the business, as opposed to somebody that never turned a wrench before. So it's looked at as pretty valuable because you're getting it from your peers. And just really the advantage is that somebody from the outside can look at something without any baggage associated with it and give a fresh look at the whole thing. I was at the University of Rochester. And with my profession" because I write articles and made presentations, pretty soon I have this invitation from MD Anderson Cancer Center" University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center" for a peer review of their facilities management and what's called the team leader" basically the point person for interaction with" and it came from their member of the association. It came from their executive vice president. His name was David Bachrach, which you may have heard his name. David lives out here in Boulder. He does consulting work.

Tacey A. Rosolowski, Ph.D:

And so just so I'm clear, did David Bachrach ask for you specifically?

William Daigneau, MBA:

Yeah, because for many years, the Texas" like, MD Anderson was number two behind Sloan-Kettering in New York. So there was this aura around the eastern establishment" Johns Hopkins, Sloan-Kettering" all of the big medical centers of the east versus the lowly Houston, Texas. I was at the University of Rochester, New York, Strong Memorial Hospital, so there's some name recognition with that. I think he selected me because he was from the University of Michigan, and he'd gone down to Anderson and kind of was aware of this, well, we're struggling to be number one here. So somebody from an eastern medical center was valued because a lot of the faculty came from eastern" you know" Harvard Medical. So I don't know. I was selected as the team leader and invited to bring a team down, which I did. And at the time, they were just beginning planning of the Major Building Program, which consisted of the new Alkek Hospital and what's now called the" it was called the Clinical Services Building, which is now called the LeMaistre Clinic, and the Clinical Research Building" CRB. They were just beginning that process. So I brought my team in, and we looked at various criteria and things like that, wrote the report, made our recommendations, sent it off. Voila, we're done. About three months after sending in the report, I get a call from an executive recruiter. They're looking to fill a position as assistant vice president for the Major Building Program. Would I be interested? Well, I had a dilemma there. I mean, sometimes I would look at things because they always provide a benchmark of where you're at, how much you're making, are you fairly compensated. So over the years, I've interviewed for various positions even though I really didn't have an interest in them, but it's good to keep your hand in it.

Tacey A. Rosolowski, Ph.D:

Sometimes you can negotiate a higher salary?

William Daigneau, MBA:

That's exactly" But I had a dilemma here, because I just submitted this report. So I called up the executive director of the association and said, You know, this doesn't feel right. I just made a bunch of recommendations. To be hired there would kind of cast a pall on the whole process of peer review that people are out there trying to create jobs for themselves. So they'll be critical and then hope they get an offer." So I turned down the recruiter. It just did not sit well with me. I thought, I wouldn't want to have that done to me." And I don't want to damage the program because it's valuable to people, and have people afraid that, well, the team leader comes in and creates a job for themselves. So I turned the recruiter down. I said, No, for ethical reasons, I can't talk to you about this. I just did a peer review there." So I hear nothing for two years. Now we're stepping up into '93, right in that time period.

Tacey A. Rosolowski, Ph.D:

And you explained to the executive recruiter your reservations? I'm sure he/she passed it on.

William Daigneau, MBA:

Yeah, I told him, frankly, I can't have my name in because of this report.

Tacey A. Rosolowski, Ph.D:

Right. Absolutely. Which I'm sure served you in very good status.

William Daigneau, MBA:

It must have, because two years later, evidently enough time had passed. (laughs) Well, now they're looking for" which was the first time ever" a chief facilities officer. They expanded the job. Evidently, it turned out they hired somebody. That person didn't work out. They had to let them go. But that was for the Major Building Program. But now David Bachrach wanted to bring in somebody who had melded all of the stuff together, because that had been one of the recommendations in the report. (laughs)

Tacey A. Rosolowski, Ph.D:

And when you say meld everything together, what are you referring to?

William Daigneau, MBA:

Well, remember I told you at the University of Rochester they had these groups" well, Anderson had the same thing. They had the Major Building Program that reported up to the president. They had the physical plant operation that reported to David Bachrach. They had a subset of a hospital operation. The police reported to David" I mean" it was all broken all up. So they had a research group doing their own thing on planning. One thing I did as chief facilities officer I did at both Rochester" actually, I did it at every campus I was at. Either I created or revised, in a major way, their master plan. And the same thing at Anderson" their master plan had not been updated for years. So part of the recommendations were to create this position as chief facilities officer, bring all this stuff together. So two years later, executive recruiter again. Anderson is looking" I said, I turned that down." No, this is a different position. They want a chief facilities officer." Well, what kind of salary range are they looking at? Sounds good." And it was a good point in my career for my family because my youngest daughter" I had two daughters in college, and my youngest daughter was just going to start high school, so if I was going to make a move, now was the time, before she got into high school, so she could finish high school. All right, I'll take a look at it. Well, one thing led to another. Well, a couple things impressed us about Houston, Texas. Number one was in Rochester, I'm looking out the back patio door with snow halfway up the patio door, so it as half white and half you could see the blue sky. Get off the plane, and there's pansies growing. (laughs) Wow! So that factored in. The family situation factored in. Again, here was an opportunity to build something from the ground up, which I was getting increasingly good at. And the salary" the compensation" was good. The benefits were good. The climate was good. It must have been the right thing because we sold our house without ever putting it on the market. So everything just kind of fell in place. We made the move to Houston, Texas.

Chapter 06: Lured to MD Anderson: A New Position and The Three-Building Plan

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