Universities look outward to transform campus real estate into strategic asset

JLL continues growth of higher education business by appointing Ross Whittier to lead IFM Higher Education sales

CHICAGO, Sept. 4, 2018 — Universities continue to face declining revenues from tuition and public support, leading university leaders to consider how to transform their campus real estate from a cost center into a strategic asset. In the face of revenue challenges, higher education administrators are seeking creative ways to address aging infrastructure and fund development and renovation projects—and are looking to the private sector for ideas. JLL has expanded its Higher Education group to meet this demand with the addition of Ross Whittier, who brings 11 years of facilities management experience to his new role.

In his new role, Whittier serves as Principal, Solutions Development, and leads IFM Higher Education sales with a focus on working with regional sales leads to grow the Higher Education business across the country.

"The campus often serves as a prospective student's first introduction to a college or university, so well-maintained grounds and clean, tech-enabled facilities can leave a lasting impression—but many institutions are challenged by stretched resources," Kevin Wayer, co-leader of JLL's Higher Education group. "We look forward to the fresh thinking that Ross will deliver as we guide colleges and universities through the outsourcing journey and help transform their campus real estate."

As universities continue to face the dueling pressures of delivering a high-quality, high-tech campus experience while reducing costs, higher education leaders are looking to the private sector to help campus facilities become a source of added value and savings. To meet this demand, JLL's Higher Education business is growing rapidly and continues to invest in strategic new hires to keep pace with the rapidly growing interest in its Higher Education business.

This appointment comes on the heels of several recent investments in the Higher Education group, and higher education IFM in particular, including Ron Gregory, Executive Vice President, Higher Education IFM. Gregory joined JLL last year to lead operations and identifies operational efficiencies within JLL's university clients, which complements Whitter's focus on sales growth. Together Gregory and Whittier will help colleges and universities uncover innovative solutions to address their biggest facilities challenges and opportunities to achieve financial and recruitment goals.

Prior to joining JLL, Whittier sold more than $260 million of outsourced facilities services including custodial, grounds/landscaping, physical plant maintenance and strategic engineering services. His extensive C-Suite expertise stems from his previous roles as director of business development at Aramark, vice president of business development of National Management Resources Corporation, and various senior sales positions at Caterpillar, Inc.

Whittier has worked with more than 50 colleges and universities over the span of his career and is recognized for his leadership in the implementation of Higher Education market segmentation plans to increase focus on target profile accounts.

He also holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri and earned his Six Sigma Green Belt Certification.

JLL's Higher Education practice partners with public and private universities, as well as university health systems, to help fulfill their missions through the stewardship of real estate. The group taps the unrealized potential of real estate to produce cost savings, improve financial strength, manage risk, and improve the overall student experience. A leading provider of higher education services, JLL has worked for more than 200 colleges and universities throughout the world and provides a broad range of services that encompasses: brokerage, project and development management, sustainability solutions, public-private partnerships, facilities management, and master planning. JLL's expertise includes student housing, athletic stadiums, gateway and innovation projects, science and research facilities, parking garages, continuing education, hospitals and international campuses. 

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 86,000 as of June 30, 2018. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.