VALDOSTA, Georgia — Valdosta State University’s Ben McCranie is a leader in access control. He understands the roles electrified access, keys, card readers, doors, and hardware play in both campus security and academic success.
“I get to go everywhere on campus,” said McCranie, a carpenter and locksmith with the VSU Physical Plant. “I get to meet everyone, and I enjoy the diversity.”
McCranie joined the VSU staff in September 2000 as a framer and cabinetmaker. A dexterous and multitalented artisan, he has worked as a flat mason and roofer, helped set up smart classrooms, and emerged as an expert at picture hanging and related services. In his latest role he serves as a member of the university’s Key and Electronic Access Control team.
“Ben is a versatile employee who adapts well to the ever-changing landscape of the Physical Plant,” says Michael Knight, associate director of maintenance with the VSU Physical Plant. “He has quickly mastered his duties associated with Key Shop policies and procedures. Although he spends most of his time performing keying duties, he still manages to contribute to the success of the Physical Plant with his carpentry skills.”
McCranie assisted VSU’s carpentry team with building and installing camera platforms needed for streaming services during the 2022 Blazer football season. His efforts allowed fans to watch the games online and provided an additional revenue source for VSU Athletics.
“He is an excellent example of how cooperation can produce great results,” Knight said.
McCranie created a device to check electronic card locks across campus for weak batteries before they fail, and he established a preventive maintenance schedule to check locks on a recurring basis.
“He looks for new ways to accomplish a task and streamline procedures to improve customer service,” Knight added. “His efforts have decreased the number of work requests related to electronic access lockouts by 55 percent.”
When not serving the university community, McCranie enjoys working with friends on various construction and repair projects.
VSU’s Council on Staff Affairs presents the Employee of the Semester Award at the end of every fall and spring semester. All full-time classified staff members are eligible to be nominated for the honor. Second place went to Barrie Fitzgerald, director of Strategic Research and Analysis. Third place went to Heather Farley, administrator coordinator with the Access Office.