Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations

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Smith College, the largest independent women’s college in the country, seeks a strategic and mission-oriented collaborator and leader to serve as the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations (AVP). The Smith College campus is a beautiful natural setting and the college has a strong history and commitment to investing in the care of its campus and buildings. The AVP will play an important role in advancing the college’s strategic vision for the campus, in planning major construction and renovation projects, and in leading efficient and effective operations.

 

The Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations provides leadership and management to nine direct reports supervising a team of more than 300 skilled and loyal professionals (176 in facilities, 111 in dining services and 40 in campus police) represented by seven unions. Financial responsibilities include development and oversight of an annual operating budget of $18 million dollars and a $200-million-dollar capital budget over the next five years. The position includes oversight of the college’s real estate portfolio, including nearly 200 residential units and several retail properties.

 

The overarching opportunity for the AVP will be to serve as a strategic leader, one who fosters a culture that highly values customer service, engagement, communication, and responsiveness to faculty, students, and staff. Efficiency and transparency in all aspects of facilities, dining, and police management are highly important. The new AVP will be joining the Smith College community with major capital construction in progress, and significant planning initiatives on the horizon. The successful candidate must provide the leadership and direction that will ensure that the campus continues to receive the highest level of support and service even as large projects are undertaken. These efforts will depend upon the successful development and maintenance of relationships at all levels of the college, including faculty, staff, students, trustees, and the broader community.

 

Among the specific challenges for the position are:

  • Complete the Neilson Library project. Although the project is well under construction, completion and turnover are significant further challenges. The conclusion of the project will include the complex process of relocating college library services.
  • Implement strategic initiatives. The AVP will be a key collaborator and leader on a wide variety of collegewide strategic projects that require innovative solutions, strategic thinking and business planning, and will significantly impact the campus and community. Initiatives include work on sustainability, carbon-reduction, and landscape master planning, as well as a Student Experience study impacting on-campus housing and dining. 
  • Lead through change. As Smith College evolves, and as the landscape of higher education changes, the AVP will provide a leadership role in change management. The college is in the early stages of replacing its enterprise resource planning system to Workday, which will create significant changes to roles and responsibilities across campus.
  • Ensure stewardship of the campus. The culture at Smith College is one of stewardship of its physical resources. Significant investments in campus infrastructure have been made over the years, resulting in excellent facility condition and a low level of deferred maintenance. The AVP will provide a data-driven approach and a planning mindset to ensure that deferred maintenance needs remain understood and managed, with necessary projects quantified and considered alongside the college’s programmatic facilities requirements.
  • Develop and foster labor relations in a union environment. The AVP takes a key role in setting the tone for labor relations and must ensure that the workforce is positioned to meet the college’s operational needs while creating an environment where all workers are treated with dignity and respect.

 

The successful candidate will bring broad-based facilities and operations experience and a record of leading change, innovating problem solutions, fostering labor relations, streamlining processes and systems, and creating and delivering large scale strategic plans and projects. S/he will be a person of the highest integrity with a collegial style that engenders trust and inspires collaboration, along with an enthusiasm for the day-to-day management of efficient operations and excellent customer service. Previous leadership of similar functions (or the ability to do so) in another higher education institution or a comparably complex setting will factor strongly. A bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in a related field such as engineering or construction management, and a master’s degree is desirable. The full position profile can be found here.

 

Smith College has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this search. Please submit applications, expressions of interest, and nominations to Andy Evans, Tom Phillips and Charlotte Harris here.

 

Smith College is an equal opportunity employer encouraging excellence through diversity.