Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Grounds

Smith College in Northampton, MA

Posted: 5/30/19
Deadline: 7/31/19

About This Organization

Smith College is an independent, private and highly selective college, educates women of promise for lives of distinction and purpose. One of the historic Seven Sisters colleges, Smith College was founded in 1871 and opened officially in 1875 with 14 students. Today, it is among the largest women’s colleges in the United States with about 2,450 undergraduates, and admits both male and female graduate students. The suburban campus sits on 147 acres and, unlike many other schools, does not feature dormitories, but rather 37 separate, self-governing houses that range from Gothic to Modern in style and accommodate between 10 and 100 students each. Smith College offers 11 varsity sports along with extensive intramural and club sport programs. The College is located about two hours from Boston and three hours from New York City. It is a part of the Five Colleges Consortium, a nonprofit education corporation promoting the broad educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions: Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts—Amherst. The campuses are linked by a free bus service, owing to the proximity of the schools in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts.

About Northampton, MA
Nicknamed “Paradise City,” Northampton boasts rich cultural, artistic, academic, and business assets. The city rests in the Pioneer Valley and is bordered on the east side by the Connecticut River. Originally chartered as the town of Nonotuck in 1654, Northampton was incorporated as a city in 1884. Calvin Coolidge acted as Mayor before being elected to the presidency in 1927. Many other famous personalities have called Northampton home including Sojourner Truth, Amelia Earhart, Sylvia Plath, and Alexander Graham Bell. Arts and culture are essential to the identity and charm of Northampton. Housed in the largely in-tact 19th century architecture of the cultural district are galleries, music stores, breweries, coffee shops, antique stores, restaurants, museums, and the first municipally-owned theatre in the country. The Forbes Library is the only public library in the United States to hold a presidential collection in its Calvin Coolidge Memorial Room. Accessible by highway, bus transit, and Amtrak rail service, Northampton is nearby to five institutions of higher learning and home to top-rated public high schools and vocational schools.

Job Duties

Primary Functions

Responsible for providing day-to-day as well as strategic direction and leadership for facilities services, all trades, building services, environmental healthy and safety, and grounds departments including: operations, trades (electrical, building, and mechanical), event support, custodial services, work order management, fleet and driver scheduling, inventory control, mail services, and trucking. Provide a climate conducive to staff development and support, and foster a cooperative working environment with staff and other campus departments. Report to and serve as a key partner to the Associate Vice President for Facilities & Operations, and assist in strategic planning and development of long-term goals and objectives for the department. Provide 24-hour contact availability for the resolution of emergencies related to facilities management. Perform required administrative activities related to personnel management, including performance management. Ensure clarity of objectives and performance requirements. Serve as the overall Facilities and Operations department’s leader in the event of the Associate Vice President’s absence or inability to fill the role. Represent the department and/or serve as proxy for the Associate Vice President on occasion in meetings or as a member of committees.

Duties and Responsibilities

Facilities Operations and Maintenance Management: Provide leadership and management for the operations and maintenance of facilities operations. Resolve technical issues and failures quickly and efficiently. Provide strategic direction to the overall maintenance and operation of the campus with consideration for limited resources and the need for highly efficient operations. Ensure appropriate implementation of preventive and predictive maintenance. Ensure work conditions are safe and conducive to efficient operations. Perform special assignments that involve technical investigation or analyses. Recommend solutions to unique engineering and administrative problems as they arise. Ensure compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and standards in areas of workplace safety and chemical use. Maintain appropriate staffing levels, assign and schedule staffing levels for college and sponsored functions. Work with the leadership of all unions to ensure open communication with unionized employees. Recommend contract changes. Participate in contract negotiations and administration.

Utility Management and Sustainability: Ensure effective and efficient use of utilities and manage continuous efforts to reduce energy consumption. Supervise and work cooperatively with the Energy Manager to monitor and reduce energy use, analyze trends, and make adjustments to operations as necessary. Manage and oversee the operation and readiness of the power plant and cogeneration system. Partner with others on campus, including the Director of Sustainability and Campus Planning, in the continued and serious effort at Smith to achieve campus carbon neutrality.

Administrative Management: Assist in the development, monitoring, and management of facilities budgets. Oversee the execution of work orders through the computerized maintenance management system, and access and analyze relevant and attainable data from the work order system. Oversee procurement and implementation of service and construction contracts / projects as needed, ensuring appropriate scope definition, vendor competition, and ongoing contract management. Oversee and manage an effective and economical program for procurement and distribution of supplies and materials. Ensure proper administration of uniform procurement and distribution. Develop or update departmental policies and procedures as necessary.

Staff Management, Supervision and Training: Manage, mentor, and develop staff. Supervise and develop directors and managers. Oversee all administrative aspects of employee management, including performance management, hiring, updating of job descriptions, and similar tasks. Assign and delegate appropriate work to subordinates and hold employees accountable for success. Oversee scheduling of staff and overtime rotation processes and procedures. Perform all management actions in consideration of, and in compliance with, governing union contracts. Define departmental goals and polices to supervisory staff to assure objectives are being met. Provide guidance to supervisors and assistant managers when needed, in handling day-to-day operational problems and grievances. Design training programs for staff and employees. Conduct frequent meetings with staff to review plans, policies and to receive feedback. Conduct periodic building and grounds checks, give feedback to staff. Schedule and attend staff meetings. Attend educational opportunities to enhance professional skills and build a functional peer network.

Campus and Community Relations: Work closely and constructively with departments within Facilities and across the College. Resolve customer complaints. Develop positive relationships with all constituents of facilities management, including faculty, staff, students, and members of the Northampton community. Provide clear and professional correspondence and communication as necessary to address issues and further the interests of the department. Other duties as assigned by the Associate Vice President.

Strategic/Goals: Lead change process to improve both efficiency and effectiveness of all aspects of the operation that includes stakeholders, including campus community partners, employees of the department, and the unions that represent those employees.

Metrics: Develop a robust and understandable set of performance measurements, or “metrics” around the work completed in the department. Use metrics as a tool to promote transparency, drive improvement, and celebrate collective accomplishments.

Required Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications

Education/Experience: Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 7 to 10 years supervising or managing technical staff in an operations, maintenance, or construction capacity. Ability to provide leadership for a large unit of a complex institution. Experience in higher education preferred.

Skills: Demonstrated strong administrative, leadership, and supervisory skills combined with excellent verbal and written communication abilities. Exemplary interpersonal skills including the ability to interact effectively with people of all backgrounds. Working knowledge of applicable federal, state, and local regulations; code requirements; and safety practices. Ability to organize and prioritize work, take initiative, resolve problems, and manage multiple tasks simultaneously. Ability to excel at working in a community that is broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion. Skilled in communicating ideas and information to a diverse set of constituencies in a collegial environment.

Helpful Links

About the Search

Smith College is conducting a national search with the assistance of Helbling & Associates (, an executive search firm specializing in areas of facilities management, construction, engineering, and real estate development. Smith College seeks to attract individuals who are committed to the mission of providing the highest quality education to women. The college employs a diverse group of people who bring different talents, perspectives, and experiences to the school’s community. Female candidates, and candidates of historically under-represented groups, are strongly encouraged to apply.
Please Submit Applications or Nominations to
Helbling & Associates, Inc.
8000 Brooktree Road, Suite 100
Wexford, PA 15090

Joseph F. Wargo, Senior Managing Consultant
O: (724) 935-7500 x107
C: (412) 398-3762

Please visit Helbling & Associates’ Candidates Page for more information.

Smith College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or veteran status in the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations.