Director of Facilities Operations & Maintenance

Medford, MA

Posted: 8/30/21
Deadline: 10/29/21

About This Organization

Tufts University, Medford Campus

Established in 1852, Tufts University is a leader in American higher education, distinctive for its success as a moderate sized university that excels at research and providing students with a personal experience. Tufts is committed to providing transformational experiences for students and faculty in an inclusive and collaborative environment where creative scholars generate bold ideas, innovate in the face of complex challenges, and distinguish themselves as active citizens of the world.

Per U.S. News and World Report, Tufts ranks 30th in the “Best College / University” nationally.

Tufts University has five campuses; four campuses within the state of Massachusetts, and one international campus in France. The main campus is located on approximately 150 acres of land in Medford, MA and is comprised of the following:

• School of Arts and Sciences
• Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
• School of Engineering
• The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
• Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life

The Boston based Health Sciences campus houses the highly ranked Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Nutrition Science and Policy. The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University is also located in Boston and the Grafton campus is home to the well-ranked Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Department Summary

The Department of Facilities Services within the Operations Division is responsible for the efficient and cost-effective operations, maintenance, and management of all Tufts University facilities consisting of 5.7 million square feet of space on four campuses (Somerville/Medford, Grafton and the two Boston campuses) with the Medford/Somerville’s campus alone accounting for approximately 3.7 million square feet.

A broad range of services are provided to support the University campuses including: facility maintenance by all trades, capital maintenance, business and technology systems for operations (including work control, business analytics and facilities planning), energy and utilities systems, recycling and waste management, event services, residential facilities coordination, grounds maintenance, and facility condition assessment and tracking. Facilities Services plays a critical role in planning for the $30M/year deferred maintenance investment.

Related functions, which require close coordination with this department, are public and environmental safety and security, as well as planning, design, and construction of capital and deferred maintenance projects including major repairs, renovation, and new construction.


Founded in 1630, Medford was established as a city in 1892 and is one of the oldest settlements in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States. Medford contains many historic sites, monuments, and houses, some of which date back to the 17th century. The name Medford is thought to have come from “the ford by the meadow” or “Meadford” thus commemorating the importance of the fordable part of the Mystic River located just west of present-day Medford Square. Medford is just 6.7 miles northwest of downtown Boston on the Mystic River in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

Job Duties

Position Summary

Reporting to the Senior Director of Facilities Services and overseeing a diverse team of more than 70 people in facilities and grounds management, the Director of Facilities Operations & Maintenance – Medford is responsible for supporting, operating, and reliabily maintaining a physical environment that enables the University to conduct its teaching, research, and educational mission. The Director oversees campus facilities services including campus operations and the execution and implementation of grounds, and maintenance programs and processes that are strategically focused on optimizing the lifecycle and operability of the University’s academic, research, residential, and administrative buildings and grounds. This individual will work as part of a cohesive and influential team in collaboration with the directors overseeing facilities business systems and operations, campus planning, capital programs, and campus engineering functions. This individual also interacts with campus leaders, communicating timely and accurate data regarding campus conditions and work status.

The ideal candidate will have proven experience navigating a complex organization through transformative process and cultural change as the Division embraces the implementation of Asset Based Management, Asset Reliability, and Asset Criticality practices. The Director must be a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, and likewise is expected to take a leading role in the University’s efforts to realize its ambitious goal to steward environmental resources in a sustainable manner.

Essential Functions

• Develops, oversees, and holds managers accountable for managing to their operating and capital budgets. Plans, develops, and implements strategies for generating and/or optimizing resources for the department, if appropriate. Conducts periodic reviews of budgetary practices and financial issues aimed at ensuring accountability and adherence to fiscally sound best business practices.

• Works collaboratively and inclusively with facilities directors and managers across all campuses to develop new, or enhance existing, system wide protocols and procedures that, in alignment with the Division’s asset based management program, optimize building system and equipment reliability and ensure compliance with end user service level agreements. Oversees best practices for ensuring that maintenance work, program methods and supporting documentation are recorded and documented in support of the Division’s data driven methods.

• Strengthens working relationships between the facilities teams and the campus community (faculty, students, and staff), achieving enhanced credibility and trust within and between the department and the Tufts community. Ensures that service levels and standards are clear, documented and communicated throughout the Facilities organization upholding a strong commitment to customer service through the entire facilities area.

• Continuously demonstrates the benefits of programmatic thinking and proactive problem solving over reactive legacy methods. Develops performance management standards that encourage and reward achievement and yet create clear accountabilities and expectations. Supports a culture of change with ongoing educational training and support programs that encourage professional growth and achievement.

• Ensures the department is performing in conjunction with the Operations Division mission. This includes active participation in long-range campus plans, facility condition goals, and the development of MEP and sustainability standards. Directs facility managers and supervisors, developing and articulating strategic and ambitious departmental goals into group and individual performance plans. Represents Facilities Services at construction planning meetings to ensure long-term goals optimizing the total cost of ownership are upheld.

• Continuously develops the organizational capacity to achieve excellent Asset Management performance. This includes engaging the workforce by using data and leading by example to demonstrate a holistic asset managmenet approach supported by sound business process that promote workplace safety and asset optimization.

• Ensures that effective, efficient, and detailed preventative maintenance (PM) program standards are articulated in facilities’ business processes and implemented in the University’s Computerized Maintenance Management System (Maximo). Utilize best practices to develop, implement, and promote processes and work rules that establish consistent use of rules for priority, status, work identification, and characterization to improve work management and efficiency. Collaborate with campus planning and scheduling department to ensure that asset criticality, SLA’s preventive maintenance programming and other priorities are implemented to reduce costly corrective work, increase proactive preventative work, and provide efficient deployment of resources.

• Works closely with employee relations and human resources to proactively manage union relations issues and to participate in the negotiation of fair and effective collective bargaining agreements. Guides campus interpretation of union agreement and leads efforts to refine and improve workforce satisfaction, productivity, and efficiencies through effective continuous improvements in union agreements and processes.

• Advises the University administration on funding needs to adequately maintain the physical facilities of the institution, and assist the administration in the allocation of fiscal resources for various capital improvement and maintenance projects on campus.

• Works with University administrators, faculty, and staff to analyze and assess maintenance, growth, and facilities needs pertaining to programmatic changes. Develops and implements written programs, strategies, and plans to meet those needs, preparing conceptual plans for new facilities services as appropriate. Provides input into, and recommendations for, the space utilization plan for the campus.

This description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employee may perform other duties as assigned to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

Required Qualifications

Minimum Requirements

• 10 to 15 years’ experience in facilities management including comprehensive knowledge of buildings and equipment with ability to foresee problems, implement solutions, and complete ordinary repairs in a timely manner.
• Proven experience leading and managing in an Asset Based Management/Asset Reliability program and culture supported by data driven goals and accountabilities.
• Demonstrated knowledge of building trades including plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and carpentry.
• Proven record of assessing organizational structures, leading change, managing and re-allocating resources, creating business rules, and streamlining processes and systems.
• Knowledge of applicable codes and regulations related to facilities, residential facilities in a university setting, and building system operations.
• Planning, fiscal, and forecasting experience with an understanding of how to keep costs to a minimum while providing best care for facilities.
• Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in a facilities and/or engineering discipline.
• Driver’s License.
• Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office, Maximo (or other work order management system), CAD and/or Revit, Microsoft Project, JCI Metasys, or comparable BAS system/s.

Preferred Experience

• Master’s degree in an appropriate, related discipline.
• Experience in a unionized environment.
• Experience interpreting personnel bargaining agreements.
• Experience managing a research and development facility or health sciences campus.

An employee in this position must complete all appropriate background checks at the time of hire, promotion, or transfer.

Ideal Leadership Qualities

• Customer service driven with a consistently responsive and proactive communication style.
• Relentless in seeking ways to improve, add value, and increase efficiency.
• High-level of integrity and ethics.
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills to foster effective working relationships at all levels and synthesize disparate ideas and perspectives.
• Reasoned decision maker who takes ownership of her/his decisions.
• Strategic thinker with high emotional intelligence who can navigate challenges, implement meaningful change, and bring people together to achieve goals.
• Staff advocate who supports high quality, innovative programs to attract, develop, motivate, and retain a diverse workforce.
• Efficient, transparent, inclusive leader who inspires with quiet confidence.
• Promoter of a culture of safety and environmental protection.

Tufts Competencies

Tufts competencies describe the knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to effectively perform a job in the University:

• Expertise: Requisite skills for the position; sharing of expertise; support of others in learning and skill building; pride in work; commitment to professional development.
• Interaction with Others: Demonstrated communication skills; openness to different viewpoints; respect shown for others; collaboration on joint projects and decisions; ability to give and receive candid and helpful feedback.
• Continuous Improvement: Measurable improvement made in systems or processes; system efficiency; innovation and creativity; commitment to generating new solutions and ideas.
• Customer Focus: Attention to and focus on customer satisfaction; effective and appropriate relationships with customers; successfully anticipate, and meet the needs of both internal and external customers.
• Resourcefulness and Results: The ability to work effectively in a variety of situations; demonstrating good work habits, flexibility, and initiative; using multiple resources to achieve desired results; seeking input and assessing risks when decision making; committing to getting things done.
• Leadership: Model desired behavior for position; act as catalyst for change through positive energy. (For management positions refer to the Leadership Competency Model.)

Helpful Links

• Tufts University Official Website:
• Tufts University Departments Webpage:
• Tufts University Facilities Maintenance Webpage:
Tufts University Fact Book 2020 – 2021: (pages 89 – 96 provide info on facilities)

Other Info

About the Search

Tufts University is conducting a search with the assistance of Helbling & Associates (, an executive search firm specializing in areas of facilities management, construction, engineering, and real estate development.
Please Submit Applications or Nominations to
Helbling & Associates, Inc.
8000 Brooktree Road, Suite 100
Wexford, PA 15090

Joe Wargo, Regional Manager
O: (724) 935-7500 x107
C: (412) 398-3762