With four campuses in Massachusetts, Tufts is a research university committed to helping students and faculty generate bold ideas, innovate, and become active citizens of the world. Tufts’ unique combination of research and liberal arts attracts students, faculty, and staff who thrive in an environment of curiosity, creativity and engagement.
Executive Director of Planning, Capital Projects, and Real Estate
Tufts University seeks a strategic operations leader, accustomed to focusing constituents and team members on achieving long term, big picture, mission critical objectives to serve as their first Executive Director of Planning, Capital Projects, and Real Estate (ED). In partnership with university leaders the ED will advance ambitious growth agendas for Tufts’ four campuses through clear communication and the prioritization and integration of academic, research, financial, and sustainability plans. The ED will report to the VP of Operations.
Tufts University is a leader in American higher education, distinctive for its success as a moderately sized university that excels at research and provides students with a personal experience. Its particular combination of research, liberal arts and professional schools attracts students, faculty, and staff who thrive in an environment of curiosity, creativity, and engagement.
The Operations Division at Tufts includes facilities, design and construction, campus and capital renewal planning, real estate, campus safety, dining, auxiliary services, and other related services on multiple campuses across 5.5 million square feet in 250 buildings. Operations services four campuses in Massachusetts: the main campus in Medford/Somerville, the health sciences and SMFA campuses in Boston and the veterinary school campus in Grafton.
Reporting to the Vice President for Operations, the ED will focus on linking the four high performing and high-profile areas in the Operations division to Tufts’ academic and research missions. As a result, campus planning, capital programs, real estate, and a yet to formed area, capital renewal and infrastructure planning will be more integrated and strategically focused. This future functional area will be created by separating the capital renewal planning function from campus planning and establishing a dedicated area with a newly defined intentional function of infrastructure and sustainability planning for the university.
Key responsibilities of the ED include: attending to the continual development of the team that plans and implements a 10-year, $2.1B capital plan emphasizing visioning for campus-wide planning, more fluidity across related functions with an eye on leadership development and succession planning; supporting and providing leadership, structure, and a data-driven framework for capital master planning that identifies long-range needs that align academic, research, administrative, and organizational priorities; integrating campus space use planning and real estate strategy, working closely with government and community relations and with host communities on joint planning efforts; ensuring effective communication with key University stakeholders and decision-makers, ensuring program objectives are met, takes a leadership role to facilitate cross school initiatives and resolve areas of disagreement between project stakeholders; collaborating closely with Operations leadership, in particular Facilities Services on integrating maintenance practices and information into facility condition index, infrastructure planning and day to day management, building performance standards; and integrating sustainability and carbon reduction into all aspects of capital renewal and campus planning and capital programs.
Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Tom Phillips of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
The successful candidate will have excellent communication, leadership, and team-building skills. The ED must be strategic, collaborative, and have an integrative mindset. They should be experienced with generating and being receptive to new ideas and proactive about exploring and implementing them. The ED will be a team leader who breaks down siloes and creates pathways for the department. Tufts’ community is comprised of smart and capable individuals, and the ED will be someone who enjoys unlocking potential and identifying synergies. The full position profile can be found here: