Assistant Vice President for Facilities Operations

Industry: Facilities Management
Location: New York - Poughkeepsie
Sector: Higher Education
Search ID: 22-0705-09
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James G. Lord
James G. Lord


Vassar College has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure an Assistant Vice President for Facilities Operations.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Assistant Vice President for Facilities Operations is responsible for the day-to-day oversight and strategic management of Vassar’s physical plant in order to provide the proper environment for teaching, learning, and living. The Assistant Vice President for Facilities Operations leads a team including Building Trades, Grounds Services, Custodial Services, Facilities Systems and Services, Project Management, Energy Management, and the Service Response Center.

The Assistant Vice President has strategic planning, administrative, financial, and operational responsibility for departments that employ over 150 people and an operating budget of approximately $20M. Annual spending on capital building and renovation projects is expected to exceed $25M. The Assistant Vice President provides overall leadership for a wide range of campus services and functions, including direct responsibility for the maintenance, upkeep, renewal, and replacement of buildings, infrastructure, and utilities; capital planning, building design and construction; and campus grounds, maintenance, and custodial services. The Assistant Vice President will utilize broad knowledge of facilities management, project management, and strong communication and collaboration skills to mold and strengthen an organization comprised of new and long tenured employees. Strong financial and business acumen is required.

Success for this position will be defined through: creating and maintaining effective collaborations and partnerships across the College; timely and transparent communication; identifying and implementing processes and systems that improve service, allow for innovative solutions, and control costs; and inspired leadership of the Facilities Operations division.

For more details about this opportunity, please view the position profile by clicking on the cover image to the left.

About Vassar

Founded in 1861, Vassar College is a highly selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. Consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, Vassar is renowned for pioneering achievements in education, for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus.

The Vassar campus comprises over 100 buildings in architectural styles ranging from modernist to collegiate gothic and 1,000 picturesque acres. A designated arboretum, the campus features more than 200 species of trees and a 520-acre ecological preserve.


Poughkeepsie, NY



  • Minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience in facilities management including responsibility for building maintenance, custodial and grounds services, work management, and utility distribution; 
  • Prior leadership experience in a higher education institution is preferred;
  • Demonstrated ability to build, lead, and manage diverse teams;
  • Ability to work constructively with a wide variety of individuals, including faculty, administrators, students, and tradespeople; 
  • Experience in strategic decision making;
  • Strong financial planning, analysis, and budget management skills; 
  • Well-developed analytical, problem-solving, communication, and organizational skills, and the ability to take initiative;
  • Customer service orientation and the ability to manage expectations; 
  • Experience with campus master planning processes, building design, and renovation projects; and supervising the creation of flexible, multifunctional indoor and outdoor spaces;
  • Experience with federal, state, and local codes and ordinances pertinent to facilities planning, design, renovation, building, and maintenance; 
  • Understanding of environmental health and safety considerations; 
  • Openness to feedback with high emotional intelligence, strong listening, and trust-building skills;
  • A commitment to sustainability and knowledge of historic preservation are expected;
  • Experience working in a unionized environment is preferred.

Education & Travel

  • A Bachelor's degree is required, an advanced degree in a field relevant to the position description is preferred.
  • Travel as required
Vassar College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer, and applications from women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged.
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