Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Planning

Industry: Facilities Management
Location: Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh
Sector: Higher Education
Search ID: 22-0903-23
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Marc K. Datz
Marc K. Datz
Olivia R. Lyle
Olivia R. Lyle


The University of Pittsburgh has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure an Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Planning.

Position Summary / Essential Job Functions 

Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Planning, Design and Construction, the Assistant Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Campus Planning provides strategic coordination and administrative oversight for campus facility planning and the development of long-range strategies to meet the needs of the University. This is a highly visible position that interacts with top-level administrators in strategic planning, long-range physical planning and development, and advancement of the capital outlay program for the future benefit of the University. Additionally, the AVC is the primary contact for the surrounding community, the Commonwealth, and the city on issues related to planning, permitting, Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) matters, and community engagement.  

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

The AVC translates project-specific and campus-wide visions into prioritized capital projects that are consistent with the long-term Master Plan goals. This position is responsible for implementing and maintaining the Institutional and Campus Master Plans.

The AVC will also be responsible for coordinating University efforts to assure that facility and space needs are being met and supporting compliance and aspirational efforts associated with accessibility and inclusion. This position is responsible to ensure that the direction of capital project program planning is integrated with long-range physical planning.


  • Oversees all project feasibility studies and associated initial planning cost estimates; recommends/approves selection of architects to be considered for projects.
    • Oversees development of project feasibility studies and resulting projects into the campus institutional master plan. Translates project-specific and campus-wide visions into prioritized capital projects that are consistent with the long-term Master Plan goals. Ensures that projects and plans help the campus reach climate neutrality and that the appropriate plans are in place. Manages plan creation as necessary.
    • Provides input on budget development for the Planning and Design of functional areas.
    • Works with Facilities Management contract administration and project accounting teams to initiate projects within university rules and requirements related to space planning and capital projects.  
  • Manages campus development studies (such as Master Plan efforts, campus exterior architecture plan, etc.)
    • Partners with campus management to manage the strategic and long-range planning for programming, design, development, and disposition of properties and facilities, including buildings, infrastructure, and landscape projects. Manages the clear and transparent planning and approval process for all physical campus projects.
    • This position is responsible for maintaining the Campus Master Plan and Institutional Master Plan, coordinating university efforts to assure that facility and space needs are being met, supporting compliance and aspirational efforts associated with accessibility and inclusion, ensuring that the direction of capital project program planning is integrated with long-range physical planning, and collaborating with university officials on real estate transactions.
  • Manages the Facilities Planning staff.
  • Manages, analyzes, and reports on Pitt’s space management system inventory of owned and leased space. The University is planning for the selection and implementation of a new space management system and the AVC will be integral to these efforts. The space database of record (INSITE) and any future upgrades. The space database of record (INSITE) and any future upgrades will be maintained by FM’s Tech Services branch.
  • Liaises with public offices.
  • Maintains and tracks permits for all construction, alterations, additions, repairs, and demolition projects; responsible for ensuring proper inspection of all building projects to assure code compliance.

About the University of Pittsburgh

Founded in 1787 as the Pittsburgh Academy, the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher education and is now a state-related research university with a global reach. Consistently ranked among top institutions of higher learning in the United States, Pitt continues to build upon a rich legacy of innovation and intellectual exploration within the University as well as a history of collaboration with partners in the city and region of Pittsburgh. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises 66 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America. Pitt offers a broad curriculum of more than 520 academic programs for more than 33,000 students through the efforts of over 13,000 faculty members, research associates, and staff members. Since its founding, the University of Pittsburgh has proudly cultivated a community shaped by ambition, innovation, and excellence as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education and a national leader in science, engineering, and health research.


Pittsburgh, PA


Education and Experience Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, city/urban planning, or related area; Master's degree preferred
  • Minimum Related Experience Level Required: 10+ years of related professional experience

Experience Essential to the Position

  • Skilled as a seasoned, experienced planning professional with a full understanding of industry practices and organization policies and procedures and a full range of planning skills and expertise; resolves a wide range of issues
  • Demonstrates good judgment in developing solutions; operates with considerable independence in concept planning, project definition, and feasibility phases of assigned campus projects
  • Considerable experience in leading, developing, and motivating a professional planning team
  • Advanced knowledge and skills associated with planning principles including land use planning, urban and architectural design, open space preservation, entitlement procedures, and infrastructure and utility development as related to a large-scale public or institutional setting
  • Advanced skills in researching, analyzing, and synthesizing data from a variety of sources to generate reports, identify and analyze problems, and devise viable solutions
  • Advanced communication and negotiation skills, including political acumen, to work successfully across all levels of the University, outside agencies, and with customers
  • Strong team orientation and collaborative style; requires an inclusive approach to engaging stakeholders across the campus in ways that lead to good business decisions and buy-in
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Advanced organizational skills to categorize, prioritize, and communicate issues for leadership
  • Advanced written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills, including skills to work effectively with multiple constituencies to advance organizational objectives  
  • Demonstrated analytic abilities, especially in the area of facility planning and development
  • Direct experience in campus planning, project development, and capital project design and construction for higher education campus facilities
  • Direct experience as a liaison between an institution of higher education and external constituents – public sector, community groups, etc.  
  • Working knowledge of Responsibility Center Management (RCM), especially the transition to the system at another institution of higher education, is preferred

The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and diversity. EOE, including disability/veterans. 
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