Assistant Vice President Facilities Operations

Industry: Facilities Management
Location: Ohio - Columbus
Sector: Higher Education
Search ID: 19-1005-17
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Marc K. Datz
Marc K. Datz
Robert H. Dible
Robert H. Dible

Ohio State University has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure an Assistant Vice President Facilities Operations (AVP).

Under the direction of the Associate Vice President of Facilities Operations and Development (FOD), this position establishes the vision and strategies that align with the missions of The University and The Wexner Medical Center. This position will be responsible for the strategic leadership of over 500 indirect reports and directly supervising FOD key leaders in Operations. This position will serve as chief representative and have decision making authority of FOD in the absence of the Associate Vice President. The AVP will assist in direction and oversight of the day-to-day operations of FOD and, under the direction of the Associate Vice President, will provide leadership and coordination for FOD. This position will represent FOD and the Associate Vice President on various University, budget, and planning committees. The AVP is a key strategic leader in the class modernization and skill trades professional development initiative. The AVP will be responsible for maintenance and cleaning for 250 academic and medical center buildings; responsible for groundskeeping, including snow removal for Columbus campus; responsible for waste management for Columbus campus; responsible for maintenance of Energy Conservation Management improvement installed through the University’s contract with Ohio State Energy Partners. 

  • Responsible for the administration and operation of all activities related to the delivery of high-quality services for FOD and others in the maintenance of all campus and the Wexner Medical Center facilities for which FOD has maintenance, grounds, and / or cleaning responsibilities.  
  • Lead efforts to facilitate energy conservation measures as proposed by the energy concessionaire partner. Direct efforts to document and improve potable water usage for the Columbus campus.
  • Direct efforts to manage the life cycle maintenance and reinvestment in utilities tunnels, natural gas distribution, and other utilities not managed by the University concessionaire.  
  • Direct efforts to achieve University Resource Stewardship goals for zero waste, water conservation, and carbon neutrality, and actively support efforts to achieve ecosystem services goal and University fleet carbon footprint reduction.  
  • Provide superior customer service through a proactive approach to building systems reliability, and building and grounds appearance, including planning maintenance and service efforts.  
  • Provide daily leadership to Facilities Support Services, Academic, and Medical districts and zone leaders, supervisors, and direct reports to ensure an environment that optimizes productivity of the workforce.  
  • Lead and coordinate efforts to provide strategic leadership in the development of annual operating and long-range capital budgets and other organizational priorities for Facilities Support Services, the Academic District (classrooms, research and administrative spaces), and Wexner Medical Center (Research and Health Systems as well as their buildings and infrastructure).  
  • Through analysis of inspection results and customer feedback, develop plans to correct building and grounds issues.  
  • Initiate projects to address known or foreseeable issues, manage projects as required, and assist others in planning and managing related projects.  
  • Participate in the review of plans for new construction and major renovation projects from concept through construction and commissioning.  
  • Direct ongoing facility assessment program to ensure that data is useful, relevant, accessible, and updated.  
  • Participates in formulation of FOD policies, serves on University committees, and prepares and reports to the Senior Vice President as required.  
  • Assists Associate Vice President in setting goals and long-range planning with internal and external stakeholders.  
The AVP must be available 24/7 for emergencies or as operations dictate. Successful completion of a criminal background check will be required. In accordance with the Disaster Preparedness and University State of Emergency Policy 6.17, this position has been designated as an essential position.
  • 6 Managers / Directors 
  • 20 Supervisors 
  • 20 Non-Supervisory Professional Staff
  • 200 Support Staff

Duties Description

  • Provide long-term strategic planning and technical guidance to senior management to ensure appropriate alignment with the mission of FOD, the University, and the Wexner Medical Center; provide effective daily leadership to the Facilities Support Services groups in providing quality service to a broad range of customers; provide effective daily leadership to the Academic and Medical Center Districts in providing quality service to their customers; communicate effectively with all levels of FOD organization and customers to improve departmental image; interact daily with deans, directors, department heads, building coordinators, and other staff to monitor and assure quality service to the campus community. (35%)
  • Understand and communicate state-of-the-art facilities service methods / products / equipment for all teaching, research, healthcare, public, and administration spaces; work with other campus units to develop and implement consistent service policies and procedures; communicate and enforce FOD, University, and Medical Center policy; establish processes that lead to well-planned and coordinated service activities; measure and evaluate customer satisfaction and plans to address deficiencies. (20%)
  • Work with senior leadership and Operations staff to plan, coordinate, implement, and maintain staffing and budget projections for more than 600 FTEs and over $100M annual operating budgets; develop and maintain service benchmarks; plan and coordinate evaluation and procurement of supplies, services, and equipment; oversee contract specifications and bidding documents; ensure quality standards are consistently enforced with in-house and contracted services; provide supervision and management of multiple service contractors and associated staff / services. (20%)
  • Plan and implement staff programs for continuous improvement and to enhance service; develop and support staff diversity programs; develop and maintain relations with union leadership; ensures compliance with University and departmental policies on hiring, training, and evaluation of staff; collaborate with other FOD leaders to develop and maintain succession plans for management positions. (15%)
  • Develop contingency plans for emergency response including training and drilling for same to ensure effective response. (5%) 
  • Participate in organizations / committees on campus, locally, regionally, as business needs and development require; perform other duties as assigned. (5%)
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Education Requirements

  • Minimum Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or closely related field.
  • Additional Education Desired: Master’s degree in Facilities Management or Construction Administration or related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience.



  • Experience managing in a union environment. 
  • Minimum of ten (10) years' facilities management or construction / renovation experience in a campus setting. 
  • Minimum of three (3) years supervisory experience in facilities management, facilities or manufacturing maintenance, or facilities project management organization. 
  • Proven ability to work with a diverse set of customer requirements to determine effective solutions to custodial, grounds, and maintenance needs. 
  • Demonstrated understanding of process for imparting quality and customer service principles to the organization. 
  • Excellent human relations skills, emphasizing empathy and the ability to develop and lead multi-functional teams. 
  • Excellent communication skills to include public speaking and presentations to senior administration. 
  • Substantial experience with work management systems, Microsoft Office suite, and related technologies. 
  • Demonstrated understanding of sustainability principles and their application on a major urban campus. 


  • Fifteen (15) years of experience with facilities maintenance, repair, and renovation. 
  • Professional Engineer or other facilities-related certification. 
  • Experience working on a large university campus. 
  • Experience working with state contracts.

Ohio State is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.

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