Active Search

Assistant Vice President for Facilities

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: Rhode Island - Kingston
  • Client: Higher Education
  • Search ID: 19-0201-07

Helbling has been retained by the University of Rhode Island to conduct an executive search to secure an Assistant Vice President for Facilities. 

Position Summary

The University of Rhode Island is seeking a bold, innovative, and strategic leader who will work collaboratively with the University leadership team to position the Facilities Department, which is responsible for the planning, design, construction, and operation of the University’s physical environment, for the 21st-century campus by focusing on customer service, accountability, and the development of a streamlined digital end-to-end process that can shorten delivery times, reduce costs, and provide relevant performance data. The University seeks a transformational individual who can energize teams to leverage technology and deliver customer satisfaction cost-effectively. This individual should value change, transparency, and service, as well as a strategic, analytical approach to the Department's work and cost effectiveness. 

The position of AVP for Facilities reports directly to the Vice President for Administration and Finance and will lead a team of approximately 200 individuals responsible for the planning, design, construction, and operation / maintenance of the University’s 3,700 acres of grounds and 5.4mm gsf of buildings on four campuses, including the historic 29-acre Olmsted quadrangle.

The University is particularly interested in candidates who have demonstrated experience transforming a facilities management department into a progressive, responsive, agile, and streamlined organization that is dedicated to delivering the highest level of customer service as well as experience implementing Integrated Facilities Management Systems (IFMS) and/or Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS).

Select Responsibilities

  • Leverage technology, systems, and process management to continually increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Facilities Department. Introduce appropriate new approaches and techniques to build on University’s existing assets. Appreciate the power of Facilities data and properly utilize the data for the purpose of decision-making and both mid-range and long-range planning.
  • Foster effective communication and collaboration within the Facilities Department while serving as a staff advocate who supports high quality, innovative programs to attract, develop, motivate, and retain a diverse workforce. Serve as a partner and collaborator, with the ability to build consensus and cooperative working relationships among the Facilities teams, while building an atmosphere of collaboration and raising the level of service of the entire organization.
  • Implement and maintain an Integrated Facilities Management system that mitigates risk, reduces cost, and increases productivity through the unification of all data measurements, reporting needs, and decision making processes. Evaluate the University’s current CMMS and determine whether the system can be better utilized through the implementation of new modules, software, and training or should be replaced with a different system to achieve the high level of performance and customer service the University desires. 
  • Lead and oversee the capital budget development process as it relates to physical plant; budget analysis and management for physical plant, construction, and operation of University facilities.
  • Staff the newly established Facilities Committee, which is charged with reviewing and recommending to the President for approval all of the University’s major facilities capital projects.
  • Advise the University’s senior leadership team with regard to laws, regulations, and legislative processes affecting facilities.
  • Incorporate best practices with regard to University facilities into the vision, strategy, and practices of the Department.

About University of Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island (URI) is the flagship public research university, as well as the land grant and sea grant university for the state of Rhode Island.

As a major research university defined by innovation and big thinking, URI offers its undergraduate, graduate, and professional students distinctive educational opportunities designed to meet the global challenges of today’s world and the rapidly evolving needs of tomorrow.
URI Facts:
  • 14,653 undergraduate students / 1,982 graduate students / 1,339 certificate and non-degree students
  • URI maintains 320 buildings on four campuses (
    • Kingston Campus
    • Feinstein Providence Campus
    • Narragansett Bay Campus
    • W. Alton Jones Campus
  • Since 2007, more than $607M has been invested in capital improvements across all four campus, with new facilities for chemistry and forensic science, pharmacy, and communications. The 182,000 SF College of Engineering facility, opening in September 2019, will rival any in the world.
  • The core of URI’s main campus in Kingston is on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information, please visit:  

Located in Kingston, RI, URI is one of Rhode Island’s largest employers.

The University of Rhode Island is conveniently located near:
  • Southern Rhode Island Beaches (10 to 15 minutes)
  • Historic Newport, RI (20 minutes)
  • Providence, RI (35 minutes)
  • Boston, MA (1½ hours)
  • New York, NY (2½ hours)
For more information on Rhode Island, please visit:

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration finance, capital asset management, planning, or related field and a minimum of 10 years of progressive experience in management and administration including the exercise of fiduciary responsibility and the management of the personnel in a large organization.
  • Demonstrated strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse groups / populations.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business administration, finance, capital asset management, planning, or related field and a minimum of seven years of progressive experience in management and administration in a higher education setting.
Search Consultant: Joe Wargo
Office: (724) 935-7500 x107
Cell: (412) 398-3762

The deadline for submitting application material is:  Monday, February 25, 2019

Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, ability and perspectives are encouraged to apply.

The University of Rhode Island is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

Submit Resume

Subscribe to Helbling's eNewsletters & Search Alerts