Associate Vice President for Facilities and Capital Projects

Industry: Facilities Management
Location: New York - New York City
Sector: Higher Education
Search ID: 20-0202-14
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Matthew D. Lesher
Matthew D. Lesher
Barnard College has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure an Associate Vice President for Facilities and Capital Projects.


Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice President for Operations, the Associate Vice President (AVP) for Facilities and Capital Projects will provide strategic and visionary leadership to Barnard College’s Facilities Services and Capital Projects functions. This includes supervision and direction of a large staff including a unionized operations and maintenance workforce. 

The AVP is responsible for the overall culture and success of subordinate departments. The incumbent is a key colleague to other functions within operations such as Information Technology, Public Safety, Events Management, and Administration. All activities are performed within the complex regulatory environment of New York City, which will affect activities and requirements in all areas of responsibility. The incumbent will be available 24/7 to respond to emergencies and urgent situations.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Personnel Management: Perform all tasks necessary to manage a large staff of employees. Recruit and fill vacant positions in collaboration with Human Resources. Create clear performance expectations and provide frequent performance feedback. Ensure staff coverage based on vacation schedules and time out of the office. Provide personnel development and mentoring for successful performance outcomes. Provide a safe working environment for all employees. Maintain positive working relationships with union representatives and perform all tasks in compliance with union contracts.
  • Budget and Contract Management: Provide strategic planning and management of all financial resources. Ensure proper budgeting and expenditures within constrained resources. Track and analyze budgetary and financial information. Manage and maximize supply chain, competitive sourcing, and procurement activities. Oversee processes for hiring consultants and contractors including the development of scopes of work.
  • Facilities Management: Provide leadership and strategic vision to the office of Facilities Services. Supervise the Executive Director for Facilities to foster a culture of customer service and high standards of care. Major areas of responsibility include the following:
    • Operations & Maintenance: Ensure proper maintenance and operation of facilities equipment and systems. Provide oversight of preventive maintenance programs, outage responses, repairs, inspection programs, planned upgrades, and any other aspect of facilities management.
    • Custodial Services: Direct custodial activities to ensure proper cleanliness and upkeep of facilities. Manage and organize overstock programs and storage areas. Determine frequency and schedule of activities in consideration of constrained resources.
    • Facilities Work Order System: Manage work order flow and execution to ensure a high level of responsiveness and customer service. Develop and maintain data for assessment of program effectiveness.
    • Sustainability and Energy Efficiency: Make sustainability and the responsible use of energy a key part of business process and strategic decisions. Develop and meet targets for carbon reductions.
  • Capital Projects: Develop and implement capital projects of all sizes including a large number of small projects at any given time. Supervise the Director of Capital Projects. Provide leadership to the following areas:
    • Capital Planning: Synthesize campus needs and work with campus planning efforts to develop and maintain the College’s multi-year capital plan. Update regularly and ensure alignment of financial sources and uses. Create a data-based approach for integrating deferred maintenance and infrastructure requirements.
    • Project Execution: Ensure proper project execution, including robust communication, through all phases of project life cycle. Develop systems for integration of facilities management into project design, construction, and turnover. Develop appropriate procurement approach for each project including design-bid-build, design-build, CM at Risk, or other as appropriate.
    • Studies and Surveys: Conduct consulting studies, feasibility analyses, facility condition assessments, and other initiatives as necessary to strategically inform future capital planning efforts.
    • Sustainability and Energy Efficiency: Play a leadership role in planning and execution related to sustainability efforts on campus. Ensure projects consider sustainability and energy efficiency to the greatest extent within project constraints.
    • Program Management: Ensure proper policies, procedures, design guidelines, and standard contracts meet a high standard of best practices for project planning and implementation.
  • Communications: Develop positive relationships with key colleagues and stakeholders across the campus community. Provide clear, concise, and robust communications at the appropriate level of detail for any constituency including staff, faculty, students, trustees, neighbors, or others. Deliver materials as directed including presentations, white papers, schedules, data analyses, or other. Regularly perform public speaking and lead meetings.
  • Other Duties as Assigned: Perform miscellaneous tasks as necessary for the demonstrated successful implementation of assigned duties. Ensure administrative excellence across the organization including full integration with and reliable support for other departments such as Events Management and academic departments. Resolve regulatory violations and issues as needed. Perform data analysis as necessary or requested. Represent Barnard College as necessary and participate in training activities to maintain professional knowledge of evolving regulatory requirements and practices.


Located in New York, NY


The Institution

About Barnard College
Barnard College has been a distinguished leader in higher education for women for over 125 years and is one of the most sought-after private liberal arts colleges in the nation.  Founded in 1889, the College was the first in New York City, and one of the few in the country, where women could receive the same rigorous liberal arts education available to men. Its partnership with Columbia University, a great research university; its setting in New York City; and its unwavering dedication to the advancement of women make Barnard unique among the educational opportunities open to today’s young women.

Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in Morningside Heights, the Barnard campus occupies four acres within four blocks between 116th and 120th Streets on the west side of Broadway. Morningside Heights, home to seven major institutions of higher education and their more than 45,000 students from around the world, has been dubbed the city’s “academic acropolis.” Barnard’s beautiful campus is very densely built, with six buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning, opened in 2018, serves as a new academic hub in the heart of the Barnard College campus.

Barnard-Columbia Partnership
Barnard is an independent institution with its own policies, endowment, and trustees. Its singular agreement with Columbia University means: Barnard is considered one of Columbia University’s four undergraduate colleges and students have access to libraries, facilities and activities on both campuses; Barnard students compete in NCAA Division 1 athletics through the Columbia-Barnard Athletic Consortium; Barnard and Columbia undergraduate students cross-register in courses at both institutions; and students receive a diploma from both Barnard College and Columbia University.

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  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of experience and expertise in relevant areas such as architecture, engineering, facility management, or building science.
  • Minimum 10 years of relevant experience in facilities and/or capital projects management with at least 5 years of supervisory/management experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working in higher education or similarly complex institution.
  • ​Master’s degree in related field.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Strong computer skills including the ability to learn new software as necessary. Ability to fully utilize email, electronic calendars, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel.
  • Strong knowledge of facilities systems, operations, and maintenance.
  • Strong knowledge of planning and execution of capital projects.
  • Working knowledge of relevant New York City, State, and Federal regulatory requirements.
  • Strong financial and contract management skills. Ability to negotiate.
  • Demonstrated experience working effectively with collective bargaining agreements and unionized staff.
  • Detail-oriented. Excellent time management skills and ability to deliver work on assigned schedules.
  • Skilled in communicating information to a diverse set of constituencies in a collegial environment.
  • Must demonstrate integrity, sound judgment, and leadership.
  • Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills. Ability to communicate and work effectively with all levels in a demanding environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to act decisively and independently to resolve complex issues.
  • Must establish and maintain effective working relationships with members of the campus community, fellow employees, city officials, government agencies, and the general public.

This job description is intended as a summary of the primary responsibilities of and qualifications for this position. The job description is not intended as inclusive of all duties an individual in this position might be asked to perform or of all qualifications that may be required either now or in the future.

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