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Senior Associate Vice President for Facilities and Services

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: New York - Rochester
  • Client: Higher Education
  • Search ID: 19-0908-11

University of Rochester has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure a Senior Associate Vice President for Facilities and Services. 

The Opportunity

The Senior Associate Vice President of University Facilities and Services reports to the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer and serves as the principal administrative officer responsible for the operation and maintenance of facilities for all properties at the University, as well as central utilities, transportation, parking management, planning, and project management. Major initiatives include a new bed-tower/ED expansion, a new ambulatory orthopedics building, and expansions to research labs that total in excess of $900M. Also planned is a new Performing Arts Theater on the River Campus. Infrastructure improvements are also planned including the campus moving to a hot-water heat distribution system and the implementation of a new CMMS system are underway.


Under broad policy guidelines and objectives and with latitude for independent judgment and initiative, the role is responsible for:
  • University and Medical Center facilities including building maintenance, custodial services, refuse and sanitation, conveyance and equipment repair, and special events services.
  • Central Utilities including utilities production, operations and maintenance of utilities distribution system, building automation controls, cogeneration and infrastructure analysis, and energy management.
  • Planning and Project Management including completion of capital renovation and construction projects, design management, budget and estimate review, contract preparation, materials selection and procurement, schedule development, long range planning issues, sustainable design and construction practices.
  • Support operations including horticulture and grounds, materials and management, computer support, customer service center, snow removal, vehicle maintenance, information systems coordination and development, mail and courier services, campus Post Office, fleet services, and recycling coordinator.
  • Residential Life facilities and University properties including building maintenance, custodial services, refuse and sanitation, moving services, graduate housing, property management, special event services, department facilities, observatory, and minor construction services.
  • Transportation and Parking includes University and Medical center parking administration and parking policy enforcement, transportation management, and special events support.

The University Senior Associate Vice President for Facilities and Services:

  • Collaborates with leaders of the University’s operating divisions and engages faculty, staff, and students to determine goals and objectives of facilities programs.
  • Determines organization of University Facilities and Services (UFS) and recommends staffing commensurate with University requirements. Provides departmental policy guidance and approves changes in existing UFS operating procedures. Identifies and attracts top-performing staff to support the enhancement of team and succession planning.
  • Supervises and reviews performance of senior UFS staff and management of human resources activities.
  • Approves and recommends operating and capital budgets for UFS.
  • Represents the University to neighborhood community organizations and with the City of Rochester.

Key Relationships

Direct Supervisor:  Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Direct Reports:
  • Deputy to Associate Vice President
  • Medical Center Facilities Operations Director
  • Central Utilities and Energy Management Director
  • Operations Director
  • Finance & Human Resources Service Director
  • RC/Residential Life Facilities & University Properties – ESM, MAG Director
  • Transportation and Parking Management Director
  • Planning and Project Management Senior Director
Other Key Relationships:
  • Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Chief Operating Officer SMH, Executive Vice President Strong Memorial Hospital
  • Vice President & Director Medical Center Space Planning
  • Deans 
  • Directors of Research Programs

The University

Founded in 1850, the University of Rochester (U of R) is a distinguished private research university that is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). The University’s Mission is to “Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—and Make the World Ever Better:” a mission reflected in its Latin motto, Meliora (“ever better”), also an acronym for its recently adopted values: Meliora, Equity, Leadership, Integrity, Openness, Respect, and Accountability. 

The University of Rochester is one of the country’s top-tier research universities. In December of 2018, the University announced that Sarah Mangelsdorf, the former provost at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an experienced academic leader and professor of psychology, would become the University’s next chief executive. Sarah started her term as the eleventh President of the University of Rochester on July 1st, 2019.

Located in the City of Rochester on the southern shore of majestic Lake Ontario and northwest of the picturesque Finger Lakes in New York State, the University of Rochester enrolls more than 11,800 full‐time and part‐time undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The University’s academic programs are delivered through seven academic units: Arts, Sciences & Engineering (comprising the School of Arts & Sciences and the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences); the Eastman School of Music; the School of Medicine and Dentistry; the School of Nursing; the Eastman Institute for Oral Health; the Simon Business School; and the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Academic programs are offered within four locations: the River Campus, which houses Arts, Sciences & Engineering, the Simon Business School, and the Warner School of Education; the Medical Center, which is next to the River Campus and houses the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the School of Nursing; downtown Rochester, home to the Eastman School of Music; and on the South Campus, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics. The University also operates the Memorial Art Gallery, one of the few university-affiliated art museums in the country that also serves as the local community’s civic art museum.

About the City of Rochester and the Region

With a metropolitan area of 1.1M residents, the city and the Rochester area offer the amenities and cultural milieu of a major urban area within a more accessible and welcoming environment. Rochester has been named as among the most livable cities in the U.S., with outstanding schools and housing, and a diverse cultural life, making it known as the “gem” of upstate New York.

Rochester is also known as a golf community with approximately 100 courses, including world-renowned Oak Hill. Numerous parks, trails, lakes and scenic areas beckon residents and visitors to explore the region’s beauty. Outdoor winter sports are quite prevalent; 30 minutes south of Rochester is the highest vertical ski mountain between the Adirondacks and Colorado. In addition, scores of high-quality restaurants—many chef-owned—are flourishing in the area. A seemingly unending number of festivals, performances, and cultural events are offered throughout the year in Rochester. The recently renovated airport, approximately 10 minutes from campus, makes air travel pleasant and convenient.

Rochester is also home to a thriving and growing Deaf community to the point that it is the largest per‐capita Deaf community in the United States. The University of Rochester has been part of this growth in recent years with the Rochester Postdoctoral Partnership, the National Center for Deaf Health Research, the Bridges to the Doctorate program, and the Global Deaf Health group, among others on its campus.

The University’s engagement with the Rochester community spans cultural opportunities provided by the Eastman School of Music and the Memorial Art Gallery to direct participation in critical public institutions, such as the successful partnership with East High School, which may serve as a model for revitalizing urban public education.

Helpful Links
  • Bachelors degree in Engineering
  • Ten (10) years of management experience in operations and maintenance, including five (5) years of experience in an educational or other setting, preferably in a research university with an academic medical center or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Technical background which includes exposure to several of the disciplines critical to facilities management, including planning, design and construction, and technical facilities operations is preferred. 
  • Ability to identify and apply technological advances and technology to enhance the performance of facilities services is required.

Desired Characteristics

  • Strong ability to work with senior university and healthcare leadership, including monthly presentations to the facilities committee of the Board of Trustees to forge strong and meaningful partnerships. 
  • Strong negotiation skills, including design and construction contract negotiations, and ability to collaboratively and diplomatically reach successful outcomes with multiple constituencies while maintaining relationships.  
  • Dynamic communication skills, including strong listening skills and an ability to work collaboratively, are required.  
  • High degree of ethics and a direct and honest communication style that addresses multiple concerns while maintaining a clear direction and decisiveness.  
  • Supportive leadership skills that include leading in an engaging manner, developing team structures that clearly define responsibilities within and across organization, and developing strategies to strengthen processes and procedures that enhance efficiency and ensure staff training and development, and maintaining an open-door policy that engages staff.  
  • Strong financial leadership skills to manage operations and project budgets, forecasts, and develop and champion business cases for investment in facilities, including long-term investments in campus renewal needs.  
  • Ability to translate complex situations into root causes to enable successful decision-making.  
  • Experience managing a unionized workforce is preferred. 
  • Strong technical skills in capital projects, including appreciation for the aesthetic impact of projects and facilities operations, including experience in laboratory and healthcare projects preferred. 
Search Consultant: Ryan Pugh
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