Princeton University - Vice President for Facilities

July 13, 2016



Vice President for Facilities



Princeton University (www.princeton.edu) seeks an individual with exceptional strategic, operational, and interpersonal skills and broad expertise to join the leadership team as Vice President for Facilities. The Vice President reports directly to the Executive Vice President, Treby Williams, and is a member of the President’s cabinet. The role entails responsibility for the day-to-day management and strategic development of the University’s physical space. The Vice President plays a major role in supporting the University’s teaching, research, and student-life activities through the implementation of a strategic and comprehensive approach to developing, sustaining, and stewarding Princeton’s physical plant, and as a member of the cabinet contributes to a broad range of initiatives and decisions that will advance Princeton’s mission and enhance its position as one of the world’s most distinguished universities.



Position Summary


The Vice President leads the units responsible for the planning, development, operation, and maintenance of the campus as well as for real estate services and sustainability, and is responsible for the development of these individual departments into a cohesive, professional, customer-oriented organization that strives for continual improvement to enable an integrated, coordinated, and effective approach to the management of the physical assets of the University in alignment with institutional objectives. Since the Facilities function touches so many aspects of university life, the Vice President develops relationships and builds trust with a diverse set of stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, trustees, labor unions, contractors, and community leaders.


Over 700 Facilities staff members across eight departments steward over 11 million square feet of space in more than 180 buildings on 500 acres. Princeton owns an additional 700 acres of land in parcels around the campus. The FY 2016 operating budget of Facilities was approximately $125 million, including $30 million for energy purchases.


Facilities is currently organized in the following units, each headed by a direct report to the Vice President:


·  Design and Construction

·  Engineering and Campus Energy

·  Facilities Finance and Administrative Services

·  Facilities Organizational Effectiveness and Communication

·  Operations

·  Real Estate Development

·  Sustainability

·  University Architect


The Vice President collaborates with the Executive Vice President, Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, and the Provost in developing the capital plan, and is responsible for its implementation, including the oversight of capital projects from design through construction and delivery phases for both new construction and renovations, and for University-wide delivery of maintenance, janitorial, grounds, and utility services. The Vice President leads efforts to steward Princeton’s resources effectively and efficiently in support of the University’s sustainability commitments and in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.


The Vice President also oversees real estate functions – the acquisition of property, lease negotiation, and relationships with commercial brokers, developers, and real estate management firms – and will play a lead role in the planning and execution of large-scale projects for the University such as the current Forrestal Campus initiative. Princeton has partnered with private developers and will consider more such arrangements in the future. Additionally, the Vice President supervises and participates in the development of RFPs, contracts, proposals for goods and services, and the management of service providers and vendors.


Princeton is currently advancing a comprehensive campus planning process that will yield a 10-year plan for the campus within a 30-year view of its possible evolution. The new campus plan, which will guide development from FY 2018 through FY 2027, is expected to call for significant ongoing investment in existing and new physical assets and for ongoing commitment to sustainable development and operation of the campus. The 10-year campus plan that Princeton is completing guided the development of roughly two million square feet of space and saw an average annual capital investment of over $300 million. For more information about the planning process, see http://princetoncampusplanblog.com/about-the-project/.


The Vice President chairs, facilitates, or otherwise contributes to the work of several important committees and governance groups. The Vice President serves as secretary to the Board of Trustees Committee on Grounds and Buildings and is a member of the Facilities Planning Group; chaired by the Provost, this committee reviews capital projects and advances approved projects for consideration by the Board. As Princeton’s chief budget officer, the Provost seeks expert guidance from the Vice President in matters of budgeting for capital projects, campus stewardship, and facilities operations.


In overseeing the largest support unit at the University, with employees working across campus and around the clock, the Vice President collaborates with Human Resources to achieve high standards of employee effectiveness. The Vice President also collaborates with cabinet colleagues on programs and initiatives to sustain and advance the University’s emergency preparedness and safety and risk management efforts.


Facilities is part of the Executive Vice President’s organization, alongside Campus Life, University Services, Human Resources, and other central administrative and business functions. The Facilities website is http://www.princeton.edu/evp/facilities/.



Major Initiatives


As Princeton continues to pursue its research and teaching objectives, a number of significant initiatives have been defined for the Facilities organization and its new Vice President:


  • ·  Contribute to completing the development of the next campus plan and work with fellow university leaders and stakeholders to establish and execute a sound capital program to prioritize and implement the campus plan objectives, optimizing the deployment of resources for the sake of the University’s overarching goals.
  • ·  Play a leadership role in continuing Princeton’s strong commitment to sustainability in the planning, design, construction, and operation of the campus; in managing energy consumption and environmental impact; and in initiatives to engage the campus as a living laboratory of value to faculty and students in engineering, architecture, the social sciences, and other fields. (See http://sustain.princeton.edu for more information about sustainability at Princeton.)
  • ·  Strengthen the capital projects process to ensure that it is rigorous, appropriately transparent to stakeholders, and effective in efficiently delivering the programmatic and quality objectives of projects and in delivering value across the gamut of large and small projects, whether new construction or renovation.
  • ·  Continue to pursue efficiencies and innovations in operations and maintenance, engaging staff, stakeholders, and consultants as necessary to sustain excellence in campus stewardship within budget priorities.
  • ·  Further develop the Facilities organization’s use of data to plan, measure, and continually improve performance and reporting.
  • ·  Enhance collaboration across the units within Facilities for a seamless organization dedicated to the mission of the University and aligned with institutional priorities.
  • ·  As a member of the President’s cabinet, contribute to institutional decision-making around capital- and operating-budget priorities, the tradeoffs associated with physical-plant investments, and the most strategic ways to sustain the University’s historic commitment to its campus in the context of its many ambitions and opportunities.



Essential Duties


  • ·  Lead the Facilities organization in continuing to evolve its standards as a service-oriented, professional, and efficient facilities function capable of addressing the diverse needs of a growing campus along with its constituents and neighbors.
  • ·  Provide strategic leadership by aligning Facilities’ performance and values with the University’s commitment to teaching and research.
  • ·  Represent Facilities to the senior leadership of the University as well as to Trustees and representatives of the communities surrounding the campus.
  • ·  Directly and through staff, oversee the planning, architectural design, and financial management of new construction and renovation projects.
  • ·  Lead the prioritization of maintenance, capital-renewal, and facilities-related sustainability projects across campus.
  • ·  Prepare and present information to the Board of Trustees related to existing facilities and the design, budget, and schedule of major construction projects.
  • ·  Ensure the periodic measurement and evaluation of Facilities’ performance by its various internal and external customers in order to obtain feedback that supports continuous quality improvement.
  • ·  Ensure the ongoing professional development of Facilities employees.
  • ·  Promote the culture of Facilities as a high-performing service organization with an employment environment characterized by respect, professionalism, diversity, and inclusion.



Candidate Profile


The ideal candidate for this position will be a collaborative executive who brings confidence and humility to the task of leading a large service organization in support of the University’s mission. This candidate will have broad and deep domain expertise, strong communication and relationship skills, a commitment to transparency and service, and the vision and leadership capacity to enable the Facilities organization to manage the broad and evolving range of responsibilities and expectations established for it. In addition, this candidate must possess:


  • ·  A track record of success establishing a vision for facilities-management services and capital project delivery that advances mission, maximizes efficiency and return on investment, and demonstrates effective stewardship of assets.

  • ·  Demonstrated success advising senior leadership and trustees on strategic investments in physical-plant assets and in the resources necessary to optimize them in a complex environment.

  • ·  An undergraduate degree, ideally with a focus on architecture, engineering, business, public administration, planning, or a related field.

  • ·  A minimum of 10 years of experience in management and administration in a large, complex academic, healthcare, or corporate organization with diverse stakeholders.

  • ·  Significant experience supervising facilities planning, design, and/or construction.

  • ·  Substantial experience in change management, preferably within an institutional setting, and a track record of innovation in facilities-service delivery.

  • ·  A track record of meaningful initiatives to advance sustainability goals; familiarity with and experience overseeing energy conservation and environmentally sensitive construction and renovation initiatives.


Additional preferred qualifications:

  • ·  A track record of success completing large-scale capital programs.
  • · A master’s degree, ideally with a focus on architecture, engineering, business, public administration, planning, or a related field.
  • · Experience working with a heterogeneous physical plant that includes historic buildings and significant landscape.
  • ·  Experience managing an organization that includes unionized employees.



Princeton University


Princeton University (www.princeton.edu) is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation’s service and the service of humanity. An independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution, it advances learning through scholarship, research, and teaching of unsurpassed quality, with an emphasis on undergraduate and doctoral education that is distinctive among the world’s great universities, and with a pervasive commitment to serve the nation and the world. The University’s defining characteristics and aspirations include: a focus on the arts and humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and engineering, with world-class excellence across all of its departments; a human scale that nurtures a strong sense of community, invites high levels of engagement, and fosters personal communication; a commitment to welcome, support, and engage students, faculty, and staff with a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, and to encourage all members of the University community to learn from the robust expression of diverse perspectives; a vibrant and immersive residential experience on a campus with a distinctive sense of place that promotes interaction, reflection, and lifelong attachment; and an intensely engaged and generously supportive alumni community.


Today, more than 1,100 faculty members instruct approximately 5,200 undergraduate students and 2,600 graduate students, with a majority of students living in campus housing – over 95% of undergraduate students live on campus and approximately 70% of graduate students live in campus housing. The University’s generous financial aid program ensures that talented students from all economic backgrounds can afford a Princeton education. The University is supported by approximately 6,500 benefits-eligible employees.



The Princeton Area


Covering an area of 18.1 square miles in the heart of central New Jersey, the town of Princeton has a population of approximately 30,000. Princeton is a dynamic community, growing and changing with the times yet retaining a small-town quality. The area has abundant amenities, including hotels and conference centers, restaurants, museums, historic sites, music festivals, sports arenas, and many preserved open spaces. All of this is located within an hour of two major metropolitan areas, New York and Philadelphia. There is ready access to US Highway Route 1, the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, Amtrak, and New Jersey Transit.


A substantial portion of the property of Princeton University lies within the town of Princeton, as does the property of the Institute for Advanced Study. Other well-known educational institutions within Princeton are the Hun School, the Princeton Day School, the Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. The University owns significant land and improvements in West Windsor and Plainsboro Townships. For more information about the area around campus, please visit http://www.visitprinceton.org.

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Princeton University has retained Opus Partners (www.opuspartners.net) to support this recruitment. Craig Smith, Partner, and Katie Dean, Principal, are leading the search. Confidential inquiries, applications, and nominations should be submitted by email to Craig (craig.smith@opuspartners.net) or Katie (katie.dean@opuspartners.net).  Princeton University conducts comprehensive pre-employment background screening on final candidates.


Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Women and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply.