Vice President, Facilities Operations - Columbia University

March 08, 2018
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Columbia University

New York, New York 10027

Columbia University invites applications, nominations, and expressions of interest in its search for a Vice President, Facilities Operations to join the Columbia University Facilities & Operations organization (CUF-O).

Reporting to the Executive Vice President of CUF-O, the Vice President oversees maintenance, custodial, grounds, engineering, energy, utilities, and other services to Columbia’s Morningside campus, Nevis Laboratory Campus, and Baker Field. The division consists of Plant Engineering & Utilities Operations, Manhattanville Operations, Residential & Commercial Operations, and Campus Operations as well as the Service Center and a Compliance function.   Together, these teams are responsible for the maintenance of 13 million square feet of built space in over 250 buildings, at four campuses.  Facilities Operations manages an annual operating budget of around $265 million, which includes over $30 million in utility costs, and employs roughly 1,000 FTEs in officer (exempt and non-exempt) and unionized positions.  In addition, it manages an annual State of Good Repair (SOGR) program of over $70 Million. 

Qualifications include bachelor’s degree required preferably in engineering.  Advanced degree highly desirable.  A Professional Engineering License strongly preferred, plus 10 years of relevant experience in a senior-level management position involving oversight of unionized employees. Extensive experience in higher education, healthcare, research, construction, real estate, or a similarly complex, decentralized environment is highly desirable.  Additional qualifications include excellent oral, written, interpersonal, organizational, and problem-solving skills along with the ability to work effectively with a diverse group of senior colleagues. The successful candidate will be able to lead through change, will have a passion for customer service, and will be comfortable with senior-level visibility.  In addition, s/he must be a strategic thinker with an open and collaborative leadership style that encourages teamwork. Finally, success in this role requires a deep commitment to and clear affinity for the teaching and research missions of Columbia University.

One of the most distinguished academic institutions in the world, Columbia University is an intellectual community of more than 30,000 students from over 150 countries and over 15,000 faculty and professional staff.  At the completion of its 2017 fiscal year, Columbia reported strong growth in programs, revenues, and assets and ongoing success in efforts to contain expenses. The endowment was valued at almost $10 billion; total facilities and real estate surpassed 18 million square feet; and its operating budget topped $4.8 billion. Columbia is managing a significant expansion into a new campus in the Manhattanville neighborhood a few blocks north of the Morningside campus that will bring 6.8 million square feet of new academic, administrative, and commercial space online in the coming decades.


Columbia University has engaged Opus Partners to support the recruitment of the Vice President, Facilities Operations. A background check will be conducted on the selected candidate. All possible discretion will be exercised to maintain the privacy of applicants throughout the search process. Columbia University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action -- Disability/Veterans employer.