Swarthmore College — Associate Vice President, Sustainable Facilities Operations

Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, seeks an innovative and visionary leader for the position of Associate Vice President for Sustainable Facilities Operations (AVP).

The AVP will be responsible for leading, supervising, and coordinating the planning and execution of maintenance, operations, and repair for all Swarthmore College facilities, including its buildings, grounds (which includes the Scott Arboretum), and utilities. Working in close partnership with the Office of Sustainability, the AVP will plan and execute strategies to assure that our facilities and grounds are developed, improved, and maintained in a manner consistent with the college’s ambitious sustainability agenda. The AVP will also provide strategic and operational leadership of the physical plant and its personnel while maintaining a strong and focused team to deliver excellent service to the campus community.

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College is one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning. As an undergraduate residential liberal arts college with an exceptionally talented student body of about 1,500, Swarthmore provides a vigorous, engaging intellectual environment and a vibrant, diverse community. Global in outlook and diversity, it draws students from more than 46 countries and 47 states. Founded by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) as one of the nation’s first coeducational colleges in 1864, Swarthmore today is nonsectarian, but still embraces many values derived from its Quaker heritage. Foremost among them are living in community, simple living, giving back to the greater good, generous giving, respect for the natural world, and the settlement of disputes in a consultative manner.

Swarthmore faculty are recognized scholars in their fields, passionately committed to their work as teachers, researchers, and mentors. Swarthmore offers students and faculty generous resources to extend their own and the world’s understanding of subjects from peace and conflict studies to plasma physics, from microbiology to Spanish, from dance to economics, from engineering to art history. The college employs 217 full-time members of the faculty and an outstanding staff of 567. This position has five direct reports and oversees a total of 86 full-time equivalent employees.

Swarthmore College offers a competitive benefits package, paid time off, and work life initiatives. Further details can be found at http://www.swarthmore.edu/human-resources/benefits

Please see swarthmore.edu for additional information about the college.

The Position

Reporting to the Vice President of Finance and Administration, the Associate Vice President for Sustainable Facilities Operations will oversee all of Swarthmore College facilities, including its buildings, grounds (which includes the Scott Arboretum), and utilities. The AVP will work closely with other college divisions and departments to understand their facilities needs and priorities; develop positive relationships with the campus community to enhance communications and outcomes; and set a high standard for transparency to keep others informed. Working in partnership with the Executive Director of Capital Planning and Capital Projects, ensure that operations decision-making aligns with long-term capital plans and priorities, and that capital planning reflects consideration and realities of facilities operations. The AVP will also be responsible for developing and managing the budgets for all of facilities operations.

Key primary responsibilities and opportunities for the AVP include:

  • Develop short- and long-term plans for the maintenance, operations, and repair of the college facilities and grounds that balance funding availability and project scopes in support of the mission of the college;
  • With institutional focus, like-minded colleagues, and resources already in place, play a leadership role in assessing and moving forward the college’s agenda with regard to environmental decision-making and planning, including energy conservation, carbon neutrality goals, zero waste goals, greenhouse gas emissions goals, water management, transportation management and others as jointly agreed upon; and with regard to emerging technologies and best practices related to building infrastructure in all areas of building, infrastructure, and grounds management;
  • Clearly communicate goals, priorities, and plans to departmental personnel and to the campus community; partner with other institutions and thought leaders beyond the campus to further the goals and objectives of Swarthmore College;
  • Seek opportunities to work collaboratively with students and faculty on new initiatives and existing programs, such as the President’s Sustainability Research Fellows Program, that contribute to the overall educational mission of the college;
  • Continuously work to develop and ensure a culture of fairness, cooperation, teamwork, and inclusiveness with the staff of facilities and physical plant, the college community; value and be an advocate for inclusion and diversity;
  • procedures are current and reflect the requirements of other college offices and local, state, and federal regulations;
  • Affirm that formal and informal training programs are current, reflect the needs of the various shops and departments, are continuously updated, and provide the knowledge and skills to plant personnel; provide opportunities for advancement based on the changing skill set of plant personnel;
  • Provide a high standard of transparency in decision-making and in interactions among all stakeholders.


The Associate Vice President for Sustainable Facilities Operations will have the following experiences, capabilities, and attributes:

Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Engineering or related area of study is strongly preferred; Master’s degree, professional and related certifications, including LEED accreditation, and licensures are preferred. A minimum of ten years’ experience is required. A proven record of visionary leadership in facilities management, utility management, and grounds maintenance in a complex environment. A track record of accomplishments and success in achieving sustainability goals in such areas as waste management, grounds maintenance, custodial services, building maintenance, and energy procurement. A proven leadership track record of successfully hiring, supervising, mentoring a large and highly diverse staff and a strong commitment to inclusion and diversity; a demonstrated record of encouraging the professional development of staff; and experience supervising multiple departments. Adept at problem solving and creating solutions.

Applicants should submit a resume and letter discussing their interest in the position as well as their accomplishments in relationship to the listed responsibilities and qualifications. Background checks will be performed on all final candidates. Applications and nominations should be sent to:

Andy Evans and Mo Lashendock
Koya Leadership Partners
Swarthmore actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.


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