Allegheny College — Director of Physical Plant

Overview of the Institution

  • History

Founded in 1815, Allegheny College, situated in Meadville, PA, ranks among the oldest 1% of colleges and universities in the United States and is the 32nd oldest college.

In 1815, Meadville was still a raw frontier town of about 400 settlers, of whom an unusually large number had come from Massachusetts and Connecticut. They dreamed of a college that might bring the educational opportunities of New England to the frontier. The Rev. Timothy Alden was recruited to take on the task, and two months after his arrival in April 1815, Allegheny was established—with Alden as its first president.

Within half a dozen years, Alden succeeded in attracting sufficient funds to begin building a campus, having traveled throughout the eastern states seeking support for a planned library and classroom building. The need of a building to house a library led to the construction, in the 1820s, of Bentley Hall, today a leading example of early American architecture. Designed by Alden, this handsome structure still crowns the hill on which the campus is located. It is named in honor of Dr. William Bentley, who donated his outstanding private library to the College. Renovations to preserve and enhance the historic Bentley Hall began in 2018 and will finish in 2020.  Bentley Hall will be restored to its rightful place as one of America’s foremost examples of Federalist architecture, and at the same time will be equipped for modern, technology-based teaching, learning and administration.

  • Rankings

Washington Monthly, which rates schools based on the degree to which they “contribute to the public good” by improving social mobility, producing research and promoting service, ranked Allegheny 39th among 214 liberal arts colleges in 2019.

Times Higher Education World College Rankings ranked Allegheny 51st among U.S. liberal arts colleges in 2019. 

U.S. News & World Report ranked Allegheny as tied for 82nd among liberal arts colleges, tied at 19th for “Best Undergraduate Teaching”, and tied for 43rd “most innovative” college in the United States for 2020.

  • Campus Environment

The College enrolls 1,800 students, all of whom live on campus, from 70 different countries and with a minority or international population of 28%. There are 34 major buildings encompassing 1.2M SF of space under roof, as well as 24 houses used as student residences, on a 79-acre central campus, in addition to a recreational area of 203 acres, and the 283-acre Bousson Forest Nature Preserve.

  • Notable Alumni

Allegheny College alumni include a U.S. President, two Governors, two Senators, seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives, an Academy Award winning sound designer, and baseball legend Branch Rickey. 

  • Athletics

The college was one of seven founding members of the NCAA Division III North Coast Athletic Conference in 1983 as well as one of the original founding members of the NCAA itself in 1905. With 13 varsity men’s and women’s sports, at least one Allegheny College team has won an NCAC championship every year since 1984 to 2019.

  • Commitment to Sustainability

Allegheny set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2020 as part of a climate action plan adopted by the College’s Board of Trustees in 2010. The College achieved that goal, recently becoming the first college or university in Pennsylvania — and the eighth in the United States — to achieve carbon neutrality, according to Second Nature, a national organization committed to accelerating climate action in, and through, higher education.

Allegheny has a longstanding commitment to promoting sustainability practices and solutions. In 1972, the college established one of the first environmental science departments in the country. Allegheny’s Board of Trustees adopted environmental guiding principles in 2002, and the college became a charter signatory of the American College & College Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007.  

The Director of Physical Plant will collaborate with the Director of Sustainability to ensure that sustainable goals and standards are included in all aspects of work, projects and initiatives.

  • Mission Statement

Allegheny’s undergraduate residential education prepares young adults for successful, meaningful lives by promoting students’ intellectual, moral and social development and encouraging personal and civic responsibility. Allegheny’s faculty and staff combine high academic standards and a commitment to the exchange of knowledge with a supportive approach to learning. Graduates are equipped to think critically and creatively, write clearly, speak persuasively and meet challenges in a diverse, interconnected world.

Position Summary

The Director of Physical Plant reports to the Chief Financial Officer & Vice President of Finance and Administration and is responsible for a staff of 27 full-time employees including maintenance, construction and grounds personnel. Direct reports include two Facilities Maintenance Supervisors, Facilities Mechanical Supervisor, Technology / Grounds Supervisor, Office Coordinator, and Inventory Control Manager. 

The Physical Plant Department is responsible for the operations and maintenance, renovations and construction of all buildings, grounds and utilities of the College. These services are provided to develop and maintain a functional, attractive and safe environment conducive to learning and to support the College’s tradition of excellence. The Department has dedicated, professional staff trained in every principle trade required to provide these services and/or to oversee contracted services that the Department does not directly provide such as custodial services.


  • Support Services
    • Coordination, supervision, and direction of the support services of the facilities and campus community including: 
      • Project and construction management.
      • Operational management including reporting and budgets.
      • Environmental health & safety.
      • Engineering documentation.
      • Logistics.
      • Improvements, maintenance and repair (buildings, roads, and grounds).
      • Custodial services.
      • Utilities.
      • Campus wide set-ups.
      • The computerized maintenance management system (SchoolDude). 
  • Capital Construction & Planning
    • Management of current comprehensive Campus Master Plan ensuring that each stage of the planning process is measured against the College’s guiding principles and follows the path of improvement for all of the College’s physical facilities.
    • The award, administration and inspection of all capital outlay, major repair, renovations and construction work at the College. 
    • Directly involved in problem resolution related to process schedules, change order negotiation, claims and financial settlement close out. 
    • Monitors and evaluates the College’s operating performance and ensures all policies are followed. 
    • Research new business opportunities and lead budget decisions.
  • Buildings & Grounds Operations
    • Oversee all building operations, maintenance and major repairs in compliance with building codes and requirements (HVAC, roofing, irrigation, electrical, cameras, plumbing, etc.).
    • Management of maintenance, repair, and beautification of the campus grounds including analyzing and developing plans to correct grounds-related issues and ensuring an aesthetically safe and functional campus.
  • Personnel Management
    • Supervise, control and direct supervisors toward meeting the goals of the department and the College.
    • Oversees all team operations, ensuring projects are completed on time and on budget.
    • Manages a diverse, multi-disciplined team of professionals and staff in areas of grounds, custodial services, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and locksmith
    • Assess, evaluate and report on overall team and individual team member performance.
      Sets clear goals and objective for the team.
    • Delegates responsibilities to subordinates, providing guidance and direction. 
    • Interprets data and analytics and generates reports.
    • Coordinates and oversees staff training activities for facilities management personnel.
  • Operational Strategies
    • Development of operational strategies in concert with the Chief Financial Officer / Vice President for Finance & Administration.
    • Skills to support, inform and strategically collaborate with the College’s Administrative Executive Committee.
    • Provides management and processional direction, providing facilities planning and design, space administration, architectural and construction management.
    • Oversees utilities generation and distribution, landscape and other maintenance services.
  • Emergency / Safety / Compliance
    • Ability to respond calmly and effectively to emergency situations and to proactively prepare for unexpected challenges such as health pandemics, weather emergencies and interruption of utilities and services. 
    • Monitor employee safety ensuring that machinery is properly maintained and for creating safety protocols.
    • Ensures compliance with College policies, as well as local, state and federal regulations.
    • Ensures all required permits and inspections are secured in compliance with legal requirements (fire, parking, elevator, irrigation systems, lighting, etc.).
    • Ensures building compliance for all College facility audits, property and liability insurance audit.
    • Maintains licensing and regulations compliance.
  • Operational Budget Preparation & Oversight
    • Develop, formalize and implement both short-term and long-term plans, goals and objectives for Maintenance, Environmental Services and Buildings & Grounds.
    • Administer annual gross operational budget and the expenditures.
    • Develop policies and procedures that successfully provide efficient and effective services.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in architecture, a construction engineering discipline, construction management or similar discipline.
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience with a history of increasing levels of job responsibility, including supervision of operations and management of technically complex maintenance operations and construction projects.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, good basic computational skills, a thorough working knowledge of management, facilities operations and maintenance, and planning and construction principles, procedures and terminology.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a variety of constituencies, and within group decision-making settings.

Desired Qualifications 

  • Proven Leader
    • Capability to transform the culture of the Physical Plant Department and create positive change. 
    • Capability to train and develop staff and enhance morale, motivation and sense of value and belonging. 
    • Collaborative leadership style and ability to communicate well with faculty, administration, staff and students.
    • Ability to work effectively in a team environment.
    • Ability to proactively manage staff, earn trust and respect, and encourage responsible and productive habits and actions. 
    • Capability to retain staff and hire new talent when required, including commitment to diverse hiring practices and to the development of a diverse, multicultural community.
  • Technically Savvy
    • Fluency with information technology and ability to effectively oversee data management and analysis, ensure accountability in provision and utilization of information.
    • Ability to leverage information to proactively plan for preventative maintenance, construction projects and programs, work order management and execution, campus and project safety, and efficient utilization of human and capital resources.   
    • Experience to implement effective processes, procedures and metrics to manage work cycles and predictable budgets, schedules and quality assurance to successful outcomes.
  • Customer Service Orientation
    • Capacity to interact successfully with municipal and county representatives when appropriate, as well relevant community associations.
    • Civic mindedness and commitment to personally support the community and region.  
    • A customer service mindset and attention to detail. 
    • Capacity to effectively manage and develop relationships with contractors, suppliers and vendors.


  • Within the range established for this position, salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes an excellent benefits package.
  • Regular full- and part-time employees who work at least 1,000 hours per year are eligible to participate in the Section 403(b) retirement program administered by Teachers Insurance Annuity Association-College Retirement Equity Fund (TIAA-CREF).
  • Tuition Benefit Program for College employees and their spouses, domestic partners and dependent children includes Tuition Remission (attendance at Allegheny College) and Tuition Exchange (attendance at other participating institutions).
  • Health, disability and life insurance benefits are provided to College employees. 

Statement of Community

Allegheny students and employees are committed to creating an inclusive, respectful, and safe residential learning community that will actively confront and challenge racism, sexism, heterosexism, religious bigotry, and other forms of harassment and discrimination. We encourage individual growth by promoting a free exchange of ideas in a setting that values diversity, trust and equality. So that the right of all to participate in a shared learning experience is upheld, Allegheny affirms its commitment to the principles of freedom of speech and inquiry, while at the same time fostering responsibility and accountability in the exercise of these freedoms. This statement does not replace existing personnel policies and codes of conduct.

The Director of Physical Plant will support the College’s fulfillment of the Statement of Community through ensuring that projects and planning on campus are done in an inclusive manner, ensuring that the Statement of Continuity is reflected in all contracts. 

Non-discrimination Policy and Equal Employment Opportunity

Allegheny College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination. Allegheny College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap in any of its educational programs, activities or with respect to employment.

Special Instruction to Applicants

All applicants should include the following documents: cover letter, resume, and list of three professional references.

Please Submit Applications or Nominations to:

Allegheny College is conducting this search with the assistance of Helbling & Associates, Inc. (, an executive search firm specializing in the areas of facilities management, construction, engineering, and real estate development.

Please Submit Resumes or Nominations to:

Mr. Rob Dible, Managing Consultant
O: (724) 935-7500 x117
C: (859) 539-5083

Helbling & Associates, Inc.
8000 Brooktree Road, Suite 100
Wexford, PA  15090

Please visit Helbling & Associates’ Candidates Page for more information.