Position Description

Associate Vice President of Facilities
Job Category Fulltime Regular
ExemptOvertimeEligible Exempt
Benefits Eligible Benefit Based
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Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), a world-renowned science and engineering Institute, invites nominations and applications for the Associate Vice President of Facilities. The Associate Vice President of Facilities (AVP) reports to the Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer and provides strategic and day-to-day leadership for the Institute’s physical plant, including Design and Construction, Facilities Operations, Facilities Planning and Services, Campus Security & Parking, Environment Health and Safety, Campus Emergency Management, Mail Services, Facilities Financial Services and IT, and Faculty Housing.

About Caltech

Caltech, founded in 1891, marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges. Caltech's extraordinary faculty and students expand understanding of the universe and invent the technologies of the future, with research interests from quantum science and engineering to bioinformatics and the nature of life itself, from human behavior and economics to energy and sustainability.

The contributions of Caltech's faculty and alumni have earned national and international recognition, including 40 Nobel Prizes, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, and 122 members of the National Academies. The Institute manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under contract with NASA; owns and operates large-scale research facilities such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatories (LIGO), the Seismological Laboratory, and a global network of astronomical observatories, including the Palomar and W. M. Keck Observatories. 

The student body is comprised of approximately 900 undergraduates and 1,330 graduate students. Caltech maintains approximately 300 professorial faculty, 600 postdoctoral scholars, sustains a 3:1 student-faculty ratio, and is ranked #9 in the 2021 US News & World Report best college ranking. In addition to its undergraduate studies, Caltech offers top graduate programs including 31 graduate options in its six academic divisions: Biology and Biological Engineering; Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Engineering and Applied Science; Geological and Planetary Sciences; the Humanities and Social Sciences; and Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy.

The Position

Caltech Facilities has an annual budget of more than $30 million dollars and includes a diverse workforce of over 300 staff members. The department is responsible for the physical campus, which encompasses nearly 4.5 million total square feet of built space and is comprised of almost 200 buildings on 124 acres of land in beautiful Pasadena, CA. Over 40 percent of the built space is dedicated to laboratories for critical scientific and technological research. The facilities portfolio also includes a combined heat and power plant that provides distributed electricity, chilled water, and steam across the campus through a comprehensive underground tunnel utility system.

The AVP leads teams across a portfolio of departments including: Design and Construction, Facilities Operations, Facilities Planning and Services, Campus Security & Parking, Environment Health and Safety, Campus Emergency Management, Mail Services, Facilities Financial Services and IT, and Faculty Housing. The AVP will assist the Vice President for Administration and CFO in strategic planning activities and policy development, formulation of the capital budget and leadership on master plan issues, and provides significant support to the Buildings and Grounds, and Business and Finance Committees of the Board of Trustees.

Serving as an institutional resource for the application and interpretation of facilities policies, the AVP will interact with senior academic and administrative leadership to support Caltech’s mission and will cultivate and sustain cooperative working relationships with all constituencies. They will provide a learning and principled environment for all employees in accordance with the Caltech Code of Ethics. The AVP will establish performance goals, allocate resources, and develop policies to affect the efficient operation of the department while controlling operating expenses at a level consistent with best practices for stewardship of 4.5 million square feet of facilities with a value exceeding $2.5 billion. When requested, the AVP will also advise on facilities issues at numerous off-site research locations.

Specific Responsibility Areas Include:

  • With the Vice President for Administration and CFO, develops strategy and policies for the stewardship of campus land and facilities.
  • Develops and staffs an integrated, strategically aligned, diverse, and service-oriented facilities organization.
  • Establishes policies and practices to ensure that the Institute appropriately addresses applicable standards and regulations in the areas of responsibility.
  • Directs facilities project-development efforts, including consultation with relevant departments, committees, and individual faculty concerning planning, design, construction, and renovation of campus physical assets.
  • The AVP will facilitate development of construction management processes that ensure that projects are completed on time, on budget, and in accordance with the City of Pasadena building codes and zoning ordinances, and industry best practice.
  • In cooperation with Institute departments and academic divisions, manage regulatory, environmental, community, and governmental issues to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations affecting the physical assets of the Institute and to demonstrate exemplary environmental stewardship.
  • Cultivates, personally exemplifies, and maintains high functioning customer service processes to support all constituencies across the Campus.
  • In close collaboration with the External Relations Officer, the AVP plays a leadership role in the continued implementation of the Campus Master Plan with the City of Pasadena.
  • Along with the VP for Administration and CFO, the AVP leads the Institute’s capital budget/plan preparation process
  • Oversees all utility infrastructure and energy management programs focusing on cost effectiveness and sustainability. 
  • Oversees Campus emergency operations and business continuity preparations.
  • Oversees the infrastructure renewal activities of the Institute. Manage the Institute’s existing physical asset portfolio by balancing building needs, financial constraints and space utilization opportunities.
  • Leads the campus Sustainability effort and chairs the Sustainability Council to address the interests of the entire campus community. 
  • Prepares analyses and presentations for senior administrators and the Board of Trustees. Regularly participates in meetings of the Buildings and Grounds Committee; occasionally participates in meetings of the Business and Finance Committee.
  • In close collaboration with the Associate Vice President for Finance ensures that appropriate business, purchasing and contract practices are established and functioning properly.

Candidate Profile

The AVP must have the ability to collaborate well and supportively, with strong interpersonal skills, to build trust, cultivate understanding, personally exemplify a customer service orientation, and foster and maintain good working relationships with varied and diverse constituencies, including the Provost’s Office, Division Chairs, Vice Presidents, Division Operations Officers, campus administration, faculty, staff, and government building officials and inspectors. The AVP should:

  • Be able to perform a variety of executive level  duties of broad scope and complexity that require outstanding professional ability, originality, mature judgment, a very collaborative approach and understanding of the organizational structure of the Institute.
  • Possess flexibility, ingenuity, and an ability to manage through organizational change. Given the current budgetary pressures and expected growth of research the Institute anticipates, the AVP is expected to manage and develop appropriate plans and programs that balance sometimes conflicting demands to generate the most optimal solution possible.
  • Be able to manage the campus capital development plan. Responsibility to provide a plan that ensures the Institute’s facilities provide the functional, structural and aesthetic integrity of the campus to support the Institute’s mission.
  • Be able to design and implement a system of internal practices and controls which provide reasonable assurance that operations are effective and efficient, assets are safeguarded, financial and other management information is understandable by all and reliable, and compliance with all laws, regulations, policies, and procedures is maintained.
  • Be able to collaborate with the Information Management Systems & Services (IMSS) department to integrate information technology into facilities service delivery and processes to improve services to campus.
  • Be able to work collaboratively with all constituencies to evaluate and implement appropriate administrative and organizational strategies to ensure construction results are obtained within financial targets. Promote environmentally innovative and financially sound construction and facilities management practices.
  • Take a leadership role in the development and implementation of sustainable initiatives and programs for the Institute. Facilitates, with colleagues in External Relations and Strategic Communications, all communication and community outreach regarding such initiatives. 
  • Continue strengthening the facilities operations and business services group. The AVP is expected to continuously improve service and productivity in all facility related and business operations organizations and ensure proper training and development needs of staff in these organizations.
  • Work closely with the Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer and the Secretary of the Board in order to serve as a standing attendee on the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

Specific Qualifications

  • Ten years in a facilities leadership positions required, in a higher education environment preferred.
  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field. An MBA or master’s degree in related field is preferred.
  • Ability to interact effectively with all members of the Institute community and provide high levels of service throughout.
  • Achieves a level of service for all customers that consistently prompts commentary on its excellence.
  • Ability to work effectively in a consultative, decision-making culture.
  • Ability to recognize, attract and motivate top talent.
  • Provides a productive work environment while leading and supervising direct reports to assure effective job performance.
  • Provides an encouraging environment of supportive supervision for those who work in organizations that report to the AVP.
  • Represents the Institute to the campus community, implementing effective interaction with vendors, donors, government agencies and other constituents.

Required Documents

  • Resume

Caltech has engaged Opus Partners to support the recruitment of this position. Katie Dean, Associate Partner, and Marisea Rivera, Senior Associate, are leading the search. Inquiries, applications and nominations should be sent by email to Katie (katie.dean@opuspartners.net).


EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at employment@caltech.edu

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