Reporting to the Executive Director for University Housing in the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support, this position provides leadership for a comprehensive housing facilities operation that supports 7,200 beds distributed through 36 campus residence halls and houses, occupying approximately 2.1 million square feet of space at the main Columbia campus. The specific areas included in these operations are: maintenance, custodial, building trades, evening services office, work control and sustainability. The Director of Facility Operations manages an $18 million facilities budget and supervises approximately 80 full-time and temporary employees. The Director serves on the departmental leadership team with six other departmental directors for Business Operations, Construction and Renovation, Administration and Assignments, Information Technology, Assessment, and Residence Life. The leadership team works collaboratively to address the regular work of the department and other unique issues that arise.
Founded in 1801, The University of South Carolina is a public research university located in Columbia South Carolina. It is the state’s flagship university, governed by a board of trustees appointed by the governor and state lawmakers, and led by Dr. Harris Pastides, President and senior officer of the Columbia Campus and the entire USC system since 2008. The University has received many distinctions, among which are consistently being rated as: a Kiplinger’s and Princeton Review “Best Value,” a U.S. News top twenty “Living and Learning Community program”, a U.S. News top twenty “University 101 program to watch”, and one of only 32 public universities to earn the Carnegie Foundation’s top-tier designations in research activity and community engagement.
A Master’s Degree and seven years (or bachelor’s degree and nine years) of progressively responsible, full-time, related experience in business, public administration, or administrative services are required. Ten years of professional experience in a university auxiliary and/or residential life and housing operations, are preferred. The successful candidate must be able to lead a team of seasoned professionals in managing a multifaceted auxiliary department. They must demonstrate such high level skills as: technical building knowledge (engineering and architectural) expertise in building systems (electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC), entrepreneurial thinking, creative problem solving, supervision, training, management, assessment and evaluation, a deep understanding for student development, commitment to diversity and the needs of special populations, and the ability to build and maintain interpersonal relations with campus partners and the general public.
The new Director of Facilities will need to demonstrate strong leadership ability and foster an atmosphere of excellence equal to the reputation of the Housing and Residential Life program, the Division of Student Affairs, and the University of South Carolina. They will understand the distinctions of a 24/7/365 facility operation that must manage both academic year and seasonal transitions. The Director should become aware of and embrace the university culture as it relates to a student focused mission. They should embrace cultural diversity and advocate for equity in hiring practices and wages. The Director should encourage their staff to be professionally engaged with student, campus, and community partners.
The University is in the process of seeking state approval for a major re-development of the south campus housing area, which will require the replacement of three high rise residence halls and an apartment complex with a newly envisioned “Campus Village” that will house nearly 4,000 students. This project is essential to accommodate residential students at a growing institution and will require the new Director of Facility Operations to engage quickly to move the project forward.
Since 2011 University Housing and institutional leadership have worked with the consulting firm Brailsford and Dunlavey to develop and implement a Housing Master Plan (HMP) that balances the cost of investment, market demand, and project sequencing with the University’s mission and strategic drivers. This approach has assured the financial stability of the department’s finances, addressed millions of dollars in deferred maintenance throughout the system and initiated major renovations to several Residence Halls. The new Director will need to bring existing experience with similar tools to this position and make it a priority to understand the financial dynamics which undergird and drive the Facility unit’s finances for operation.
The new Director of Facility Operations will foster strong relationships and work cooperatively with faculty principals who provide academic leadership for students residing in living and learning residential communities. The connection between these student communities and their designated buildings are very important. First, the living space for students themselves, but also from unique features of those communities that require facility support. Examples include: a “maker space” in the Rhodos community where students create, a “demonstration kitchen” in the Maxcy International House where students share cultural cuisine, or the “community garden” at the Green Quad Learning Center, where students help grow food organically and sustainably.
The issue of safety and security is important to every university where residence halls present unique challenges. The Director of Facility Operations should have an appreciation for and awareness of such challenges and offer structural and technological solutions that will enhance safety and security throughout the building inventory.
The new Director will inherit an established facilities program that benchmarks off APPA and other facility standards for excellence in operations.
The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, protected veteran status or genetics.