Associate/Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management

Associate/Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management

Mount Holyoke College

South Hadley, MA   |   September 22, 2021

Mount Holyoke College seeks a forward-thinking and compassionate leader to serve as the Associate/Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management (AVP). The campus is a beautiful natural setting, and the AVP will play an important role in advancing the college’s strategic vision for the campus, in executing the ambitious goal of 2037 carbon neutrality, and in leading efficient and effective operations.

The AVP reports to the Vice President for Finance and Administration provides leadership for a diverse team of approximately 130 staff, and manages an annual operating budget of approximately 14 million dollars. The capital budget averages around 13 million dollars per year. The new AVP will be responsible for planning, program management, and implementation of best practices for all aspects of campus facilities and grounds operations, maintenance, and construction. The AVP will lead with inclusive excellence and be deeply committed to the mission of the college.

About Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College is a world-renowned women’s college that is gender diverse. Since 1837, it has built and fortified a spirited, engaged and intellectually adventurous community, taught by an innovative faculty dedicated to their students and passionate about their disciplines. The first and oldest of the Seven Sisters Colleges, Mount Holyoke prepares students with the skills necessary to become confident leaders in a rapidly changing world. Mount Holyoke is ranked consistently as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and its students go on to make a difference across a wide variety of professional and civic endeavors.

For more information on Mount Holyoke College, please visit our website.

Strategic Plan

The College’s current strategic plan was developed in 2016 and is scheduled to be accomplished by 2023. To date, many of the objectives have been completed, and of particular note for employees have been critical achievements as the result of establishing the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division, investing in employee development and training, and navigating a complex employee relations and staffing environment as the result of the pandemic.

Demographic Profile

Mount Holyoke has a rich tradition of enrolling an unusually diverse student body. Among its pre-pandemic enrollment of 2,200 students (a similar enrollment is expected in the coming academic year), 24% identified as students of color (U.S. citizens) and 27% were international students, making Mount Holyoke among the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the United States. Each year, students typically hail from 45 states and 84 countries. Approximately 17% of students represent the first generation in their families to attend college and 80% of incoming first-year students in 2019 were in the top 20% of their high school classes.

Financial Aid

Thanks to ongoing and generous support from alums, parents, and friends—both to expendable funds and the endowment—Mount Holyoke’s superior experience is available to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. On average, Mount Holyoke meets 100% of the financial needs of its students through financial aid. In 2018-19, 60% of students received need-based aid, with the average financial aid package totaling $34,470 (of which $33,100 was Mount Holyoke grant aid). A total of $56 million in financial aid was awarded, including $48 million in need-based aid and $8.2 million in non-need-based aid. Student loans were $6.4 million and student work-study employment equaled $2.2 million.

Degrees Offered

Mount Holyoke offers the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.); dual-degree program leading to a B.A. and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in engineering, in partnership with the California Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts, or Dartmouth College; dual-degree program leading to a B.A. and M.A. in a number of programs, in partnership with the Graduate Institute, Geneva; Masters of Arts in Teaching; and Masters of Arts in Mathematics Teaching. Students can select from more than 50 departmental and interdepartmental majors and minors. The majors of current students are: 31% humanities, 35% natural and applied sciences, and 34% social sciences. Of these, 35% are interdisciplinary, combining applied sciences with another discipline.

The Five College Consortium allows Mount Holyoke students to choose from more than 5,000 classes and offers more than a dozen certificate programs including international relations; ethnomusicology; culture, health and science; African, Latin American, Native American, or Asian studies; cognitive neuroscience; coastal and marine sciences; and neuroscience. A free bus service connects the five colleges, which are within a 12-mile radius. Emerging areas of study include Data Science; Public Health; Critical Ethnic Studies, Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Society; and Business.

With a student-faculty ratio of 10 to 1 and most classes averaging 10 to 20 students, faculty advisers can collaborate closely with students on academic coursework and research.

Accomplished Faculty

Among nearly 400 colleges nationwide, Mount Holyoke ranked in the top ten for its faculty, library, and classroom experience according to the 2020 Princeton Review. The College’s faculty of 200 includes members who speak more than 50 languages in addition to English. Nearly 60% are women; a quarter are faculty of color.

After College

Mount Holyoke alums are distinguished not only by their academic and professional achievements, but also by significant contributions to their communities and strong sense of public engagement. Over 79% of alums have enrolled in graduate or professional school within ten years of graduation. The College’s Career Development Center, with more than 1,000 employer connections, and the alum network of more than 30,000 individuals provide powerful resources for launching the next phase of students’ lives, whether graduate school or work in business and nonprofit sectors.

Financial Resources

The College enjoys a healthy financial position but one that requires careful stewardship and planning to maintain. The College has a robust endowment, currently estimated at just over $990 million. This is a significant increase over the previous year and has been fueled by extraordinary investment returns and the largest single-year gift activity in support of endowed scholarships in the College’s history.

As part of the College’s current strategic plan, the community committed to ensuring balanced annual operating budgets for the College each fiscal year. The College accomplished that goal in 2017 and has maintained it ever since, even during the pandemic. The Board of Trustees recently approved a $146 million operating budget for FY22 — this budget reflects a return to more typical, pre-pandemic in-person teaching, learning and operations.

The commitment of the entire community to the financial health of the institution is evident. Together, the community guided Mount Holyoke through an historic pandemic, one with lasting worldwide implications and now will launch a new fiscal year with resources in place to support a return to the fullest expression of our mission and to plan for the College’s future.


Mount Holyoke’s 700+-acre campus includes superb facilities, such as:

  • an 806,000+-volume
  • a first-rate sports and dance
  • a Community Center with a newly constructed contemporary dining commons that has transformed its sense of place and
  • a Science Center that features interconnected classrooms and labs outfitted with advanced scientific instrumentation – such as spectrometers and DNA sequencing equipment – that at other schools is reserved only for graduate students.
  • The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, ranked eleventh among the top 35 best college museums, serves as a nexus for object-based learning across academic disciplines and as a resource for the broader community through direct engagement with its collection of 17,000 objects from around the world and across the
  • Other arts facilities include Pratt Music Hall; a dance theatre and studios; and the Rooke Theatre as well as spacious, well-lit drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture art studios; a digital printmaking lab; and a senior studio with individual studios for senior art The newly expanded Blanchard Campus Center includes a student art gallery and multi-use performance and exhibit spaces.
  • The College’s new makerspace, Fimbel Maker & Innovation Lab, is used by a wide variety of disciplines to enhance curricular learning, increase technical literacy, and help liberal arts students create, invent and
  • The College Living Laboratory is also used by students and faculty across disciplines. With more than 700 acres of natural and engineered ecosystems, a four-mile network of trails, an online database housing decades of student and faculty monitoring obtained from 15 permanent water sampling stations, five weather stations and additional ecological field sites across campus, The Campus Living Laboratory offers countless opportunities for independent student research and inspiration, all right at home on the Mount Holyoke
The Opportunity

The Associate/Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management provides leadership and management to four direct reports supervising a team of more than 130 skilled and loyal professionals represented by two unions. Financial responsibilities include development and oversight of an annual operating budget of $14 million.

The overarching opportunity for the AVP will be to serve as a strategic leader, one who fosters a culture that highly values customer service, engagement, communication, and responsiveness to faculty, students, and staff. Efficiency and transparency in all aspects are highly important. The new AVP will be joining the Mount Holyoke College community with major sustainability and renovation projects in progress, and initiatives on the horizon. The successful candidate must provide the leadership and direction that will ensure that the campus continues to receive the highest level of support and service even as large projects are undertaken. These efforts will depend upon the successful development and maintenance of relationships at all levels of the college, including faculty, staff, students, trustees, and the broader South Hadley community.

Among the specific challenges for the position are:

  • Lead a strong team. The AVP will be leading an experienced and thoughtful management team and committed department. The AVP will be charged with gathering institutional knowledge from the team and feedback from the community to understand the processes in place. The position will provide a leadership role on many committees and study groups across the college and will advocate for the best interests of the institution. The AVP must demonstrate a calm professional demeanor, a people-centered leadership approach, a willingness to listen to and understand opposing points of view, and command of subject material in the Facilities and Operations area. The AVP will model administrative excellence across campus, will actively work to break down organizational silos, and will be known for fairness, honesty, creativity and reliability in developing solutions for difficult problems.
  • Implement strategic initiatives. The AVP will be a key collaborator and leader on a wide variety of collegewide strategic projects that require innovative solutions, strategic thinking and business planning, and will significantly impact the campus and community. Initiatives include significant leadership in collaboration with the Director of Sustainability of an Energy Master Plan, which includes a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2037. Currently, the College is at the very beginning stage of planning a transition from steam to low temperature hot water as part of their sustainability efforts.
  • Lead through change. As Mount Holyoke College evolves, and as the landscape of higher education changes, the AVP will provide a leadership role in change management. Significant change is also expected through the evolution of campus infrastructure (energy/utilities) and continued modernization of facilities systems. Throughout these changes, financial efficiencies must be maintained. Staff morale will remain critical and will be maintained through transparent communication and continued development and mentoring.
  • Lead ongoing renovations. The AVP will lead current and future renovation projects. The College is committed to addressing deferred maintenance and is in the middle of a 5-year plan to spend $80M on capital improvement projects. During the 2020-2021 academic year, the College upgraded 2 residence halls, their largest function space and kept several projects focused on accessibility moving forward.
  • Partner on strategic space initiatives. The AVP will collaborate across campus on strategic space initiatives. For example, over the last few years, the College transitioned six dining hall spaces to one and the AVP will be a key partner in campus-wide conversations on how to best utilize these now vacant spaces.
  • Develop and foster labor relations in a union environment. The AVP takes a key role in setting the tone for labor relations and must ensure that the workforce is positioned to meet the College’s operational needs while creating an environment that is safe and where all workers are treated with dignity and respect. The AVP will participate in joint labor management meetings, develop solutions to labor disputes, and play a lead role in contract negotiations.
  • Sustainability. The AVP will be joining as the College embarks on its journey to Carbon Neutrality by 2037. The AVP will work directly with the Director of Sustainability, project managers, engineers, and facilities staff to implement the campus’s sustainability framework and apply these principles into new construction, renovations, standards, plans, and studies.
Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will bring broad-based facilities and operations experience and a record of leading change, problem solving, fostering labor relations, streamlining processes and systems, and creating and delivering large scale strategic plans and projects. The successful candidate will be a person of the highest integrity with a collegial style that engenders trust and inspires collaboration, along with an enthusiasm for the day-to-day management of efficient operations and excellent customer service. Leadership of similar functions in another higher education institution or a comparably complex setting will factor strongly. A bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in a related field such as engineering or construction management, and a master’s degree is desirable.

The successful candidate will also bring many of the following personal qualities and professional qualifications:

  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience leading relevant functions within a facilities department in an institution of higher education or a comparably complex setting;
  • Impeccable integrity and a reputation for a balanced, consultative approach; a willingness to challenge conventional thinking coupled with the ability to collaborate, listen well, and to take the lead in problem-solving and consensus-building;
  • Outstanding communication skills, both oral and written; the ability to express and explain technically complex concepts in clear terms; excellent interpersonal and diplomatic skills;
  • Experience as a fair, respectful leader and skilled administrator; proven ability to manage resources, human and financial, to maximize productivity and ensure work of the highest quality;
  • A management style that is goal-oriented but flexible, and that respects the capabilities and independence of staff while providing them with a clear sense of direction; the ability to inspire trust and to motivate staff to work hard and well together;
  • Proven and well-developed project management skills; the ability to manage multiple large, complex projects simultaneously and to execute tasks with a keen eye for details;
  • An established record of success improving processes and capabilities, and leading operations to deliver consistently excellent service; a commitment to continuous improvement;
  • Demonstrated interest in environmental issues and an appreciation for the tremendous potential of sustainability efforts in a complex campus environment; energy management experience;
  • A record of success establishing and maintaining positive labor/management relations within a unionized environment (strongly desired);
  • Excellent listening and influencing skills; the ability to cultivate trust and credibility and to generate enthusiasm among diverse constituencies and individuals; the ability to be an accessible and supportive colleague; and
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing and advocating for diversity and inclusion.

Tom Phillips and Charlotte Harris of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The College is committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination whether based race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, handicap or disability, veteran/uniformed services status, or gender identity.  We have also committed ourselves to the active recruitment of candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Mount Holyoke College believes in the right, indeed the necessity, of free inquiry and free expression for every member of the college community. The College aims to provide an environment hospitable to open interchanges of knowledge and opinion in the terms of reasoned discourse. The citizen’s rights to free speech, free movement, free association, peaceful assembly, and orderly protest extends to every member of the College. So do the citizen’s responsibility to uphold the law and the civilized person’s obligation to respect the rights and feelings of others.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit