Director of Physical Plant Operations & Planning

Search #1718-0010 

Ohio Wesleyan University is a selective, private, undergraduate liberal arts, residential institution founded in 1842. The University is located in the City of Delaware, just 20 miles north of Columbus. The Office of Finance is seeking a Director of Physical Plant Operations & Planning. The Director has primary responsibility for the operation, maintenance and construction of University facilities, grounds, equipment, and related systems, encompassing 98 acres of land, 60 academic and residential buildings, and 1,450,000 square feet under roof.  This includes responsibility for on-going planning for beauty of grounds, new construction, renovations, maintenance and life cycle replacement of assets and related systems to provide a physical environment conducive to effective learning and attainment of the mission of the University. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serve as a member of the Vice President of Finance and Administration and Treasurer senior management team and work directly with the University Officers and President as needed.
  • Develop and maintain collaborative working relationships across campus including, but not limited to, residence life, athletics, academic departments, admissions and information technology.
  • Develop and recommend policies and guidelines that are designed to protect, enhance, and preserve the University's physical assets and resources: furniture and equipment standards, space usage, maintenance and energy management.
  • Direct the development and implementation of plans, policies and procedures for the construction, renovation, operation (including custodial), maintenance, preventative maintenance and repair of the buildings, engineering plant, systems, grounds, equipment, and related technologies to ensure welcoming, high quality learning and work environments.
  • Oversee all capital projects to ensure cost-effective well-integrated facilities that meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff.
  • In concert with the VPFA&T, serve as the liaison between the University and consultants, architects, engineers, contractors and utility providers.
  • Ensure that aesthetic sensibilities are considered in all aspects of campus physical plant including maintenance, renovation, construction, and grounds, as well as in the housekeeping protocols.
  • Direct the care and maintenance of all facilities to ensure that the University's property and physical plant are maintained in a clean, operationally sound, welcoming and aesthetically pleasing manner.
  • Direct the care, maintenance and landscape design of the University’s grounds to ensure the aesthetic beauty is highlighted and enhanced creating a welcoming and seasonally appropriate campus environment.
  • Responsible for compliance with all federal, state, and local laws, codes and regulations pertaining to facilities/operations including required reports, safety data sheets, hazardous materials, worker right-to-know, ADA, etc.
  • Optimize staffing decisions to improve productivity and develop, recommend, allocate, and manage budgets within assigned cost centers to ensure the most cost effective use to the University's resources.
  • Manage the purchase of energy/fuels and utilities and administers the University's energy management and energy conservation programs.
  • Oversee the operation of the University’s transportation fleet and motor pool.
  • Respond promptly to facility and operational emergencies. Resolve customer complaints in a positive and productive fashion. Ensure positive public relations with the campus and community.
  • Serve as a participating member of Safety Committee, Risk Management Committee and other groups as requested.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Received: General, Given: The Director supervises 2 subordinate managers, 2 office support staff, 20 total Ohio Wesleyan employees, and approximately 35 full-time equivalent outside contractors. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Broad and deep knowledge of principles and practices of physical plant management, relevant federal laws and state regulations, management and organizational design concepts.
  • Strong leadership and management abilities, preferably with experience streamlining and automating processes, and working in a lean environment. Must understand and respect a collaborative culture, and be able to influence others in such an environment.
  • Proven effectiveness in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships, analyzing organization, management and employees needs and resources, and recommending appropriate solutions.
  • Ability to exercise judgment and discretion in applying and interpreting a variety of policies and procedures.
  • Ability to be successful and thrive within the culture of a small private liberal arts university.
  • Demonstrated ability to read and interpret working drawings and construction documents.
  • Ability to estimate material and labor costs on multi-crate jobs.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, attention to detail, strong organizational skills, and the ability to work cooperatively as both the leader and a member of a team. Demonstrated experience in managing, coaching and developing a cohesive, high performance staff.

Communication Skills/Requirements

Director must be able to effectively communicate verbally and in writing as to work requirements, work in progress, work completion and status of departmental goals; communicates verbally and in writing with co-workers, members of management, faculty, and staff; able to utilize active listening skills to ascertain areas of need, define problems, and determine possible solutions to meet expressed needs; demonstrates leadership, tact, diplomacy, professionalism and a positive demeanor in performance of all duties.

Mathematical Ability

Director must be able to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios and proportions to practical situations.  Must have a good understanding of general accounting principles and math commonly used in the accounting profession.

Reasoning Ability

The work is complex and requires a high level of judgment; requires the ability to decide on a course or sequence of action and to direct others in that course of action. The Director must have continuous visual and mental attention while performing responsibilities of the position; must be able to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions; must be able to reasonably envision future needs and plan accordingly; and must be able to work in a fast paced, deadline driven environment.


  • Bachelor's degree relating to engineering, architecture, business management, project management, construction management or a related field. Post-Baccalaureate degree, certifications, professional registrations (i.e. Professional Engineer, Project Management Professional, etc.) or other evidence of ongoing commitment to professional development strongly preferred.
  • Minimum of 8-10 years progressively responsible experience in management of physical plant operations or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience working in a higher education or not-for-profit institution strongly preferred.



Physical Demands

Routine physical demands for a physical plant environment. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, walk, climb, sit, use hands to finger, handle or feel, and reach with hands and arms.  The employee will traverse construction sites and walk long distances in the course of a normal day.  The employee may occasionally be required to lift and/or move up to 25 lbs.

Work Environment

Office. Exposed to minimal hazards in office environment.  Regular travel on University business is required; routine physical demands for office environment; some lifting, pulling, moving, and setup of computer equipment as necessary, and operate all computer equipment, copier, facsimile machine, printer, and telephone.  

Completed application packets will include:

  1. Cover Letter with salary requirements.
  2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae.
  3. The names, titles, & contact information for three professional references.

Please email application materials to:

Application review will begin immediately and will continue until position is filled.

Ohio Wesleyan University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and encourages all interested applicants, including women and minorities, to apply (EEOE).