Hamilton College – Associate Vice President for Facilities & Planning and Director of the Physical Plant


Associate Vice President for Facilities & Planning, Director of Physical Plant

Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, seeks an innovative and visionary leader for the position of Associate Vice President for Facilities & Planning and Director of Physical Plant (AVP). The ideal candidate will be responsible for the maintenance, repair, renewal, planning, and construction for all college facilities, including buildings, grounds, and utilities.  The AVP will focus on the continual improvement of the facilities to ensure that short- and long-term plans are in place for developing and completing deferred maintenance, renovation, and renewal projects, and for implementing a strong planned maintenance.  S/he will also provide operational oversight of the physical plant.

Hamilton College

Hamilton College is a private, liberal arts college located in the village of Clinton, New York, in the beautiful Mohawk Valley in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.  Hamilton’s 1,350-acre campus is situated on a hilltop overlooking the picturesque village of Clinton.  The college is home to 1850 students offering the Bachelor of Arts degree in any of over 50 areas of concentration. The college’s namesake is Alexander Hamilton, U.S. statesman, first secretary of the U.S. Treasury, and member of the first Board of Trustees of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy.

Originally founded in 1793 as the Hamilton-Oneida Academy, an all boys’ school, Hamilton College received its charter from the regents of the State University of New York in 1812. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the college built out a classic, restrained, and beautiful campus, which endures to this day. The college has been coeducational since 1978, when it merged with its sister school Kirkland College; Kirkland’s campus was built in the 1970’s.

Over the last 50 years, Hamilton’s strategic choices have propelled it into the first rank of liberal arts colleges, forging a distinctive and vital identity from its long history. The college takes seriously its motto, “Know Thyself.” It offers students what few places do: the promise of discovery and the rare opportunity to become the architects of their own intellectual development in an open curriculum. Hamilton asks students to ally their passion to their curiosity and to make learning a lifelong pursuit. It appeals to a diverse, strong, intellectually motivated and increasingly self-directed student body. It attracts a faculty of vibrantly engaged scholars who are enthusiastically committed to teaching. Hamilton has built a remarkable array of facilities and programs that sustain one of the broadest ranges of intellectual and artistic inquiry available on a small liberal arts college campus.

The college is distinguished by an outstanding faculty and exceptionally able administrators dedicated to student learning, scholarship, interdisciplinary learning, and innovative academic programs. Students and alumni speak with deep and genuine affection for Hamilton, particularly about the close, meaningful relationships, and collaborations they have with academic advisors and faculty members. Hamilton has the equivalent of 190 full-time faculty members, of whom 120 are tenured, giving it a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1.

There are more than 200 organizations and clubs for students focused on community service, culture, music, athletics, politics, religion, and social activities. Most students at the college tend to become involved in multiple activities outside their classes. Academic departments and student organizations sponsor speakers and programs on a regular basis. In 2011, the college established the Days-Massolo Center, a vibrant, multicultural center to further support student engagement and success around issues of difference.

The demographic composition of Hamilton’s student body continued to change when the college went need-blind in 2010. Today, approximately half of the student body receives need-based financial aid and the average award is approximately $41,300. In addition to socioeconomic diversity, every other demographic has changed as well. Women now comprise slightly more than 50 percent of the College’s students. More than one quarter of the student body consists of U.S. students of color or international citizens, and Hamilton enrolls students from 45 states and 47 countries. Approximately 15 percent of each entering class are first generation college students.

As a member of NESCAC, the College encourages participation in athletics, and roughly one-third of its students are varsity scholar-athletes, excelling both in the classroom and on the field.

Leadership at Hamilton College

President David Wippman

President David Wippman began his tenure as Hamilton’s 20th president on July 1, 2016. A recognized authority in international law, he has taught public international law, international criminal law, international human rights and ethnic conflict. He received his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton University in 1976, his master’s degree through a fellowship in the Graduate Program in English Literature at Yale University in 1978 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1982. While at Yale, Wippman was the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for The Honorable Wilfred Feinberg, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Wippman became dean of the University of Minnesota Law School on July 1, 2008. Previously, he was a professor and associate dean at Cornell Law School and served as vice provost for international relations at Cornell University. He took a year away from Cornell to serve as a director in the National Security Council’s Office of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs, where he worked on war crimes issues, the International Criminal Court, economic sanctions and U.N. political issues.

Before joining Cornell, Wippman practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., with a focus on international arbitration, political consulting on public and private international law issues, and representation of developing countries in litigation. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Wippman has co-authored two recently released books on international law: International Law: Norms, Actors, Process: A Problem-Oriented Approach and Can Might Make Rights? Building the Rule of Law After Military Interventions.

Karen Leach, Vice President for Finance and Administration

Karen Leach has served as Vice President, Administration and Finance at Hamilton College since 2001.  Her duties include oversight, management and development of the College’s budget, business and purchasing services, investment functions, facilities, human resources, and environmental health, safety and sustainability. Prior to working at Hamilton she was at Colgate University for sixteen years where she was first Associate Provost and then Chief Information Officer with oversight for all information technology functions. Early in her career, Karen worked for Bristol Myers where she performed efficiency studies in quality control operations in Syracuse, New York and Puerto Rico.  Karen earned a B.A. at Vassar College and an M.B.A. at Syracuse University.

The Position – Associate Vice President for Facilities & Planning and Director of Physical Plant

Reporting directly to the Vice President of Administration and Finance, the AVP will be responsible for leading, supervising and coordinating the maintenance, repair, renewal, planning and construction for all Hamilton college facilities, including buildings, grounds, and utilities.  The AVP will provide strategic and operational leadership of the physical plant and its personnel while maintaining a strong and focused team to deliver excellent service to the campus community, and also to preserve Hamilton’s facilities and infrastructure in support of the mission of Hamilton College.

The AVP will be responsible for developing and managing the fiscal budgets for physical plant renewal and replacement, and for capital projects.  S/he will work closely with other college divisions and departments to understand their needs and priorities; develop positive relationships with the campus community to enhance communications and outcomes; and set a high standard for transparency to keep others informed of plant priorities, direction, construction and impacts of facilities work on other campus activities, in particular the high quality academic program.

Key primary responsibilities and opportunities for the Associate Vice President for Facilities & Planning and Director of Physical Plant will include:

  • Develop short- and long-term plans for the maintenance, repair, renovation, and renewal of college facilities that balance funding availability and project scopes as related to Hamilton College’s strategic planning, and in support of the mission of the College;
  • Continue the College’s commitment to leadership in sustainability and environmental stewardship through institutional processes, management of facilities, and educational activities, outlined in the Hamilton Climate Action Plan;
  • Communicate goals, priorities, and plans to internal plant personnel and to the campus community that will allow for open dialogue to review and make adjustments when necessary;
  • Develop the physical plant budget and identify the resource needs to support the service and maintenance requirements for college facilities and departments;
  • Coordinate renewal project funding to maximize effective and efficient use of available resources;
  • Set the professional standard in respect and decency towards others while ensuring compliance with the college’s and physical plant’s community values;
  • Continuously work to develop and ensure a culture of fairness, cooperation, teamwork, and inclusiveness with all members of physical plant, the college community, the local community, the local Water District, and construction teams, including, Architects, Engineers, Consultants, and Contractors;
  • Represent Hamilton College on matters related to plant and construction operations with external agencies, professional organizations, and the public in a professional, positive and responsible manner;
  • Participate in professional development activities and events, including conferences, seminars, and membership to professional organizations;
  • Stay current with local, state, and federal regulations regarding construction, fire safety and worker safety to ensure compliance in all aspects of college facilities and physical plant operations;
  • Understand and support the use of technology to enhance operations, improve the campus infrastructure, and to reduce energy costs;
  • Prepare presentations related to physical plant operations, fiscal needs, environmental issues, and any other relevant topic to be given to internal constituents—faculty, staff, and students, trustees, external agencies, professional organizations, and the public;
  • Prepare written correspondence that will allow for effective communication with internal constituents, trustees, external agencies, professional organizations, and the public;
  • Ensure that projects are completed on schedule, within budget, and are in compliance with applicable codes and regulations;
  • Maintain good communication with neighboring property owners and be considerate of their concerns;
  • Ensure plant administrative, safety, and operating procedures are current and reflect the requirements of other college offices and local, state, and federal regulations;
  • Ensure formal and informal training programs are current, reflect the needs of the various shops and departments, are continuously updated, and provide the knowledge and skills to plant personnel;
  • Ensure that plant personnel and other affected departments and consultants are actively engaged and are provided the opportunity to be involved in the decision- making process;
  • Ensure a high standard of transparency in plant decision making;
  • Create and foster a constructive working relationship with the union and a positive working atmosphere for all employees of physical plant; and
  • Serve as a member of the Hamilton Emergency Response Team (HERT) & Hamilton Incident Management Team (HIMT)


The Associate Vice President for Facilities & Planning and Director of Physical Plant will have the following experiences, capabilities, and attributes:

  • A proven record of visionary leadership, facilities management, and budget experience;
  • The ability to lead with both a decisive and consultative style, foster open communications, and proactively build positive relationships with faculty, staff, students and diverse constituencies;
  • A track record of successfully hiring, developing, managing, and mentoring a large staff;
  • Articulate in written and oral communications and have the ability to relate to people at all levels of an organization;
  • A team player who operates with transparency, fosters collaboration within the organization, and has a strong commitment to excellent customer service;
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, and governmental regulations;
  • Ability to analyze and optimize operational systems to improve upon their effectiveness and efficiency;
  • Adept at problem solving and creating solutions;
  • Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals;
  • Expertise in Microsoft Office products;
  • Brings enthusiasm for the job with a customer service approach and be willing to work within a team environment;
  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or related study is required; Master’s degree preferred.

Applicants should submit a resume and letter discussing their interest in the position as well as their accomplishments in relationship to the listed responsibilities and qualifications. Background checks will be performed on all final candidates.

  Applications and nominations should be sent to:


Andy Evans, Principal

Mo Lashendock, Vice President

Neumann Executive Search Partners

Boston, MA

Hamilton College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer and encourages

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