University of Alberta

Director, Buildings, Grounds, and Environmental Services

Building Services

Competition No.  -    A103936244
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

This competition is open to current University of Alberta employees only. 

Reporting to the Associate Vice President Operations and Maintenance (O&M), the Director Buildings Grounds and Environmental Services(BGES), holds a senior position within Operations and Maintenance and is responsible to provide leadership and long range strategic direction for the unit.  

The Director works directly with faculty senior administration, University relations, external government agencies, is required to develop and present strategic and operational information and decision briefs on structural changes, process improvements, human resource challenges and communications advice material to University governance. On a regular basis the Director will update the AVP OM, and other senior members of Facilities & Operations to ensure that the services provided, which include establishing and maintaining strong stakeholder relationships, the provision of landscape design and maintenance, cleaning, and environmental services to all five University campuses and remote research stations meets the needs of the stakeholders and align with University's Vision, Mission and Comprehensive Institutional Plan.  

As the senior representative for standards for grounds for all campuses, the Director is the final authority for landscape design decisions, and holds accountability to sign off on the Landscape content of long range development plans taken thru University governance. Has direct authority to approve or reject landscape decisions and is the holder of accountability of campus grounds maintenance. The Director is often required to provide advice to University relations on questions from the surrounding community such as tree removal, sidewalk and road construction, that if not resolved, could become an issue that affects relations with surrounding communities.  

The Director is the holder of the landscape design guidelines and retains consultants, develops plans, and provides input into capital design for campus landscape. The Director has direct accountability to ensure his staff, consultants and contractors through landscape projects enhance the beauty and maintain general requirements for landscape that sustain the institution's image and campus experience.  

For the Augustana Campus the Director BGES has an expanded role in also having accountability for building maintenance, planning for minor projects and direct interaction with operation and maintenance requirements for the Camrose Performing Arts Centre. This accountability includes direct engagement with the Dean of the Augustana campus for operations and maintenance support to the campus.  

BGES is comprised of five service areas which work in conjunction to provide, Customer Liaison, Augustana Campus, Cleaning, Grounds and Environmental Services. The Director is responsible for ensuring that each of these areas, although providing a specialized service operates in a fashion that supports the vision & mission of the department, Portfolio and the University. The Director is responsible for the provision of leadership, direction & guidance for five direct reports and in excess of 200 indirect reports and is responsible for the financial management of $34,000,000 in combined budgets.  

The Director is expected to be involved with and play an active role in University committees, building trust and strong relationships. The Director is required to maintain memberships in applicable support organizations (IFMA, APPA) and serves on boards or committees of external organizations.  

The position is a member of the Critical Incident Management Team and is also a member of the F&O Environmental Health & Safety Committee.


Strategic Leadership

  • Provides strategic recommendations; identifies and mitigates risks, prioritizes initiatives and issue management.
  • Develops the strategy, framework and operational plans for the provision of unit services for today as well as into the future and reports on implementation status.
  • Develops and maintain fair performance criteria and performance measures to ensure that unit operations can be measured effectively and reports on status.
  • Develops the unit business plan.
  • Provides strategic direction for new initiative development that is a fundamental management philosophy of continuous improvement for all service areas under this position.
  • Develops a strategy for the unit that fits the F&O and UA Vision and the portfolio business plan, ensures that the strategy is communicated to and understood by staff, and service providers. Measures and reports on the success of implementation on an annual basis.
  • Provides leadership, input and approvals for Campus Landscape Designs and Open Space Plans.
  • Reviews building plans, applicable contracts and provides input to ensure University standards are met in the areas of service contracts, minor project work, furnishings, F&O support spaces and building finishes.
  • Works in a collaborative communication model with the surrounding communities and municipalities to incorporate joint decision processes into campus landscape, sidewalk, pathway and roadway improvements.
  • Maintains close working relationships with the applicable municipal government on operational needs for shared infrastructure.
  • Appointed by VP Facilities & Operations to internal and external committees to represent Portfolio and UofA interests such as, the PAW Steering Committee, Campus Open Space Advisory Committee, Waste Diversion Working Group.

Operational Leadership

  • Manages, plans, organizes, directs and evaluates the operations of five service units to ensure a safe, healthy, sustainable environment for students, staff and visitors to the University.
  • Works with direct reports and develops and sets goals, communicates to staff, the Campus community and contract service providers.
  • Develops budgets and priorities, ensures that standards are adhered to through training and inspection, and ensures that staff and service provider's staff are trained and aware of applicable University policies and procedures.
  • Responsible to ensure that staff and contractors providing services are aware of and follow safe work practices as described in the University Environmental Health & Safety program as well as local, provincial and federal EHS regulations.
  • Responsible to ensure that all Division operations are current and apply industry best practices. This is accomplished through the continuous review of current practices, staying informed of new chemicals, equipment and practices in the industry and benchmarking with other post-secondary institutions local, national and international.

Financial Management 

  • Responsible for generating revenues from internal and external sources such as the sale of recycle paper, washroom billboards advertising, beverage containers, revenue is also generated through the sale of services and permits.
  • Monitors manpower and equipment to ensure that resources are available to meet the needs of the each facility.
  • Provides cost estimates for project requests by clients.
  • Provides input to AVP identifying current and future unit requirements.
  • Works with Business Support Services to ensure proper accounting and budgeting is maintained
  • Works with Supply Management Services in the preparation of tender documents for services and equipment.
  • Provides financial oversight on several major service contracts including, custodial services, waste removal, snow hauling, pest control and recycle. Provides monthly status reports on expenditures and identifies potential over /under expenditure. Provides solutions to deal with either event.

Staff Development and Management

  • Directs the development and implementation of the HR Strategy that addresses current challenges and opportunities within the marketplace and works with F&O HR to implement strategies.
  • Develops staff by ensuring they have ample opportunities to grow and develop in line with their goals.
  • Develops unit succession plan.
  • Maintains effective staff relations.
  • Guides and supports staff through organizational changes and on complex issues or projects.
  • Anticipates issues, investigate, clarify, inform and problem solve.
  • Facilitates discussions and problem solving to resolve issues in a timely and effective manner where staff issues arise that could impact timing or costs.
  • Works with F&O HR manager in managing conflict and discipline issues, including performance management, coaching, dismissals, and cross-cultural issues.

Other Responsibilities

  • Seeks out opportunities to apply for awards recognizing best in class operational practices.
  • Shares operational practices with other post-secondary institutions and supports Campus Alberta initiatives.
  • Promotes department programs and initiatives with in the University community.
  • On a continuous basis identifies and mitigates risks unit, department Portfolio or University.


  • University Degree in a related field (Facilities Management/Operations, Horticulture and/or Landscape Maintenance)
  • Additional education in areas such as Building Maintenance, Real Estate Management, Property Management, Technical Project Management and Operational Management as it relates to large institutions will be considered an asset.
  • Minimum 15 years of post-qualifying experience in a related leadership role
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities, strong interpersonal and communication skills, staff motivational skills and experience in interactions with the private sector
  • An in-depth understanding of generally accepted accounting principles, and extensive experience in budgeting and financial reporting
  • Demonstrated expertise in strategic financial planning and decision analysis
  • Exceptional problem solving, critical thinking and leadership skills
  • Ability to work effectively with a broad range of individuals, including front-line staff, and senior leadership at the unit, portfolio and institutional levels
  • Excellent organization and time-management skills
  • Full working knowledge of related standards: Occupational Health and Safety, Association of Physical Plant Administrators, BOMA Best
  • Working knowledge and application of LEAN management practices

In accordance with the Administrative and Professional Officer Agreement, this full-time continuing position offers a comprehensive benefits package found at Faculty & Staff Benefits and offers an annual salary range of $83,138.00 - $138,562.00. 

Along with your resume, please submit a cover letter outlining your qualifications. The review of applications will start on July 9, 2018, however, the competition will remain open until filled.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.