Assistant Director, Grounds Services

Apply now Job no: 521514
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Grounds Departments
Pay Grade: 30
Categories: Facilities/Grounds

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Under the general direction of the Associate Director for Grounds Special Projects and Events, the Assistant Director for the Grounds Services primary focus is the oversight of the approximately 1,450 acres of the Amherst campus, along with satellite facilities.  This position manages, plans, and leads landscape sustainability, construction, conservation, wildlife habitat initiatives, snow removal, customer service, the comprehensive Waste and Recycling Management program and works in collaboration with university and private partners. 


Essential Functions

  • Manage department workforce and contractors by providing direction, planning, prioritizing, scheduling and oversee quality control of grounds department.  
  • Hire, train, supervise staff by providing guidance, development, performance evaluations and discipline as needed. 
  • Work with other university personnel in a professional, supportive, and courteous manner in carrying out department responsibilities. 
  • Support and facilitate student internships and participation by demonstrating capacity, skill, and willingness to engage students. 
  • Participate in capital planning meetings, representing grounds department needs. 
  • Plan and prepare the annual grounds budget request. 
  • Direct snow plowing and other related services such as sanding during winter storms and other weather emergencies. 
  • Assist in the contracting process for Grounds projects, develop scope of work, detail specifications and supervise contractor compliance.  
  • Be a grounds department presence on campus by walking the campus and meeting with staff on job sites. 
  • Enact clear and open lines of communication, maintain appropriate levels of confidentiality, and cultivate a staff culture rooted in collaboration, civility, adaptability, and professionalism. 
  • Support utilization of business systems and applications to ensure effective utilization of the CMMS and other advanced software to manage resources, prepare reports, presentation and other communications utilizing, GIS, In-Vision, CMMS, etc. 
  • Act as a proponent of sustainable planning, low maintenance and environmentally responsible outdoor spaces by use of sustainable planting, permeable pavers, reduction of salt usage, conservation of water, use of alternative fueled equipment and vehicles, increasing recycling, reducing trash, and identifying new trash diversion options. Participate in and support all Campus Sustainability initiatives, including student-led ones.  
  • Help devise eradication plan for invasive species. 
  • Manage IPM program for reducing pesticides and herbicides.  
  • Lead departments forward-thinking approach to landscape design, maintenance, operations, and other landscaping techniques.   
  • Meet routinely with campus customers to determine their needs and to ensure follow through and quality assurance. 
  • Work with outside agencies such as MADEP (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection) and MRF (Springfield Materials Recycling Facility). 
  • Oversight for waste removal and recycling efforts on campus. 
  • Implement procedures (electrically/GIS) to assure quality improvement and a clear customer service commitment. 
  • Address workplace concerns; work with Human Resources, Labor Relations, and bargaining unit staff to resolve personnel matters. Act, as needed, by participating in grievance investigations and second step grievance hearing officer. 


Other Functions

  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Associate’s Degree in facilities management or related field with seven (7) years' progressive, related experience. A Bachelor’s Degree in facilities management or related field may be substituted for two (2) years of the required experience.
  • Minimum of four (4) years supervising full-time, non-student staff.
  • Management experience of a large full-time staff (25 or more) within a unionized environment.
  • Valid Massachusetts Driver's License.
  • Ability to use typical office suite software and CMMS software.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead, train, and develop supervisors to ensure effective management of indirect reports.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a commitment to team success including ability to relate effectively with a highly diverse work force; ability to establish and maintain positive, effective working relationships; ability to honor privacy/confidentiality.
  • Superior communication (oral and written) and active listening skills.
  • Demonstrated project management skills with emphasis on sustainability, snow removal operations, wetlands management and utility support, and effective completion and delegation of routine work and projects.
  • Ability to effectively develop and deliver trainings, presentations, and reports to meeting organization goals and objectives.
  • Experience in vendor management, large- and small-scale contracts, and purchasing required for landscape and construction maintenance and related operations.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • APPA Certified Educational Facilities Professional certification.
  • MA Construction Supervisor’s License.
  • Relevant work experience specific to a college/university setting.
  • Working knowledge of relevant policies, codes, and best practices, including, but not limited to, ADA compliance and federal and state wetlands and sustainability laws and guidelines.
  • Active involvement in professional association(s) that relate to the nature of Grounds work. 


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment.
  • Work may involve exposure to all weather condition with the ability to engage in significant physical activity, including inspecting trenches, evaluating icy sidewalk conditions, and ability to respond to emergencies whenever required.


 Additional Details

  • Receives guidance and goals from the Associate Director for Grounds Special Projects and Events. However, the incumbent works independently and consults with the Associate Director when clarifications or interpretations of university policies are required.
  • This position is designated as essential personnel.


Work Schedule

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30AM – 5:00PM.
  • Depending on department needs may require evening, weekend and holiday coverage as business needs dictate. 


Salary Information

Level 30

Exempt Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

In addition to the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and three (3) professional references. 



UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.