Director of Sustainability

University of Minnesota
Organization Summary

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation's most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.

Posting Date
Closing Date
Location in MN
Job type
Primary Duties

About the Job

Description of Position
The Director of Campus Sustainability provides strategic leadership for sustainability on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota. The incumbent will lead operations sustainability planning and initiatives, and work with other University units to integrate sustainability into strategic and annual work plans. Through this work and other efforts, the Director will foster systemic change and support the development of a culture of sustainability.

The position is located on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota, reporting to the Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and the Chief Sustainability Officer. The Director is embedded in the University Services organization, working closely with the leadership teams of Facilities Management, Auxiliary Services, Capital Project Management, and Planning, Space, and Real Estate. The position collaborates with these leaders, the campus sustainability committee, and other leadership across campus on advancing operations sustainability. Work may address, but is not limited to, the following areas: energy efficiency, energy supply, waste management, grounds, construction, stormwater, transportation, food service, purchasing, materials, work practices, campus planning, and training. This position supervises two full-time employees and several student employees. The position collaborates often with and guides the work of other University Services staff that are key to sustainability efforts. 


• Work with the University Services Vice President, Associate/Assistant Vice Presidents, and function leaders to establish strategic goals and objectives for operations sustainability on the Twin Cities campus.
• Serve as a key contributor to and leader in the development of a Climate Action Plan for the Twin Cities campus, providing content expertise and liaison to operations staff during this effort.
• Lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive operations sustainability plan.
• Provide programs, resources, tools, and other support to enable University functions and units to integrate sustainability into departmental strategic plans and work plans related to operations.

Program and Initiative Leadership:
• Drive systemic change by identifying, developing, leading, catalyzing, and/or maintaining strategic, transformative, organizationally cross-cutting sustainability programs and initiatives to implement the climate and sustainability plans.
• Work with leaders and subject matter experts in operations and functions units to support their sustainability efforts, and ensure implementation of initiatives that are key to University sustainability goals.
• Actively and effectively advocate for the integration of sustainability principles and practices into policies, rules, procedures, operations, contracted and self-performed services and actions.
• Lead efforts to build a program that fosters collaboration between operations and the academic mission, developing structures and systems to foster research, curricular, and experiential learning partnerships that advance operations sustainability.

Reporting, Evaluation, and Metrics: 
• Lead operations input to external sustainability assessments (e.g. AASHE STARS, THE Impact Rankings) and internal strategic reporting.
• Lead the integration of sustainability metrics and assessment tools into practice to support program development, improvement, planning, and other activities.

Outreach and Engagement: 
• Oversee the development and implementation of operations sustainability communication tools and media, such as the It All Adds Up sustainability campaign, to support institutional sustainability goals
• Ensure the development of sustainability engagement programs and training to foster involvement, collaboration, self-organization, and action by students and employees in campus sustainability efforts.
• Present to departments, student clubs and organizations, classes, campus governance, and other groups.
• Serve on and provide support to the Twin Cities Campus Sustainability Committee.

Team Development:
• Build and support the team of University Services staff responsible for developing and implementing sustainability related programs to advance strategic goals and objectives.
• Supervise and mentor two sustainability staff plus student staff. Has the authority to hire, transfer, promote, discharge, suspend, assign work, reward, discipline, and direct the work of these employees.
• Participate in University of Minnesota systemwide initiatives and teams.
Work Environment
The work is performed in a hybrid environment, with some work performed remotely and some in a general office setting. Occasional travel to facilities and sites on the Twin Cities campus and other locations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.  Occasional travel to other campuses in the University of Minnesota system.



Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor's degree in related field and a minimum of eight years of experience in increasingly responsible professionally related work.

Preferred Qualifications
Masters degree. Degree in Sustainability, Planning, Environmental Management, Engineering, or related field. Experience with life cycle analysis, systems mapping, greenhouse gas inventory and emissions reduction planning, waste reduction and minimization, sustainable agriculture and food systems, environmentally preferred procurement, applied psychology and prosocial behavior, sustainable transportation, clean energy development and energy conservation, sustainable construction, urban planning, or other subject matter areas related to sustainable campus operations. A minimum of two years supervising others.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
• The ability and commitment to foster a healthy workplace environment that seeks and values diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion.
• Knowledge of sustainability concepts and best practices.
• Ability to foster systemic change.
• Ability to make decisions in unique situations and with no guidance.
• Ability to support executive-level decision-making.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to listen well and work effectively with individuals at all levels of the organization. 
• Ability to build and maintain relationships with stakeholders and partners.
• Ability to lead and facilitate change within a large, dynamic organization.
• Ability to energize people around a cause or initiative.
• Ability to work effectively on both high-level, strategic issues and tactical deliverables.
• Ability to lead effective cross-functional teams and build consensus.
• Qualitative and quantitative analysis skills including the ability to collect interpret and critically analyze information.

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