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Job ID: 226170

Assistant Vice President of Sustainability
Oakland University

Date Posted Nov. 22, 2023
Title Assistant Vice President of Sustainability
University Oakland University
Rochester, MA, United States
Department Academic Affairs
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Associate Vice-(Provost/Chancellor)
  • Facilities Operations
    Administration - General
This position is posted for faculty and staff. It is one position. The dual posting is intended to attract a broad candidate pool. We encourage anyone who is qualified and interested to apply.

Oakland University is a doctoral/research-intensive public institution that serves an enrollment of over 16,000 students. The university is located thirty miles north of Detroit in suburban Oakland County on 1,500 park-like acres amid a state of immense ecological diversity, a breathtaking range of lakes, streams, natural preservation lands, and the nation's longest freshwater coastline. Oakland University is surrounded by a nexus of urban, suburban and rural communities, and a range of global manufacturers, tech companies and a Who's Who of leading global corporations. The university is integrated in one of the most culturally diverse regions in the country, and strives to be a model campus of diversity, equity and inclusion. Located close to Detroit, which was recently ranked 12th in desirable U.S. cities to live given climate change by Money, Inc (2023). OU offers a unique location wherein the university can collaborate with industry and community to develop model sustainability practices and methods.

The selected candidate will be the "founding director" of the Oakland University Center for Sustainability. As the Assistant Vice President of Sustainability, this leader will establish and oversee the center and play a prominent leadership role in integrating academic programs, research projects, campus operations and strategic community engagement sustainability initiatives with communities throughout the region.

The Assistant Vice President of Sustainability will play an integral role in developing a three-year plan that includes collaborating on a fundraising strategy with Advancement, attracting grants and other types of funding, and creating the groundwork for a "living building" to be located on campus (including participating in the Living Building Challenge), and supported through donations. The "living building" will be the site of sustainability education, research and a symbol of Oakland's commitment to a sustainable society and planet. Ultimately, they are expected to put in place a foundation for the Center's long-term financial viability.

Internally, the Assistant Vice President of Sustainability is responsible for fostering a culture of sustainability on OU's campus by identifying, coordinating, and serving as a catalyst for units and individuals who are implementing sustainability programs; and engaging with executive campus leadership, faculty, staff, and students to foster sustainability broadly across campus units. Furthermore, the Assistant Vice President of Sustainability develops the annual sustainability planning priorities for the campus; identifies annual expected outcomes, and coordinates appropriate evaluation of these efforts, including a highly collaborative working relationship with the respective staffs in Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, facilities management, procurement, waste management, energy, transportation, food/dining and Human Resources.

The Assistant Vice President of Sustainability works closely with the Center's Executive Committee to clarify the mission, vision, goals, and a strategic plan for advancing the Center. The Executive Committee is composed of faculty members, a representative from the President's Office, a representative from University Advancement, a representative from Student Affairs, a staff representative, and a representative from Finance and Administration.

In public matters, the Assistant Vice President will be the university spokesperson for sustainability related issues, and will engage with communities in supporting the university's community engagement principles, while promoting relevant university community expertise in sustainability. The Assistant Vice President will be the key contact with the Oakland County Director of Sustainability in the on-going development of the county-wide sustainability plan.

  • Leads effort to develop, enhance, and implement the Oakland University's Sustainability Plan.
  • Promotes and supports the development of academic sustainability research, teaching, and learning.
  • Works closely with OU facilities department and others around campus to engage in a collaborative, integrative and coherent university sustainability team.
  • Conducts collaborative research, analyses, and public process to identify, develop, and manage innovative and effective programs to improve the overall sustainability of the university campus.
  • Monitors, measures, and reports program performance.
  • Prioritizes proposed environmental projects and creates a unified strategy to move OU towards sustainability in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
    • Important issues to address include energy use and conservation, water conservation, recycling and waste reduction, transportation choices, building design, and education.
    • Proposes sustainability initiatives or provides the necessary background research on initiatives proposed by other departments while assessing short- and long-term cost effectiveness, technical feasibility, and probability of achieving acceptance.
    • Maintains and updates an information database to monitor emissions on campus. Measures and reports information regarding emissions through graphs, charts, and visual displays. Offers data-informed recommendations on how to reduce energy use and emissions.
  • Identifies key grants and funding sources to support the office and sustainability initiatives.
  • Work closely with OU Advancement to support fundraising strategies related to sustainability.
  • Attends workshops, seminars and conferences related to energy and sustainability for professional development through networking opportunities.
  • Participates in regional and state efforts on sustainability practices.
  • Develops, collaborates and leads sustainability (education) awareness campaigns on and off campus.

  • To be determined based on the development of the Center for Sustainability, and implementation of the three-year plan.

  • Academic Affairs (reports directly to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost)
  • Three-year appointment is based on current funding. The Assistant Vice President is expected to engage in fundraising efforts to build endowment to fund directorship and Center for Sustainability.


Candidates will provide a Diversity Statement that describes their interest or efforts in furthering diversity and inclusion, e.g., through mentoring, pedagogy, activism, faculty recruitment/retention, or research on issues related to diversity and social inequality. Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2024 and continue until the position is filled. Questions may be directed to Frank Provenzano:

  • Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Policy or Management, Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Humanities, or related field.
  • Participation in The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability (AASHE), United States Green Building Council (USGBC), International Well Building Institute (IWBI), or International Living Future Institute (ILFI).
  • Three to five years related professional experience including development and implementation of energy efficiency, renewable energy, carbon reduction and general sustainability programs.
  • Evidence of a collaborative leadership style and ability to work effectively with faculty, staff, facilities and administration.


Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Frank Provenzano
    Academic Affairs
    Oakland University Log in


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