Director of Systems, Environmental Safety and Sustainability

Bennington, Vermont, United States | Full-time


Bennington College invites applications for a Director of Systems, Environmental Safety and Sustainability to join a dynamic and highly engaged Facilities Management team. This newly-created position is responsible for the day-to-day management and operations of the College’s mechanical systems infrastructure, safety compliance and sustainability plan. The Director serves as part of the Buildings & Grounds leadership team and will work in close partnership with the Associate Vice President for Facilities Management, to whom they will report. The Director of Systems, Environmental Safety and Sustainability is expected to develop a strategic and proactive operations plan that meets the evolving needs of a small and active campus community, ensuring that students, faculty, staff and guests of the College have a safe, healthy and comfortable living, learning and working environment.

The Director of Systems, Environmental Safety and Sustainability oversees and manages a highly engaged and committed technical team (boiler attendants, electricians and plumbers) and is responsible for ensuring that staff have the training and expertise to effectively respond to the needs of campus. The Director serves as the internal expert on systems and facilities safety matters, ensuring compliance with applicable federal, state and local regulations related to environmental, health and safety regulations. The Director will engage with a range of campus constituents, including students, to advance this work. The Director of Systems, Environmental Safety and Sustainability serves as part of the regular on-call response team and is required to respond to campus emergency situations that involve facilities, weather and related incidents. 

The Director is expected to evaluate, assess and lead the long-term sustainability goals for the College, building on the progress made to date including plans outlined in the Climate Action Plan (CAP) which showcases the College’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. The College’s biomass facility, as noted within the Climate Action Plan, is a 4,800-square-foot addition to the College's utility plant which has resulted in a drastic reduction of the campus's carbon output. It provides 85 percent of the heat for the Bennington College campus. 

General Responsibilities

The Director of Systems, Environmental Safety and Sustainability is primarily responsible for ensuring the proper operation and maintenance of all College building and infrastructure systems; participating in College safety initiatives; ensuring compliance with applicable federal, state and local regulations, and ensuring that the College complies with all environmental, health and safety regulations; keeping track of required safety plans, audits and training requirements and striving to ensure that plans and inspections are complete and up to date.  

As directed (and in the absence of the Associate Vice President for Facilities), the Director will supervise additional Buildings and Grounds staff as well as contracted service providers, and other College personnel re-assigned to Buildings and Grounds seasonally. The Director will work with external partners such as Efficiency Vermont and AASHE to develop, implement and track sustainability-oriented improvements to campus facilities. The position will also work with campus constituents to help identify problems and develop solutions and improvements to create and maintain environmental health and safety standards within the community.

This position is campus-based and is considered an essential function of the position.

  • Oversee all building and campus mechanical systems and infrastructure including, but not limited to, biomass boiler steam heating & domestic hot water (DHW), oil and propane fired heating & DHW, geothermal, HVAC, electrical, fire alarm, plumbing, fire protection, domestic water supply, mechanical rooms, and generators.Coordinate systems management to ensure continuous operation of College facilities. Work collaboratively with Associate Vice President for Facilities, Assistant Director of Operations, College Design Coordinator, Buildings and Grounds/Conference Services Assistant, and other staff as needed to ensure efficient and effective allocation and scheduling of College resources as needed.
    1. Perform regular inspections of systems to develop maintenance needs. Work with all Facilities and other relevant College personnel to develop schedules to implement system maintenance making sure to accommodate scheduling needs from all college departments.

    2. Direct investigation of reported deficiencies/code violations; ensure resolution and compliance as needed.

    3. Track and furnish institutional systems statistics as needed internally and in response to external approved requests.

    4. Schedule and oversee contracted services within the approved budget and for approved work on campus.

    5. Coordinate, manage and maintain the College's participation and membership within the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), ensuring that the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) reporting is completed on an annual basis. 

    6. Schedule and direct testing for fire prevention and safety as required by Local, State and Federal regulations

    7. Evaluate, assess and lead the long-term sustainability goals for the college

  • Oversee the development, implementation and ongoing maintenance of required written health and safety programs and plans.  These include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Hazardous Communications Program

    2. Exposure Control Program (Bloodborne Pathogens, TB)

    3. Hazard Assessment and Personal Protective Equipment Program (PPE)

    4. Occupational Health and Safety

    5. Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan

    6. Respiratory Protection Program

    7. Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)

    8. Confined Space Entry Program

    9. Emergency Action Plan

    10. Work in partnership with the College’s Chemical Hygiene Officer to monitor and update the College’s Chemical Hygiene Plan. 

  • Promote education and awareness for College staff, faculty and students on health and safety regulations and associated practices.  This entails identifying appropriate training courses and initiatives, and working with other College departments to ensure that there is awareness and collaboration in achieving safety awareness and practices across campus.
    1. Work with Human Resources to develop the annual safety training schedule and position-specific requirements. Work collaboratively with Human Resources and the College’s workers’ compensation carrier to develop and implement training programs. Ensure that safety training and all other specifically required training is provided for all employees.  

    2. Participate on the College’s safety committee.

  • Work with Associate Vice President for Facilities, and other College staff to develop and procure fuel and service contracts for campus mechanical systems.

  • Work with architects, engineers, contractors, and other professionals to maintain or expand the building’s features and capacity to meet strategic goals.

  • Supervise, hire and evaluate all assigned personnel; supervise the broader Facilities Management staff as assigned. Coordinate duties of maintenance staff with Associate Vice President for Facilities as required.   Train staff in the proper and safe procedures and techniques used to respond to system maintenance needs on campus, and ensure that College  policies adhere to local, state and federal regulations. Continuously promote safe work practices.

    1. Manage weekly ADP payroll for all systems personnel, including verifying payroll accounts and researching discrepancies. Ensure compliance with personnel budget.

  • Oversee/prioritize, schedule and monitor completion of work. Establish performance standards for each phase of work and ensure quality of work performed. Correct reported deficiencies and monitor results.

  • Review work orders and perform site inspections to verify quality of work. Follow up with “client” to discuss the project / work order to ensure that work was correct, timely, and complete. Discuss findings with staff to continually improve the quality of service.

  • Maintain inventory of equipment, materials, parts and supplies; ensure proper storage of same.

  • Maintain systems maintenance files and records, as well as safety review documentation related to the above listed programs. Develop a database of system conditions to use in scheduling maintenance.

  • Assist with developing and complying with fiscal year budgets. Develop, review and monitor forecasting budget reports.

  • Coordinate and direct on-call coverage in conjunction with the Associate Vice President for Facilities; respond to calls for emergency systems assistance. Coordinate resolution through designated personnel and/or consultants; continuously monitor resolution as needed.

  • Perform administrative duties, including completion of incident reports and work orders, drafting maintenance policies and procedures, assisting with the development and tracking of Maintenance budget, and other duties as required.

  • Support all facets of the Buildings & Grounds operations to ensure the effective and efficient support for the campus community.

Bennington serves a diverse student population inclusive of members of ethnically/racially minoritized, international, LGBTQIA+, and disability communities as well as diverse gender identities, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, and political beliefs. Our staff and faculty also reflect diverse and intersecting backgrounds and identities. All employees are expected to be respectful and responsive to these differences in the service of building community that promotes student and employee success and community cohesiveness. Each individual (faculty, staff and students) will be accountable for upholding these values. The College’s approach to pluralism and inclusivity—both as fields of inquiry and practice—is to prioritize flexible thought, and to invite the examination of access, value, power, and privilege through its institutional policies and areas of study. We encourage applicants from diverse realms of interest, backgrounds, experience, and accomplishment to apply.


General qualifications should include:    

  • Demonstrated knowledge of relevant systems maintenance practices, federal/state/ local regulations and reporting requirements pertaining to systems management as would be acquired through a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field or equivalent 5 years’ experience; experience with management of institutional environmental services in roles of increasing responsibility preferred. 

  • 2-4 years of experience with supervision and management of facilities personnel required. Demonstrated ability to engage with a team in a positive manner, develop staff and negotiate/resolve conflicts, and foster a safe work environment for employees.

  • Experience with commercial building construction, building systems and the required maintenance procedures for HVAC, electrical, plumbing, fire suppression systems, and low voltage systems preferred.

  • Effective understanding of and current knowledge of regulatory requirements including all applicable federal, state and local regulations governing facilities and environmental services management.

  • Appropriate training in OSHA and VOSHA safety regulations and protocols related to campus facilities management including staffing and procedures. 

  • Proven organizational skills and the ability to be flexible and creatively solve problems.

  • Strong interpersonal skills necessary to maintain positive relations and open communication with students, faculty, staff, and guests. The ability to make sound judgments and respond effectively in a broad range of emergency situations is essential.  Exceptional customer service skills; demonstrated experience interacting and developing relationships with internal customers. Demonstrated ability to multi- task, respond to requests with a sense of urgency, and complete work orders in a timely manner.

  • Must be able to work with limited direction and handle multiple tasks, including detailed process issues.

  • Strong written and oral communication skills; demonstrated computer proficiency using Google Suite and spreadsheet applications, FML systems, building automation systems,  work order system, and other facilities related systems.

The position involves exposure to extreme physical conditions/work environments, temperatures, noise, and weather, among others. Some extended work days/weeks may be required to handle emergency/crisis maintenance situations. The position requires successful completion and acceptable results of a background check.

The College

Bennington College offers a comprehensive benefits program that includes medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, and tuition benefits including Tuition Exchange scholarships. The College also offers an on-site fitness center as well as generous time off benefits.

Bennington College is a laboratory for innovation in higher education. At Bennington, learning and making—on campus and in the field—are inseparable, and its graduates are noted for their outsized impact on the world’s stage. This campus celebrates the ongoing making of work—shared on walls, in shows and performances, in lectures and readings, and in conversations—and believes that equity, diversity, and inclusivity are vital to a collaborative community. This position captures, contributes to, and reflects the ethos of this creative community.

Nestled at the foot of the Green Mountains in Vermont, the campus consists of approximately 370 acres. The College was named one of ten with the best architecture by Architectural Digest.  From campus, it is a short drive to the cultural offerings of the northern Berkshires in Massachusetts, Albany, New York, and many of Vermont’s top recreational centers. New York City, Boston, and Burlington, Vermont are all within three and a half hours by car.