Job ID: 225728

Associate Provost of Sustainability

Oakland University

  • Nov. 15, 2023
  • Associate Provost of Sustainability
  • Academic Affairs
  • Oakland University
    Rochester, MA
  • Open until filled
  • Available immediately
  • Associate Provost/Chancellor
  • Administration - General
    Facilities Operations
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 associate provost" of the Oakland University Center for Sustainability. As the Associate Provost 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 Associate Provost 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 Associate Provost 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 Associate Provost 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 Associate Provost 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 Associate Provost 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 Associate Provost will be the key contact with the Oakland County Director of Sustainability in the on-going development of the county-wide sustainability plan.

The Associate Provost will maintain an active role in teaching and research with the possibility of this position coming with tenure as Assistant Vice President or Associate Provost depending on experience. Consideration for faculty appointment will be made commensurate with teaching and research experience in a relevant school or college based on expertise. As an academic administrator, the primary role is administrative (not teaching, research and service), but there will be opportunities to engage in teaching, research and service.

  • 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.

Oakland University offers competitive salaries and an excellent benefit program including a comprehensive medical plan with low contribution amounts for our employees, dental and vision plans at no cost for our employees, generous paid time off plans, a generous University contribution to our 403(b) retirement plan, tuition assistance for our employees and dependents, free access to our Campus Recreation Center and workout facilities, and flexible work schedules and wellness programs. These are current benefit levels subject to future changes. Oakland University offers a strong, University-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, which has garnered national recognition as a top workplace for LGBTQ+ community members; national recognition as a safe workplace, and consistent top ranking for support services to U.S. Military
veteran students.

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

  • This position reports directly to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost.
  • Three-year appointment is based on current funding. The Associate Provost is expected to be engaged in fundraising efforts to build endowment to fund directorship and Center for Sustainability.

  • 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.
  • Preferably, academic record suitable for faculty appointment at a senior rank, and administrative experience at the department, school, or university level.
  • Evidence of a collaborative leadership style and ability to work effectively with faculty, staff, facilities and administration.

  • Demonstrated ability to acquire extramural funding.
  • Demonstrated history of publication in peer reviewed journals, books, and other venues.
  • Evidence or potential for effective teaching and presentation.
  • Evidence of effective service in related professional organizations.
  • Ability to create, interpret, and execute a budget.
  • Institutionalize sustainability. Ability to work proactively to integrate sustainability into the core responsibilities and daily activities of faculty, students, and staff.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Presentation skills required to deliver proposals to varying groups of individuals.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Advanced knowledge and experience in environmental management, climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energy, environmental justice and equity, and environmental sustainability principles.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to maintain effective working relationships with business contacts, the general public, boards, consultants, and with employees at all levels of the university.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently with minimal supervision, prioritize and resolve problems, work under pressure, and coordinate and manage complex projects.
  • Ability to research, analyze and synthesize complex information, develop and present recommendations and prepare concise written reports, correspondence and recommendations.
  • Resourcefulness and creativity in drafting new policies and procedures to meet program needs.
  • Proven ability to foster collaboration across diverse constituencies in a large organization. Demonstrated ability to effectively represent and coordinate initiatives with senior-level management and external agencies. Ability to lead, engage and motivate groups to meet common objectives. Ability to listen and learn and engender trust among various constituencies.
  • Ability and willingness to attend evening meetings and occasional weekend work.
  • Experience with, and knowledge of, computer hardware and the Windows/Microsoft Office platform and software pertaining to the documentation sustainability related initiatives.


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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