Assoc Vice President
Hyde Park Campus
70720 Commercial Real Estate Operations
About the Unit
The University of Chicago is one of the world's premier teaching and research institutions. Founded in 1890 and located primarily in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, the University comprises an undergraduate college, numerous graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees organized into four divisions, six professional schools (Business, Divinity, Law, Medicine, Public Policy, and Social Service Administration), the nursery-12 Laboratory Schools, four campuses of the University of Chicago charter school, a school of continuing education, a medical center, an institute for molecular engineering, and a marine laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. A faculty numbering more than 2,700 teaches just over 6,300 undergraduates and 9,900 graduate and professional school students. Another 3,700 students are enrolled in the N-12 and charter school programs. The University is also home to an award-winning professional theater and a leading art museum. With facilities in downtown Chicago, Bangladesh, Beijing, London, New Delhi, Paris, Luxor, Singapore, and one in development in Hong Kong, the University of Chicago today is an institution of considerable reach. It attracts faculty and visiting scholars from around the globe and enrolls students from more than 100 countries. In addition, the University manages for the United States Department of Energy two national laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. From its distinctive beginning as one of few research universities in America, to its history of defining disciplines (economics and sociology among them), to its record of 90 affiliated Nobel Prize winners and its current and longstanding culture of intense rigorous analysis and debate, the University of Chicago is among the most distinguished, distinctive, and reputable institutions in the nation and the world. With approximately 20,000 employees, the University is among the largest private employers in Chicago. The University's Hyde Park campus encompasses 217 acres and 187 buildings, 28 of which were newly built or renovated in the past ten years, with additional real estate assets of over 1 million square feet both in downtown Chicago and around the world. Surrounding the main campus, UChicago holds over 600,000 square feet of real estate within the Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and Washington Park neighborhoods. Over the last decade, UChicago has led a range of real estate and economic development initiatives to not only serve the UChicago community but also benefit surrounding residents and businesses, and the City of Chicago at large. University of Chicago's Real Estate Operations (REO - formerly Commercial Real Estate Operations) oversees this off-campus portfolio, which includes retail, office, and vacant land holdings. REO is also responsible for UChicago's larger real estate development initiatives that may utilize sophisticated partnership structures, involve transactions in international markets, and at times utilize 3rd party capital to support ambitious academic and institutional initiatives that in turn foster discovery, innovation, and collaboration. Beyond the physical realm, REO endeavors to create dynamic off-campus experiences that enhance quality of life, and create and capture value for the University and the community.
The Associate Vice President for Real Estate Operations (AVP – REO) will oversee the strategic planning, procurement, disposition, and/or management of all University off-campus and privately developed real estate holdings in the Greater Chicagoland area and around the world. The AVP responsibilities will include the planning, design and construction of off-campus real estate holdings around UChicago's Main Campus; strategic management and operation of the University's real estate and lease portfolio; strategic acquisitions of real estate property; cultivation and oversight of private-sector real estate partnerships, and the planning and management of the capital budget and lease budget for these properties. The AVP leads a REO team of six people and oversees a 3rd party property management and leasing team for the University's local commercial portfolio. The AVP will have a dual reporting line. The AVP reports directly to the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for all large-scale and/or complex financial transactions, in the CFO's capacity as Chair of the University's Deal Review Process (which is a committee of select University Officers that oversees such transactions and reports to the President of the University and is also overseen by the Subcommittee on Real Estate of the University Board of Trustees). For all other matters (e.g., planning, leasing, operations, strategy, acquisitions, etc.) the AVP will report to Vice President for Civic Engagement and External Affairs, given the close connection of these functions to external (city/community) dynamics. The Vice President for Civic and External Affairs, Vice President and CFO, and the AVP will work in close partnership to ensure that the overall real estate operation is governed in a collaborative, coordinated and cohesive manner, and the selected candidate will work closely with the University's Financial Planning and Analysis function on key initiatives.
Beyond the requisite real estate expertise, the selected candidate must possess a few other important skillsets. The AVP must be comfortable operating within a University setting, fully understanding how real estate can support institutional and academic strategy, as well as the particular considerations required when evaluating the financial and reputational implications of large transactions or initiatives on behalf of the University. The AVP needs an expansive ability to engage strategically – considering district-wide and socio-economic impacts, and utilize well-honed and forward thinking urban design and planning principles, while also working at a transactional level, leading project negotiation and financing efforts with the ability to understand how to best capture maximum value for the University. Finally the AVP needs to be passionate about cities, communities, and the role that Universities can play in such environs, and be able to communicate this ethos both within the University and out in the community.
- Develop a vision and strategic plan for REO that reflects a new vision for development initiatives that serve the University's long term academic and research mission while supporting the needs of students, faculty, staff and community.
- Oversee the review, analysis and lead negotiations for real estate transactions, regardless of size; to include acquisitions, dispositions, leasing and sub-leasing activities to best maximize the University's interests, financial objectives and market presence.
- Prepare financial analysis and documentation in coordination with the University's Financial Planning and Analysis team that supports key decision-making processes for real estate transactions, and oversee the performance of required due diligence activities in evaluating new real estate deals.
- Manage and administer the University's real estate portfolio, including off-campus commercial holdings. Analyze the performance of the portfolio holdings to accurately ensure Landlord and Tenant commitments are being properly upheld. Provide accurate and factual information to the University community that supports informed and intelligent business decision processes, including for potential gift properties.
- Leverage underutilized University real estate assets through strategic redevelopment, including pursuing transactions with third-party entities on University-controlled land in the best interests of the University.
- Perform professional review of real estate designs, renovations and new construction scopes in terms of life cycle operations, costing and maintenance requirements.
- Serve as representative to academic and administrative campus departments and represent REO in a collegial, responsive, flexible, customer-friendly and professional manner. Ensure timely and thorough responses to the needs of the University community and prioritize finite resources appropriately.
- Serve as lead staffer for the University of Chicago Deal Review Team and present capital project resolutions for approval and/or provide project updates to said Team as well as the relevant committees and sub-committees of the University's Board of Trustees.
- Lead the strategic planning process for the University's real estate/economic development activity in the neighborhoods surrounding the University, with an eye towards how such activity can both advance the interests and priorities of the University as well as enhance the quality of life in the local community.
- Manage the University's assets and real estate acquisition strategy in a professional and cost effective manner that balances the need for growth and expansion with the need for community continuity.
- Regularly review activities to measure performance against goals. Ensure the effective and efficient use of all assigned physical, human and capital resources, while taking action to correct unfavorable trends.
- Forge and maintain close relationships with community organizations and local elected officials.
- Serve as a guide, coach and mentor to direct reports and staff. Create and sustain an environment that fosters teamwork, excellence, cooperation, respect and diversity. Organize, train, evaluate and inspire the REO team.
- Recommend and implement policies, planning guidelines and procedures in areas of responsibility.
- A diplomatic and flexible management style that is hands on, fair and sets high expectations.
- Interpersonal, problem solving, presentation and analytical skills along with sound judgment and the ability to be an advocate for the best interest of the departments within the organization.
- A self-starter with a sense of urgency, a strong work ethic and the ability to prioritize and adapt to changing circumstances in an entrepreneurial environment.
- A high level of energy, self-confidence, a positive ‘can-do' attitude and the ability to function in a fast-paced and high-expectation environment.
- Unimpeachable integrity, fairness and trustworthiness.
Education and Experience:
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major or degree in engineering, architecture, business administration or a related field.
- Minimum of 10 years of real estate-related experience in a higher education, health care or related corporate facilities environment, with at least five of those years serving as a senior manager.
- Extensive experience managing a complex real estate operation.
- Direct knowledge of capital markets and financing mechanisms and structures that can deliver projects that meet institutional goals as well as economic targets.
- High level of knowledge of the regulatory environment, including construction permitting requirements, workplace safety requirements and environmental regulations as needed.
- Experience in leading negotiations on large scale and/or complex financial transactions.
- Experience in budget preparation and fiscal management.
- Understanding of urban planning and how cities and communities work, especially in regards to community engagement for specific development projects.
- Interest in working within an organization with high standards of performance.
- Demonstrated technical competencies in areas of responsibility and the ability to analyze data and draw logical conclusions and recommendations. Must be a proven collaborator with the ability to communicate clearly and succinctly, both in writing and orally, in one-on-one as well as small and large group settings.
- Experience in guiding organizational culture change.
- Cover Letter
NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application
The University of Chicago offers an attractive benefits package including tuition remission, a Contributory Retirement Plan with the University contributing 8% of covered payroll, a Supplemental Retirement Program, and an opportunity to join a talented team of professionals helping the University maintain its quality reputation.
For more information about the University of Chicago, please visit https://humanresources.uchicago.edu.
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