The George Mason University, Department of Capital Strategy and Planning invites applications for a Campus Planner. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.
About the Department:
The Capital Strategy and Planning Department works with George Mason’s leadership, schools, and units to develop and manage the University’s capital improvement program in pursuit of project approval and funding for investment in projects to support strategic capital plans. Capital Strategy and Planning works closely with the Facilities Department throughout the planning process on each capital project to ensure a smooth transition to implementation by Facilities through subsequent design and construction.
Department staff manage a rigorous capital planning framework, which integrates unit programmatic planning with capital-related project plans, including scope, budgets, cost estimating, schedule, logistics, risk, and communication strategies. The framework includes a prioritization process to ensure the capital improvement program is aligned with the University’s strategic goals, Master Plan and operational budget. Using this framework, in consultation with the Office of Strategic Budgeting & Planning, the Department staff develop a capital plan and capital financing plan for the University, including both short- and long-range plans for the development and execution of capital improvement projects. The Department is responsible for project update and capital plan submissions to the Finance and Land Use Committee of the Board of Visitors in conjunction with the annual operating plan, approved by the Board and submissions to the Commonwealth of Virginia, as required.
About the Position:
The primary function of this position is project management, working with University schools and units to manage multiple predominantly consultant-led capital planning projects from preliminary scoping through conceptual planning and project approval and funding in preparation for architect/contractor engagement. Based on these planning analyses, the planner will assist with the University prioritization of these projects and inclusion in both long (6 year) and short term (2 year) Commonwealth of Virginia planning and approval requirements. The planner will also be a resource available to the University Facilities design and construction staff and the Budget Office staff once a project receives final approval.
The work for this position will predominantly be on our Fairfax campus, with 1-2 days a week of telework, schedule permitting.
Capital Planning Project Analysis and Management:
Responsible for managing predominantly consultant-led planning activity by working with University Business Units to identify user’s needs for assigned projects. Assist in developing scope, budget, and schedule related tasks for assigned projects, including: Provide technical information, analysis and advice on building space needs, utilization and standards to committees of current or prospective occupants who recommend or determine building needs and priorities;
Supervise preparation of and/or review documentation supporting annual major and minor capital improvement programs;
Assist with preliminary project scoping and cost estimating;
Assist Space Management and campus stakeholders with space request alternatives analyses.
Perform or manage Needs Assessment, Business Case Analyses and Financial Feasibility Analyses studies with consultant support as required in support of project justification;
Complete analyses as required in support of project prioritization or Capital Plan development;
Prepare executive summaries and presentation materials as required for project approval and funding;
Respond to stakeholder and consultant requests for information in a timely manner;
Effectively communicate with project sponsor to ensure sponsor satisfaction with the planning process and outcomes;
Identify and mitigate planning risks and constraints throughout the planning process.
Consultant Selection & Management:
Develop project scope of services as required on assigned projects and coordinate with contracts for solicitation of RFQ or proposal request; issuance of contract or task order;
Participate in consultant selection as requested;
Serve as primary point of contact with consultants for assigned projects throughout the duration of the project planning phase;
Coordinate preparation of special studies requested by the University, Commonwealth or Federal levels of authority on various aspects of educational facilities programming and utilization;
Maintain a working knowledge of consultant contractual responsibilities (including the requirements set forth in the contract MOU and CPSM (Construction and Professional Services Manual)), and administer consultant contracts for all assigned projects through the planning process;
Promptly address consultant performance issues if performance does not meet contractual obligations;
Facilitate consultant dispute resolution;
Review RFQ submissions and take part in interviews / procurement process as requested;
Administer consultant contracts on all assigned projects;
Notify the consultant(s) in writing of problems and request confirmation of corrective actions if required;
Maintain schedule and budget and ensure quality delivery;
Establish communication plans with planning consultants at the inception of each planning study;
Work strategically to identify and resolve issues throughout the planning process;
Maintain schedule and budget and ensure quality delivery of all contracted services. Ensure that the consultant submittals are compliant with the HECO (Higher Education Capital Outlay) Manual, Mason Design Guidelines and programmatic expectations.
Stakeholder Communication & Management:
Coordinate the preliminary planning and programming phases of construction projects for both new construction and major renovations;
Serve as primary point of contact with academic and business unit representatives for assigned planning projects throughout the duration of the planning;
With academic and business unit representatives develop project objectives, program requirements, schedule requirements and a project budget;
Develop / Utilize a consistent way to communicate project status;
Establish communication plans with project stakeholders at project inception;
Conduct project planning with a proactive approach;
Develop project plan, hold periodic project meetings during all stages of the project, meet with User representatives and coordinate the input of many constituents;
Demonstrate clear and professional communication skills both written and verbal;
Promptly and formally communicate outstanding issues to project team;.
Educate clients in understanding their role/responsibilities related to the project;
Keep clients informed of project status/issues;
Perform other duties, as assigned.
Project Management & Administration:
Utilize departmental and University standards for organizing, naming, and maintaining project files;
Ensure maintenance of project files in project management software and departmental file shares including timely uploading of documents, completion of templates and manage project approvals for budget, contracts, and schedules;
Prepare project meeting agendas and minutes, or ensure completeness and accuracy of meeting minutes prepared by consultants or contractors;
Provide planning study deliverables to project stakeholders as appropriate and manage timely comment incorporation for comprehensive project documentation;
Solicit and review project work plan and schedule at from engaged consultants upon initiation of each planning study;
Monitor project schedules and budgets and notify stakeholders if schedule overruns or budget shortfalls are likely to occur;
Periodically review project file folders to ensure that the documentation is being filed in a timely manner and in accordance with established office procedures;
Conduct project planning to ensure planning deadlines are met;
Complete project planning tasks using established processes and templates;
Monitor project budgets and schedules and notify the appropriate parties of potential budget and/or schedule overruns and likelihood of occurrence;
Ensure comprehensive documentation, review and response to stakeholder comments for assigned planning projects;
Participate in lessons learned debriefs to continuously improve process(es).
Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or Architecture, or equivalent combination of education/experience required;
Progressive career experience with a minimum of 2 years experience
Demonstrated ability to analyze user requirements, prioritize and develop project plans, and manage multiple projects simultaneously;
Demonstrated project planning and management skills, including project scoping, development of workplans, planning and managing schedules, identifying and managing dependencies, and effectively communicating with project stakeholders;
Financial planning and budgeting knowledge and skills with associated planning tools (e.g., Excel, tornado modeling, scenario planning, etc.);
Use objective ranking methods and standard capital project benchmarks to prioritize capital project requests;
Strong computer skills, including spreadsheets, word processing, and presentation software.
Strong organizational and time management skills including the ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure;
Developed oral, text, graphics, visuals, formal and informal communication skills;
Effective interpersonal and relationship building skills at all levels;
Ability to coordinate multiple priorities/actions with desired results.
Broad and in-depth knowledge of architecture/engineering/construction management and the capital planning process and principles;
Experience in an institutional environment such as higher education;
Capital project planning with budgets in excess of $50M.
Special Instructions to Applicants
For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number 03074z at https://jobs.gmu.edu/; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.
George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.