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Vice president for facilities and operations is leaving Brandeis next month

Vice President of Campus Operations Jim Gray will be leaving Brandeis and joining Smith College on April 19 after working for five years at Brandeis, according to Stewart Uretsky, executive vice president for finance and administration. Gray will serve as Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations at Smith.

Gray’s role at Brandeis includes overseeing several departments and teams, including facilities, university services, dining services, environmental health and safety, events management and public safety, according to Uretsky.

“I am most proud of having been a member of the team responsible for the closing of the old Castle, which was a dangerously antiquated building, and the creation of the new Skyline residence hall,” wrote Gray in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. Uretsky said that creating Skyline required Gray to partner with internal stakeholders, the city of Waltham, architects and a construction company to see the project through successfully.

Gray wrote that he is also proud of his work that helped Brandeis increase sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint. Gray’s efforts exceeded the University’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 10 percent by 2018, according to Uretsky.

Gray has led Brandeis’ real estate endeavors, securing additional off-campus space and managing our off-campus holdings. Gray also helped implement a better work order system and a campus-wide stakeholder survey which he said has helped the administration begin to measure the satisfaction of the community and use that feedback to improve customer service.  

“As his record of service to our campus demonstrates, Jim Gray is a leader who is capable of managing numerous projects and institutional priorities regardless of their size and scope. He is a true professional with whom I have had the great pleasure of working with and he will be an equally valuable asset to his new team at Smith,” said Uretsky in an email to The Hoot. “Jim has done a remarkable job both advocating for needed projects and making sure those projects are completed in a fiscally responsible manner.”

Gray said that he has enjoyed working with people who have been committed to making a  bright future for Brandeis. He said that his job at Smith will be similar to the role that he had at Brandeis.

“I was receptive when Smith reached out to me through an executive recruiting firm largely because of the attractiveness to me and my partner of Northampton and Western Mass, which we like very much,” said Gray. “Also, Smith College is an exceptional place with a great mission, as is Brandeis of course. The beautiful and well cared for Smith Campus, designed by the most famous American landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, was also an attraction.”

Gray said that he will be spending his final days at Brandeis transitioning several special projects and helping think through how the workload will be managed after he leaves and how to find a new VP for Campus Operations at Brandeis.

Brandeis will conduct a nationwide search for a new Senior Vice President of Campus Operations, beginning the process by reviewing the current job description before formally opening the position to candidates. The community will receive updates throughout the search process and the administration hopes to hire a new Vice President for Campus Operations “as soon as is practical.”

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