Associate Vice Provost / Director, Environmental Health and Safety

Company:  Stanford University

Location:  Stanford, CA 

Date Posted:  February 13, 2018

Application Deadline:  Open until filled

Employment Type: Full time

Salary: TBD

Associate Vice Provost/Director, Environmental Health and Safety (AVP) Stanford University- #77673

About the Position

The Opportunity
Stanford University, an internationally renowned and prestigious academic research institution, seeks an experienced, strategic leader for Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S).  The Associate Vice Provost and Director, Environmental Health and Safety (AVP) provides strategic, program, and policy direction to all aspects of environmental health and safety for the campus, ranging from student residential life to biological, chemical and radiological safety in research labs, life safety and health protections throughout the campus, and institutional emergency preparedness.  The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) programs are directed toward the safeguarding the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, visitors and neighbors, and the environment, as well as ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.  The AVP works collaboratively with other leaders and staff across the seven academic schools and the multitude of mission support departments of the university, and has the opportunity to continue advancement of the legacy around EH&S institutional best practices in higher education.

The Organization
Stanford University is a world-class academic teaching and research institution conducting over $1.08 billion in sponsored research in 3000 laboratory spaces. The University has over 16,000 enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, over 2200 post-doctoral research fellows, 12,500 employees, 2100 faculty and 700 major buildings encompassing 15 million square feet of institutional facility use space, all of which is overseen by EH&S for health, safety and environmental management purposes.  

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety
EH&S supports the University’s mission of teaching and research by promoting and advancing a strong, positive culture of safety, health, environmental protection, and emergency preparedness.  The Department is structured to meet the University’s needs in primary areas of Research Safety, Buildings, Facilities and Operations Safety, Emergency Management, Project and Technology Support and Occupational Health and Safety, including the on-site Occupational Health Clinic.  The Department’s policies and programs are facilitated University-wide through University Safety Partners who coordinate health and safety programs at the school and department levels.

The Department provides safety services to the entire University community as well as supports a full complement of radiological safety services as part of patient care activities of the Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, the Palo Alto Veteran’s Administration Hospital and research enterprise.  EH&S also provides Occupational Health Clinic and Biosafety support services to the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.  The Department’s budget of approximately $17.6 million is 80% funded by university general funds with the remainder funded through fee-for-services recovery from the hospitals, SLAC, and other EH&S-supported organizations.

The Position
The Associate Vice Provost and Director of Environmental Health and Safety reports to the Vice Provost and Dean of Research and has a dotted-line reporting relationship to the President of the University for overall health and safety quality assurance.  The AVP is responsible for developing and implementing strategic, policy, and program direction for the institution. The AVP directs a staff of over 108 highly trained technical professionals, including PhDs, MDs, clinicians, technicians, administrators and managers responsible for assessing the institutional environmental and occupational health and safety risk, and ensuring the University’s compliance with applicable regulations and requirements, especially in those areas with new and evolving materials and techniques.  The AVP participates as a peer of senior leaders, managers and administrators throughout the University and develops policies, strategic plans and schedules for health, safety and environmental management programs University-wide.  The AVP represents the University’s complex, diverse and highly technical health, safety and environmental management programs to the University community, to Local, State and Federal regulatory agencies and political jurisdictions, and to the general public.

The decentralized operating structure at Stanford University requires a collegial relationship based on professional credibility and technical capability to be successful in assuring that safety and environmental protection requirements in each of the institution’s complex operating units are met and sustained.  Ultimate success will be achieved through influence, collaboration and the establishment of effective partner relationships.  

Policies and programs put in place by the AVP have a significant impact on the safety of the members of the University’s community and the protection of its lands and physical assets.  Should these policies and programs be lacking in any element, the effects may be far-reaching, up to loss of life, severe financial recovery needs, extensive lack of regulatory compliance leading to large monetary penalties and/or the stoppage of research, and loss of Stanford’s reputation for excellence.  The needs in these areas change frequently in scope and priority and the AVP is responsible for mitigating risks related to these misfortunes.

Key Accountabilities

  1. Directs all operations and services for Laboratory Safety, Radiation Safety, Biosafety, Occupational Health Clinic, Occupational and Construction Safety, Fire and Life Safety, Industrial Hygiene, Environmental Compliance and Institutional Emergency Management and Planning groups within the department, including leadership of professional technical, administrative and bargaining unit staff in providing expertise and specialized services to the schools and departments of the University.
  2. Sets department-wide strategy, goals and objectives and manages staff performance and development.
  3. Senior institutional official for the management of Environmental and Safety programs for the University community, working closely with leadership in each of the schools and mission support departments.  Works closely with school deans, faculty, staff and students to develop EH&S programs that meet the academic, research and operational needs of the schools and departments.
  4. Represents the University to the community, regulatory authorities and responding agencies in the cognizant professional technical arenas.  The university relies on this position for myriad compliance activities and interactions with many regulatory agencies from local, city, county, state and federal organizations.  Evaluates and advises the University on current and pending regulatory and legislative issues.  Works closely with the Stanford Office of Public Affairs to develop appropriate strategy and information on relevant regulatory development issues of importance and impact to the University.
  5. Coordinates closely with the Stanford Office of Communications and Office of Public Affairs to provide leadership and effective, strategic communications with the community, area business, identified public safety entities (fire, police, hospitals, etc.) during campus or regional emergencies.
  6. Responsible for all strategic and financial planning, operations and results for the Department.  Manages staff and resources to ensure stable and balanced financial performance and regularly evaluates programs for cost-effectiveness.
  7. Serves as senior university official for University-wide EH&S regulatory and compliance operations including: inspections, audits and compliance reviews, record keeping, hazardous waste management, permitting, compliance training and project support.
  8. Directs and oversees the Institutional Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning Activities for the University community.  Leads, facilitates and advises campus business and academic leaders in designing emergency management and business continuity planning and coordinates emergency management planning and response University-wide.  Works closely with Local Emergency Management Teams, the University’s Situation Triage and Assessment Team and the Senior Management Team to ensure consistent programs, training, drills and University response to incidents and crises.  The AVP may serve as the incident commander during large scale emergencies.
  9. Regularly provides reports to the University President’s Cabinet and Stanford Board of Trustees on relevant risk areas of responsibility.  The AVP will prepare the president’s cabinet for emergencies and crisis leadership and continuity of operation and assume the role of University Safety Officer.

The Candidate
The ideal candidate for the Associate Vice Provost of EH&S will be an experienced leader with a deep understanding of health, safety and risk evaluation and mitigation.  The candidate should have substantial leadership experience in a comparably complex university setting. The AVP must have a broad understanding and experience of the diverse and highly technical content areas within the EH&S profile. They will have a demonstrated record of accomplishment within large, complex organizations, managing large health and safety teams and establishing strong and effective working partnerships with key stakeholders within the organization. In addition, they will have also developed and maintained effective relationships with external regulatory agencies. The candidate will be customer-focused with significant experience designing, implementing, and evaluating a full range of EH&S and Emergency Management programs within large, complex organizations. Leadership experience in industry and or a very large research-oriented enterprise would be advantageous, though not a substitute for the academic research setting.


Education and Requirements
The ideal candidate will have a Master’s Degree in a relevant scientific discipline, a recognized professional certification in a cognizant technical area of EH&S, and a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible and senior leadership experience in a research university setting.  In addition, the candidate will have expertise in all regulations applicable to environmental health and safety in a major academic institution, including a comprehensive knowledge of legislative and regulatory processes and experience in the compliance, enforcement and auditing processes of regulatory agencies.

How to Apply 


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Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.