Human Resources

Grounds Manager

Apply now Job No: 24133
Department: Facilities Management
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Management, Labor/Service/Maintenance

Department: Facilities Management

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

Under the Director of Operations, coordinate and direct the operations of the Grounds Department, including supervision of the campus gardener, (5) equipment operators, (3) groundspersons, and student staff. Essential duties include the inventory, care and maintenance of campus landscapes, utilities, and infrastructure. Responsibilities include coordinating grounds maintenance schedules and assignments, establishing and monitoring service levels, and developing and managing departmental budgets.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

• Manage the placement, care and maintenance of campus landscapes, including greenspace, ornamental beds, trees and athletic fields.
• Coordinate the development and maintenance of campus infrastructure including sidewalks, roadways, pavers, utility fixtures and equipment (picnic tables, bike racks, waste receptacles, etc.)
• Oversee the operation and maintenance of campus utilities and infrastructure including above and below grade features of the campus sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water, and lighting systems.
• Provide direct supervision of grounds and gardens personnel, including interviewing, hiring, and training staff; planning, assigning, and directing work; developing and appraising employees’ performance; and addressing day to day staffing issues such as scheduling, time management, and problem resolution. Support staff with the organization and implementation of best practices and processes that promote department success.
• Develop and manage the annual budget for the Grounds Department, including oversight of the annual budget allocation for the Gardens Department.
• Maintain inventory; order equipment and supplies including seasonal materials such as seed, fertilizer, and road salt.
• Create and manage and work orders through the University’s CMMS, Maintenance Direct™. Assign work orders to appropriate facilities’ staff and monitor status with periodic checks and reporting.
• Develop and monitor ongoing Preventative and Deferred Maintenance programs for departmental equipment, grounds-related infrastructure, and other areas as required.
• Provide excellent customer service to faculty, staff, students, and off-campus customers including maintaining availability and assisting with resolving customer service issues.
• Work with third party contractors in all phases of project management including setting up the scope of work, procuring bids, oversight of work, and conducting follow-up punch-list audits.
• Work irregular hours due to the nature of the position, including serving in a regular on-call rotation with the Facilities Managers.
• Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work. Report all safety-related concerns to supervisor.
• Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work. Actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

• High School diploma, or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired.
• Must possess appropriate valid driver's license and a satisfactory driving record.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

• Three years of field supervisory experience in landscaping, earthwork, turf maintenance, or an equivalent combination of experience and comparable knowledge.
• Two years of project management experience including budget development, project planning, implementation oversight.
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google suites.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

• An associate or bachelor’s degree in construction, engineering, or business management.
• Experience with facility operations and maintenance in a residential or institutional setting.
• Experience inspecting completed work for conformance to specifications and standards and ensuring conformance to safety and sanitation regulations.
• Demonstrated ability to lead projects, including prioritizing and organizing work assignments and ensuring that work is completed on time and within budget.
• Familiarity with maintenance management software and electronic work request ticketing system.
• Experience supervising bargaining unit personnel.
• Knowledge of building maintenance and/or construction trades practices, techniques, and applicable rules and codes.
• Practical experience in the diagnosis and maintenance of heavy equipment, hand-held tools and maintenance equipment.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

• Proven understanding of safe operation and maintenance procedures.
• Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills.
• Experience managing and motivating staff.
• Ability to develop and manage budgets of $1,000,000 or more.
• Ability to manage multiple tasks, deadlines, and priorities.
• Ability to analyze data, summarize results and compose routine reports/correspondence.
• Ability to build relationships and collaborate with faculty, students, parents, staff, and advisors.
• Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff.
• Demonstrated commitment to contribute to a safe work environment.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

• Ability to initiate action and render decisions efficiently.
• Excellent relationship-building skills that allow for work with students and employees on sustainability issues and to develop a positive sustainability culture on campus.
• Experience being a goal-oriented, self-disciplined, willing risk-taker with a genuine interest in the success of all students.
• A positive attitude towards innovation and creativity, and a sense of humor.
Language Skills:
Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information in one on one situations to customers or employees.
Mathematical Skills:
Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
Reasoning Ability:
Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of problems in standardized situations. Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret a variety of technical instructions in mathematical, diagram, written or oral form.
• Knowledge of process improvement and business management.
• Excellent leadership, organizational, and written/presentation skills.
• Be able to perform duties in confined space.
• Excellent work attendance record.

• Demonstrated success in, or potential future contributions to, working with persons from diverse backgrounds, creating a sense of belonging, and fostering a fair, objective, welcoming place to work for persons with a wide variety of personal characteristics and viewpoints. **

Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The work environment for this position is comparable to that of a typical ‘industrial plant’ office. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate, but can be very loud when working in other locations on campus.
While performing the duties of this job the employee may occasionally be required to work in elevated locations or in areas where chemical, biological, or physical hazards may be present. In addition, the employee may be required to work in other high hazard conditions including areas where fumes or particulates are present; areas where risk of electrical shock is present; or areas where moving mechanical parts may be present. The employee may also be required to work in all outdoor weather conditions including blizzards, storms, hail, wind, rain, fog, extreme heat, extreme cold, and sunshine.
While performing the duties of this job the employee may be required to stand; walk; sit; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; and reach with hands and arms. The employee is regularly required to talk or hear; use hands to finger, handle or feel an object; and taste or smell and be able to communicate with others via cellphone or radio.
Specific vision abilities required by this job include close, distance, color, and peripheral vision; depth perception; and the ability to adjust focus.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training

Required Departmental Training: 

• General Safety Awareness
• Hazard Communication
• Bloodborne Pathogens
Additional training will be required by the department on a periodic basis.

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring their eligibility to work in the United States (i.e. a citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, a foreign national authorized to work in the United States without the need of an employer sponsorship) on or before the effective date of your appointment, and maintain eligibility without sponsorship throughout your appointment.


Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term




Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable, No less than $58,000

Title of Position Supervisor

Director of Operations

Posting Type

Internal & External

Dependent on Funding


Special Instructions to Applicants (if applicable)


Additional Information


Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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