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Requisition Number 17-0243
Post Date 12/5/2017
Title Head of NCOA Facilities Operations Arizona
City Tucson
State AZ

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) seeks a Head of Facilities to oversee the operation and maintenance of all facilities in Arizona operated by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) and the planned National Center for Optical-Infrared Astronomy (NCOA). These include the facilities at the Tucson headquarters, and facilities outside the telescope enclosures at the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO). Duties include, but are not limited to, planning, organizing, directing, and controlling all facets of the facilities operations associated with these two sites.

NCOA will be a single NSF-sponsored center encompassing the current operating programs of NOAO and the Gemini Observatory in addition to the forthcoming operations of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Currently in pre-implementation, NCOA will be managed by AURA and headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with facilities in the United States and Chile.

Essential Functions of the position:

  • Responsible for establishing, coordinating, and supervising a prioritized work schedule for subordinates.
  • Plans and schedules facilities maintenance and improvement projects to ensure buildings and grounds of the NCOA Arizona facilities are properly maintained.
  • Provides facilities engineering support to operations staff at other sites as requested.
  • Provides written input to the annual Program and Long-Range Plans, prepares annual department budgets, monitors and corrects monthly financial statements, and estimates year-end financial reports, publishes the Annual Property Survey Report.
  • Prepares/reviews department supervisors and subordinate staff annual performance evaluations and counsels staff on work-related issues.
  • Researches, recommends, and institutes, new and improved cost saving methods of operation, materials, and procedures.
  • Collaborates with organizations such as the University of Arizona, City of Tucson, Tohono O’odham Nation, etc., regarding construction, building code issues, tribal training programs and other related items.
  • Serves as member of the NOAO safety committee and NOAO and KPNO management committees (could include membership in a new NCOA Safety Committee).
  • Responsible for monitoring all regulatory compliance programs, such as Affirmative Action, OSHA, AURA safety, etc., within NCOA Tucson/KPNO facilities and for keeping subordinates informed of the programs.
  • Responsible for the design of facilities improvements, new projects, preparation of contract specifications and compliance during construction.
  • Responsible for implementing and maintaining preventative maintenance programs for all NCOA Arizona Facilities and for insuring that all maintenance efforts are ongoing.
  • Writes and implements policy regarding transportation, safety, food service, housing and all other aspects associated with operations at the NCOA Arizona facilities.
  • Supports other activities at the discretion of the Head of Facilities Operations, NCOA.


  • B.S. in an Engineering discipline or related field, and extensive professional development in Facilities Management area.
  • Minimum seven years’ facilities  operations and maintenance experience with demonstrated managerial advancement.
  • Facilities Management Certification highly desirable (FMP, SFT, or CFM).
  • Experience leading multi-million dollar contracts and subcontracts.
  • Excellent people skills in the context of a large group of direct and indirect reports (about 25 – 30 to start).
  • Ability to operate four-wheel drive vehicle in inclement weather when necessary.
  • Valid state driver’s license and ability to obtain a valid GSA driving permit.

AURA/NCOA offers an excellent benefits package, competitive salary commensurate with experience, and a very attractive work environment.

Applicants are requested to submit a resume or CV, a list of 3 professional references, and a cover letter describing how their skills and experience are matched to the essential functions of the position (PDF Files preferred). Please name any attachments with the following format: 17-0243LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to This position will be open until filled, however applicants are encouraged to apply by January 15, 2018 to ensure full consideration.

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) manages several astronomical observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory and the Gemini Observatory) and construction projects (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and Daniel. K. Inouye Solar Telescope) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

  • Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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