By Ariel Steinsaltz
On Sept. 23 the College will welcome a new vice president for facilities management, Michael Dixon, who will be responsible for aspects pertaining to the College’s operations, constructions, management, design, real estate and planning.
At his current school, The Ohio State University, Dixon oversees building maintenance and custodial operations for 14 million square feet of research labs, academic and administrative space, as well as grounds for the 1750-acre main campus and other sites.
On Aug. 13, College President Kathryn Foster informed the campus community of Dixon’s hiring via email.
“Mr. Dixon was selected from an extraordinary pool of candidates. Under the leadership of Sharon Blanton, CIO and VP for IT and Campus Safety, the search committee did an extraordinary job in vetting the candidates throughout the process and I commend them for their work,” Foster wrote.
Dixon will focus on helping the department become more effective by constructing a long-term energy plan for the College.
“I would like to see the TCNJ Facilities department become a model for how small colleges and universities with limited resources can lead the way in innovative methods to maximize service delivery to students while enhancing the academic experience,” Dixon said.
Before coming to the College, Dixon did project management for General Motors from 1982 to 1993, and felt that his time with GM helped him understand how to complete jobs in a large organization.
In 2004, Dixon then worked for Ohio State as the maintenance director. He was then given responsibility for Roads & Grounds and Building Services. He said that integrating those groups was a major accomplishment.
“We executed a major, customer-centered reorganization in 2008 that has often been studied for its customer satisfaction impact,” Dixon said.
He also added that prioritizing efficiency allowed the school to allocate more money for scholarships.
“A lot of what we focused on was efficiency and customer service,” Dixon said. “Being on a college campus is unique because it is not only a classroom and workplace but also home for many of our students.”
During his second year at Ohio State, Dixon was introduced to the Midwest regional group of APPA, formerly the Association for Physical Plant Administrators, an organization that promotes leadership in educational facilities. In 2016, the school won the APPA Award for Excellence based on the success of the whole facilities organization. Dixon also helped Ohio State win the APPA Sustainability Award in 2017 and the APPA Innovation Award in 2018.
Dixon described his involvement with those awards as being an encourager and facilitator, “personally investing time and energy in work initiated by others and helping them gain recognition for their success.”
“President Foster and the members of the search committee did an excellent job of showcasing this job as an opportunity to use my experience and interests to help TCNJ improve while also allowing me to grow as a leader,” Dixon said.
Now at the College, Dixon is excited to become part of the campus community.
“My overall impression is that there is a group of very passionate people working very hard to make TCNJ the best it can be,” Dixon said. “I am excited to get on campus with the students, faculty and staff to learn what their priorities are and understand how the campus operates.”