Susan Marshburn Named UCR’s Executive Director of Facilities Services

Marshburn leads the newly-formed department, with nearly 400 employees.

Susan Marshburn will be leading a team of nearly 400 people as the new executive director of Facilities Services, a new department formed by the integration of the Housing Services and Physical Plant departments. sandra baltazar martinez

Susan Marshburn will be leading a team of nearly 400 people as the new executive director of Facilities Services at UC Riverside.

Marshburn was promoted to direct the newly formed Facilities Services Department, a unification of Physical Plant and the Housing, Dining and Residential Services departments. The move comes under an Organizational Excellence effort meant to develop and streamline business processes. This integration took effect on September 1.

Organizational Excellence is a campus-wide initiative that involves four key components: streamline business processes, instill a culture of collaboration and innovation, standardization of business processes and maximize professional and leadership development.

Marshburn said the vision for this new department is clear: build a cohesive team.

She will be leading the team with a “lean, bottom up” approach, an initiative adopted via a model from the University of Washington under the direction of Vice Chancellor of Business and Administrative Services Ron T. Coley, and Vice Chancellor of Planning and Budget Maria Anguiano.

A lean approach works best because it involves people who perform the day-to-day job responsibilities. “They know the work,” said Marshburn. “We want to empower people and let them know they are part of the process.”

Susan Marshburn sandra baltazar martinez

Susan Marshburn
sandra baltazar martinez

Marshburn was previously executive director of Housing Services. There she oversaw about 150 employees. Physical Plant has about 250 employees. The restructuring of the departments actually allowed many promotions and opened up 42 new jobs, she said.

Marshburn’s team will focus on delivering high quality facilities operations, maintenance and repairs to over six million square feet of building space, and 1,350 acres of land, Coley said in a campus-wide announcement on Tuesday, September 6.

She will be supervising the six-unit workforce: client engagement; work planning and services; environmental and resource services; safety and compliance; infrastructure and energy management; and business support services. She will also be involved with strategic planning and strategy management activities.

Creating the new Facilities Services team was a year-long effort in which Marshburn demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, Coley said. “In so doing, she won the confidence of managers and staff in both Physical Plant and HDRS in her total readiness to assume the critically important and extremely challenging responsibilities of providing facility related services to our expanding and increasingly complex physical infrastructure in support of our academic mission and UCR 2020. I cannot imagine a more perfect fit for this essential leadership role at this very dynamic period in our campus’ evolution,” Coley said.

Marshburn is no stranger to UCR. She has seen the university grow over the past 33 years that she’s worked on campus. Marshburn began her career in 1983, when she was hired as an administrative assistant in Housing. At that time, UCR had about 4,200 students, with two residence halls and about 2,500 students living on campus. This fall, UCR will have more than 7,000 students living in campus housing, she said.

That’s why combining the departments, eliminating overlap or work redundancies makes sense, she said.

The leadership team that joins Marshburn includes Hassan Ghamlouch, director of Environmental & Resources; Greg Artman, director of Business Support Services; Bob Slater, director of Client Engagement, and two currently vacant positions. One is the director of Infrastructure and Energy Management. The other is the director of Work Planning.

Artman’s role will be expanded to include responsibility for providing business support services to both Facilities Services and Architects and Engineers, Coley said.

“We are very excited and we’re looking forward to rebranding our organization,” Marshburn said.

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