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Job Type:


Company: Carleton University

Job Title: Grounds Manager
Department: Facilities
Classification: Exempt
Grade: 13
FTE/Working Schedule:1.0

Position Overview:

The Grounds Manager is a full-time position is responsible for the campus grounds design and care consisting of 125 acres on the main campus that includes a traditional campus setting, residential areas, varsity athletic and recreational areas, native plantings, and wetlands. The Grounds Manager over sees a crew of four full- time grounds staff and five seasonal employees. This position is responsible for all aspects of the grounds operation to design and maintain the campus environment and support the academic and residential mission of the College. This position will also project manage grounds improvement and repair projects as needed.

Essential Job Functions/Responsibilities:

  • Directs the grounds staff in the daily maintenance of grounds and campus properties by determining priorities, setting schedules, and evaluating work results.
  • Hires, supervises, reviews, and trains grounds department employees. Conducts regular staff meetings to communicate department goals, strategies, and other information. Maintains a positive work environment for grounds employees where they have an opportunity to contribute, provide input, and be recognized for their good work.
  • Trains staff on proper grounds maintenance techniques, safe operating procedures, and equipment operation and maintenance.
  • Oversees the grounds budget and manages budget expenditures.
  • Identifies areas of campus for landscaping improvements. Develops five-year investment plan. Designs improvement projects to meet campus standards. Develops detailed plans and executes projects to improve the campus setting and landscaping.
  • Maintains the campus grounds to the College standard utilizing appropriate plant materials and design including native and sustainable plant materials.
  • Assures varsity athletic fields, recreational fields, tracks, tennis courts, etc. are maintained to the appropriate standard and available for scheduled events and practices. Works with Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation (PEAR) department to meet their program requirements.
  • Manages the campus exterior hardscape structures and assets including parking lots, sidewalks, exterior lighting, retaining walls, sculptures and memorials, seating areas, dams, bridges, etc.
  • Manages the campus watershed including Lyman Lakes, Spring Creek, and the Cannon River. Understands the campus topography and potential for flooding. Develops and manages the campus storm water management plan.
  • Implements an effective snow removal process and response to adverse winter conditions to ensure campus pedestrian and vehicle circulation continues in a safe manner and minimizes disruption to normal campus activities.
  • Selects and purchases plant materials, fertilizers, herbicides, mowers, tractors, trucks, and other large and small pieces of equipment. Maintains equipment and implements an effective renewal program.
  • Maintains the campus tree inventory and manages the care for all campus tree assets.
  • Works effectively with other managers and supervisors in the Facilities department and supports the goals of the Facilities department.
  • Coordinates maintenance and improvements in the Japanese Garden in cooperation with the faculty advisor, Japanese Garden Committee, and Japanese Garden consultant.
  • Provide .5 FTE staffing to Cowling Arboretum for four-season trail maintenance and other support as needed to the Arboretum.
  • Supports campus special events and needs. Monitors and responds to the campus event calendar and event set-up requests.
  • Works with the Campus Security Office, Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities Communication Specialist on parking issues, signage, traffic concerns, bicycle management, event support, and campus communication and announcements.
  • Project manages grounds improvement and maintenance projects as needed and directed. Works with staff internal to Facilities and other departments across campus to define project scope. Develops project budgets and obtains estimates. Secures contractor and professional services as needed, using the appropriate selection process and contracts. Interacts with municipal entities and authorities having jurisdiction to obtain necessary approvals and permits. Oversees the project scope, schedule and budget
  • Provides excellent communication to provide status and upcoming schedule items with constituents, campus community, and the Facilities staff.
  • Assures grounds design and construction standards are being met on all capital projects.

Essential Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to understand the tradition and history with the Carleton grounds and landscaping design and apply this in the development of future landscaping plans. Assists with development and implementation of a campus landscaping master plan. Ability to design landscaping projects and improvements using appropriate plant materials and design standards.
  • Understands the appropriate use of native and sustainable plant materials.
  • Ability to design and maintain the campus landscape that enhances the appearance of the campus and promotes a positive experience for students, visitors, faculty, and staff while creating an environment that can be maintained efficiently and effectively by a limited budget and staffing resources.
  • Has expertise and knowledge in the care of trees such as urban forestry management, planting requirements, pruning, disease and insect control, environment suitability, etc.
  • Demonstrates expertise in the care of turf management including fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticide treatment. Applies techniques to minimize the use of chemicals in maintaining the campus grounds.
  • Has knowledge of varsity college athletic field, track, and tennis court requirements to meet program and NCAA requirements.
  • Ability to communicate with faculty, students, coaches, senior administration, and Trustees.

Supervision Received and Exercised:

This position hires, supervises, and evaluates full time union represented employees and student workers.



  • 10 years combination of education and directly related prior experience in landscaping/grounds management is required including at least two years of supervisory experience and two years of technical training/education in landscape design, land care management, horticulture, arboriculture, turf management, etc. Three experience project managing large capital projects.
  • High school diploma is required.


  • Previous work in a higher education or campus setting preferred.
  • Any or all of the following: landscape design, landscape architecture, hardscape design, civil engineering, pesticide applicator license is desirable.

Must have the ability to understand and follow written and oral work instructions, operations, safety procedures, and hazardous labels.

Note: This position description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Employees may perform other related duties to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

Review of applications begins immediately and continues until the hire is complete. We accept only online applications.

Carleton College is an AA/EEO Employer: We are committed to developing our staff to better reflect the diversity of our student body and American society. Members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Staff Salary and Benefits: The selected finalist’s salary will be based on the candidate’s qualifications, internal pay structure, and our overall compensation package. Carleton offers a generous benefits package, including comprehensive medical, dental, and vision insurance, 403(b) retirement plans with a 10% employer contribution with immediate vesting, a health savings account with a college contribution, a generous paid time off package, as well as access to many other campus amenities.

Founded in 1866, Carleton College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college of roughly 2,000 students located in the historic river town of Northfield, Minnesota. Nationally recognized as the nation’s top college for undergraduate teaching, Carleton is known for its academic rigor, intellectual curiosity, and sense of humor. Carleton offers 33 majors and 38 minors in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, and social sciences.

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