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William J. Anderson appointed MIT's Chief Facilities Officer

William J. Anderson has been appointed to the Chief Facilities Officer position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT's Executive Vice President John R. Curry, announced.

Anderson, who will start at MIT on August 16, 2004, will lead a department of about 625 people, including professional and support staff, skilled trades people, and bargaining unit employees. Facilities is responsible for the physical environment of the Cambridge campus, which consists of 11 million square feet of classrooms, labs, offices, and residences on 153 acres. The department provides utilities, support services such as custodial and repair and maintenance, and design and construction services. MIT is nearing the end of a capital projects program that is adding $1.4 billion in new construction to the campus.

Anderson will succeed Victoria Sirianni, who stepped down on June 30 after leading the department for more than a decade.

In his current role as Associate Vice President for Physical Plant at Pennsylvania State University, Anderson is responsible for all aspects of facilities management including master planning, space planning, design, construction, operations, maintenance, real estate management, and environmental health and safety for Penn State's 24 campuses. He has responsibility for more than 1,100 professional, administrative, and skilled employees who support a physical plant composed of 20,000 acres of land and more than 1,300 buildings with 22 million square feet of space.

A Boston native, Anderson was educated at Tufts University, where he completed a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1969. From Tufts he went to the Navy's Civil Engineer Corps, where he spent more than 20 years, attaining the rank of Captain. He holds two Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering: one from MIT in Geotechnical Engineering in 1973 and one from the University of California, Berkeley, in Construction Management. Anderson is a registered professional engineer.

"I am delighted that we were able to attract Bill back to MIT," Associate Provost and search committee chair Claude R. Canizares said. "Bill's enormous professional abilities and personal skills were evident to all of us on the search committee, and I really look forward to working with him," Canizares said.

Over the course of Anderson's naval career, he had a blend of assignments in capital construction and facilities operations. In most cases, he managed civilian work forces. His positions with the Navy included Chief of Staff for Naval Construction Battalions for the US Atlantic Fleet, Director of Facilities for the US Atlantic Fleet, and Commanding Officer for the Navy Public Works Center Great Lakes. In his last position with the military, he led a 750-employee, $175 million organization responsible for providing facilities planning, architectural services, engineering, project management, plant maintenance and operations, utility production and distribution, and housing for 75 customers in a 15-state region.

"Bill Anderson is one of the most accomplished facilities officers in the country," Curry said. "He will bring to MIT a keen mind, engaging demeanor, and commitment to excellence--not to mention a powerful work ethic--which are the hallmarks of the Institute," Curry said.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 1, 2004 (download PDF).

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