Princeton NJ -- Mark Burstein, Columbia University's vice president for facilities management, has been appointed Princeton's vice president for administration, effective Aug. 2. Burstein previously served as Columbia's vice president for student services, and before that as acting vice president for human resources.
Burstein's appointment was recommended by President Tilghman and approved by the trustees at their May 31 meeting.
"Mark brings to this position the full set of skills and experiences that we need in a vice president for administration," Tilghman said. "He has a broad and perceptive vision of university management and will be very helpful to me in identifying goals and priorities for strengthening even further the administration at Princeton. He cares deeply about fairness, diversity and career development, and will be an effective advocate for the im-provement of our administrative policies and for the well-being of our staff. He also has had direct experience supervising the areas that will report to him at Princeton, including facilities, human resources and public safety."
An honors graduate of Vassar College with an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (where he served as a graduate student representative to the Penn board of trustees), Burstein joined the Columbia administration in 1994 after a series of positions in consulting, investment banking and New York City government.
In his first position at Columbia, as acting vice president for human resources, he oversaw the development of a benefits communications strategy, the redesign of new employee orientation and benefits enrollment processes and the implementation of a reclassification plan for unionized support staff.
A year later, in 1995, he was appointed Columbia's first vice president for student services and was asked to create a new division through a consolidation of three departments to provide financial, health, housing, dining, registrar and retail services for Columbia students. In this position, he worked closely with the deans of Columbia College and the engineering school to improve services to students as the schools significantly increased their enrollments. Under his leadership, Columbia opened an award-winning student center; established comprehensive Web and automated telephone-based services; developed an integrated identification, transaction and banking card; created a nationally recognized privately funded suite of educational financing products; and dramatically improved dining services and sales.
In 1999 he was appointed vice president for facilities management, with responsibility for a facilities and real estate division that provides design, construction, maintenance and security services for 7 million square feet across three campuses. He has been leading a planning and design team that is seeking to create a new 18-acre, 6-million-square-foot campus in West Harlem; has overseen $1 billion of construction, including the development of 500 housing units; has implemented a master plan that revitalized the landscape of Colum-bia's 35-acre Morningside Heights campus; and has decreased operational costs through energy conservation, a new purchasing strategy and the merger of two facilities organizations.
Prior to joining Columbia, Burstein served as director of economic development for the New York City Department of Sanitation. In that capacity, he helped to create markets for recyclable materials collected through the city's growing curbside recycling program, in part by working with others to found a commodities exchange for recyclables at the Chicago Board of Trade and in part by attracting a recycled paper plant to Staten Island. In his earlier career, Burstein worked at the Center for Applied Research, a consulting firm in Philadelphia and Boston assisting private and public sector clients with organizational development and strategy issues, and at Bear, Stearns & Co. in the public finance department.
Burstein grew up in Cedar Grove, N.J., and has a partner, David Calle, who is a finance director at Unilever based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
As vice president for administration at Princeton, Burstein will be responsible for the overall leadership and management of the University's administration. He will report directly to the president and will work closely with the president and provost on a broad range of strategic issues. He will have direct oversight of human resources, facilities (planning, operations, dining services, construction), public safety and University services.
Christopher Eisgruber, who will become Princeton's provost on July 1, said, "From the moment I met him, Mark Burstein impressed me with his sound judgment, his energetic approach to management and his vision for the institution. Princeton is lucky to have attracted Mark, and I very much look forward to working with him."
Eisgruber was part of a search committee that also included Tilghman and other senior members of the administration. As part of the search process, Burstein also met with other members of the cabinet and the heads of the offices that will report to him.
"I am honored by the opportunity to join the Princeton University community and President Tilghman's team," Burstein said. "I look forward to joining other members of the administration in our efforts to improve service and better support the academic mission of the University."