W. Steve Martin, AIA, UNC Pembroke’s new assistant vice chancellor for facilities, has a tough first assignment.
He has to replace himself as project manager for UNCP’s booming construction program. Martin managed a portfolio of approximately $75 million in construction projects.
His past assignments included such campus landmarks as the Herbert G. Oxendine Science Building and the English E. Jones Athletic Complex. He is currently managing construction of a new Bookstore, Oscar R. Sampson Academic Building, Football Field House and an annex to the James B. Chavis University Center.
Martin’s new responsibilities begin on November 1. In his new post, Martin will supervise a workforce of approximately 100 in two departments, Facilities Planning and Construction and Physical Plant.
He reports to Neil Hawk, vice chancellor for Business Affairs.
“After a national search for our next assistant vice chancellor for Business Affairs/Facilities, we found the best candidate in our own back yard,” Hawk said. “Steve Martin has done an outstanding job as University Architect, and I believe he will continue that performance as the leader of our facilities operations.
“He has two strong supervisors to support him in Bess Tyner and Larry Freeman,” he said. “They have both been in their current positions for a number of years and are doing outstanding work. This support will enable Steve time to find ways to move two good departments to the next level.
“I look forward to working with Steve, and I am a strong believer in his ability to be an outstanding leader,” he added.
Martin’s reputation as a manager who successfully completes multiple projects, large and small, is well established.
“We’ve been very busy and very fortunate,” he said. “We’d like to think it has something to do with good planning, but we’ve been fortunate.”
Martin says he is taking over two good departments, the Physical Plant and Facilities Planning and Construction that are under-appreciated.
“Both departments are very good at what they do, but they don’t always get credit for what they do,” he said. “Communication is essential to any service, and I want people to know who we are and what we do.”
“A big part in facilitating better relationships is building appropriate expectations,” Martin said. “We are in the service business, and that will be our focus.”
Two major constructions projects – Oak Residence Hall and Nursing and Allied Health loom on the horizon. But there are other less glamorous tasks.
“Our physical plant is growing and so is our workforce, which is a continuous challenge,” Martin said. “Our new building inspection program is another important initiative that I hope to focus on.
“We need to continue to address all our maintenance issues proactively instead of reactively – from big issues like building envelopes to small issues like door pressure – proactively,” he added.
Leading UNCP’s largest department is a challenge that Martin is looking forward to.
“I am very pleased to have this opportunity because it fits into my personal vision and because I can positively affect the University’s mission and vision,” he concluded.
A graduate of NC State University with a degree in environmental design in architecture, Martin grew up in nearby Bladenboro, N.C. He worked 10 years for architectural firms before turning to construction management and design in higher education.