As Facilities Manager for Temple University Ambler, there isn’t a foot of the 187-acre campus that Collin Wood isn’t familiar with. There isn’t an event, program or research project he hasn’t been involved with in some fashion.
Temple Ambler, Wood said, has become such an important part of his life, that it was only natural to seek a way to expand his support and advocacy for the campus and the unique role it plays within Temple University.
As Temple Ambler’s new Associate Director for Operations, he’ll certainly have that opportunity.
“There is no question that the campus is an invaluable resource for the programs and research that are taking place here. There are projects and studies being undertaken on campus that you simply couldn’t do in an urban setting like Philadelphia,” Wood said. “Having these unique opportunities here only serves to expand upon the learning experiences open to all Temple students. I’ve invested a lot time into working with the departments here to ensure our students, faculty and staff can take full advantage of the what the campus has to offer.”
Wood joined the Temple Ambler team as Assistant Facilities Manager in 2013, becoming Facilities Manager in 2015. Prior to coming to Temple, he worked at Drexel University as the grounds manager and in the private sector as a landscape contractor. Wood is also a recent Temple alumnus having completed his master’s in City and Regional Planning in spring 2018.
“I think all of those experiences combined have helped me to understand the needs of the campus and of the people who works and take classes here,” he said. “It’s about keeping the big picture in focus while serving multiple constituencies and maximizing the use of the talent that is so readily available here on campus. For example, we’ve had a great deal of success getting our students and our faculty to start thinking about the campus as a whole, exploring ways to build better connections between our facilities and the Arboretum and showcasing the creativity that makes Temple Ambler so special.”
As Associate Director for Operations, Wood will serve as the finance, facilities and operations manager for the Ambler Campus to ensure that the operations of the campus fully support academic and research programs on a continual basis. Wood will oversee all budgets for the campus, including the annual budget, gift and endowment funds, externally sponsored projects and other special and designated funds. He’ll also work with the University Facilities Management Office to oversee the administrative and strategic planning of Ambler Campus physical plant and facilities in addition to serving as human resources representative for the campus.
“One of my immediate goals is to increase the cohesiveness between departments. There are so many people with a lot of great ideas, but sometimes we don’t talk nearly enough from department to department,” Wood said. “We have a lot of common goals and we definitely have greater opportunities to meet those goals working together and building off of these ideas.”
Anyone who has been part of the campus community for any length of time has a Temple Ambler story to share. Wood, however, said that having been part of so many projects and activities on campus it’s hard to pin down just one. Of course, his first EarthFest — Temple Ambler’s annual celebration of Earth Day — does come to mind.
“I had been here for a few months and had gotten used to events that were of a reasonable size. Suddenly there were 8,000 people on campus,” he said. “There was a definite learning curve and every year is different — one year the ground was frozen, another year it was strong winds, another had rain. You learn from those experiences; now everyone knows what to do to make the day a terrific showcase for the campus.”
Wood said EarthFest is “a perfect example of the campus community coming together for a common purpose.”
“It would be impossible to hold the event without that kind of support. That, I believe, is what this campus is all about,” he said. “It’s essential to showcase the unique nature of Temple Ambler and I think the university as a whole is taking notice.”