RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION
Reporting to the controller, the director of procurement leads and supports the daily operation of the procurement and contracting office in purchasing all supplies, services, equipment, and capital construction projects necessary for the operation of Prince George’s Community College (PGCC). The director establishes short- and long-range strategic goals, initiatives, and priorities, including cooperative purchasing opportunities and innovative methods to increase utilization of certified local or minority business enterprises; manages all phases of the contracting and bid proposal processes; and continuously reviews, analyzes, and updates cost center purchasing requirements, policies, and procedures. The director effectively collaborates with vice presidents, other administration, and budget staff to implement cost-effective purchasing strategies, partners with external vendors to maintain an efficient supply chain and remain current on new products and services as they become available, and actively participates in local, regional, and national procurement organizations, fairs, and conferences. The director manages, supervises, and provides training opportunities for a professional staff of eight, including five direct reports.
- Supervise daily operations, including work assignments, to effectively meet ever-changing demands.
- Design and provide training to procurement staff and the user community.
- Review incoming purchase requests and determine the best processing method consistent with state law and college code.
- Develop, solicit, and review all IFB and RFP bid proposals.
- Evaluate bid responses, negotiate contracts, and recommend and approve contract awards.
- Prepare agenda items for approval by the board of trustees.
- Resolve contract disputes and work closely with vendors and staff to address issues, ensuring consistent and accurate communication and correspondence.
- Develop innovative methods to increase the utilization of certified local and minority business enterprises.
- Work with college vice presidents, budget staff, and committees to implement cost-effective purchasing strategies that control costs across the institution.
- Review and analyze cost center purchasing requirements, obtain essential information, and recommend products and services.
- View vendor-sponsored product demonstrations to enhance product knowledge and gain insight into new products.
- Liaise with vice presidents, deans, directors, cost center managers, and department chairs.
- Establish and implement procurement strategic initiatives that impact all areas of the college.
- Recommend procurement procedures, ensuring compliance with all statutes and the college’s code, regulations, and board policies.
- Participate in local, regional, and national procurement organizations, fairs, and conferences.
- Serve on various committees and task forces as requested.
- Collect and analyze procurement data to support the college’s goals and objectives.
- Supervise and evaluate the performance of assigned staff.
- Actively participate in county and state procurement organizations.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
Required qualifications include a master’s degree in business administration, economics, or a related field, progressive professional experience in procurement, including RFP proposals and contract bids, and prior staff supervision. Preferred qualifications include previous procurement experience in higher education and at least one designation in a professional purchasing certification program (e.g., CPM, CPSM, CPPO, CPPB, APP, CPCP, etc.). The successful candidate will possess demonstrated knowledge of modern procurement methods, principles, and techniques; strong negotiation skills; familiarity with federal, state, county, and local acquisition regulations and business law related to procurement; an understanding of the type of supplies, equipment, and services that are optimal for an educational institution; and a commitment to accuracy and attention to detail.
In addition to the qualifications stated above, key stakeholders identified the following capabilities and attributes as highly attractive:
- The ability to build collaborative partnerships in all facets of the role.
- Inspirational leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and a strategic vision, with the ability to effectively push an agenda forward and obtain buy-in.
- Demonstrated proficiency in the effective and efficient use of fiscal and human resources, with the ability to successfully advocate for new sources of revenue and organizational transformation based on solid assessment data.
- Demonstrated experience in embracing and utilizing new and innovative procurement technology and software.
- The ability to review major processes, policies, and procedures to look for efficiencies and opportunities to combine, collaborate, share, redevelop, or discard antiquated functions and practices.
- The ability to listen carefully, ask knowledgeable questions, learn the department and its culture, accept input from staff, and then make well-informed decisions.
- An excellent communicator who can reach all levels of the college, from the board of trustees to the front-line staff, and tell the “story” of procurement to the user community.
- An innovator with a futuristic orientation, intense curiosity, and confidence willing to try new opportunities, remain informed on recent trends and cutting-edge ideation, and lead effective change processes as necessary.
- Energy and passion for the job and the institution.
- A commitment to promote and support the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion at all times.
- A willingness to serve as the “face” of the department and consistently advocate for the needs of the staff and units in the portfolio.
- The ability to process and manage information effectively and follow up systematically.
- A willingness to be visible throughout campus, practice a “hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeves” attitude, and engage staff and users on all levels.
- A strategic and data-informed decision-maker with solid assessment skills who can also collect and analyze data and implement initiatives based on this data.
- A commitment to professional development and ongoing training for themselves and the staff.
- The ability to make difficult decisions when necessary, conduct difficult conversations when pertinent, listen to all sides of an issue, and build consensus across multiple constituencies.
- An approachable, relatable, positive, optimistic, and enthusiastic attitude.
- Organizational development and problem-solving skills, with an orientation toward details in all aspects of the position.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
The new director of procurement at PGCC must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices concerning all aspects of purchasing, contracting, and vendor management. The director should be a dynamic and energetic leader committed to service at the highest level, capable of managing complex situations, devising strategic initiatives, and administering multiple priorities. Furthermore, the director should possess a deep understanding of the culture in a large public community college and the skill to contribute significantly at both a strategic and operational level to the success of the office of procurement and contracting and the college as a whole.
For this role, a competent and forward-thinking individual must be identified who can promote and develop the procurement team, set both long- and short-term priorities, and work daily to progressively, innovatively, and comprehensively move the goals of the college forward. The following were identified as priorities, opportunities, and challenges for the director to exercise vision and lead change.
- This is an exciting time to join PGCC and a great occasion to continue strategically building a contemporary, 21st-century, future-centric, and user-focused procurement department. The staff has been working diligently in the recent absence of a full-time director to continue the department’s work and provide the best service possible. The staff’s efforts and attitude form a solid framework upon which the new director can begin their tenure. As priorities are developed and plans are initiated, the director should be prepared to work with the staff to identify programs and services that are working effectively, as well as those areas that are not as efficient or successful, and be willing to add, enhance, and sunset programs as necessary. With great excitement and expectation around this position, the director should be prepared for a fast pace and be equipped to “hit the ground running” from day one. With great support from the vice president of financial services and operations and the controller, the director has a unique opportunity to make their professional mark on the program and the institution, grow professionally, and implement new and creative ideas along the way.
- PGCC is wholeheartedly committed to building strong, healthy, and mutually supportive relationships as a foundation of the campus culture. Collaboration across the institution is an absolute necessity to ensure success. It will be crucial that the new director quickly reach out internally and across campus to the user community to begin building solid, mutually beneficial relationships that foster ongoing positive interactions. These connections are essential to assess the current environment and its needs, provide exceptional service, reduce response times, and ensure that the department is known for its user-centered approach. At their earliest convenience, the new director should conduct internal and external “listening tours” to connect to department and campus stakeholders, understand their needs, and establish a baseline for strategic and operational plans in the future.
- As the scope of responsibilities for this role is broad and highly impactful, the director will need to quickly become familiar with all aspects under their purview to develop a comprehensive list of priorities. The director will need to prioritize a great deal of time upon arrival for learning the culture and preferences of the campus, discovering the internal needs of the staff and the department, and beginning the process of establishing themselves as the “expert” on issues related to procurement and contract management including, but not limited to, RFP’s, inventory and asset management, vendor relations, cooperative agreements, and prioritizing local providers. A fast pace can be expected with many entities wanting this person’s attention simultaneously, requiring the director to always be an effective multitasker and a diplomat.
- Upon arrival, one of the director’s top priorities will be an in-depth assessment of the existing technology and software used for procurement operations at PGCC. Since many of the current procedures are manual, once a baseline is determined, the director should immediately develop a plan for updating, upgrading, and replacing current technology with new and innovative tools to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and response time across the board. To provide the best possible service to PGCC, the director should be familiar with contemporary best practices in the procurement profession, seek out successful programs and services at other institutions, determine available professional benchmarking opportunities, and be involved with the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) or other national or regional associations to remain current on future trends that will affect the industry.
- As a good steward of institutional resources, the new director must also conduct a comprehensive assessment of the fiscal environment of the department and then begin the process of seeking areas in which PGCC can be more cost-efficient, particularly seeking out more diverse cooperative agreements that are fiscally beneficial to the user community.
- The ability to grow, develop, and mentor a dynamic professional staff while building a solid and dedicated procurement team will be critical for success. To succeed in this area, the new director must be a strong motivator with high-level supervisory, staff development, and training skills. Support for the staff is critical, and professional development at all levels is expected. Navigating through the current team’s needs, meeting with each person individually, getting to know the people on a deep level, and spending quality time in each area will be essential tasks for the new director. With several relatively new staff in both the internal procurement department and the campus user community, it will be crucial for the director to develop a robust training regimen for both, equipping the internal staff with the skills to conduct training themselves and the user community with knowledge of the resources and new opportunities available to them in performing their procurement-related business.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential parts of the PGCC community. The director must be a leader in supporting, understanding, embracing, and nurturing these concepts. There are many underrepresented populations within the institution, and procurement needs to be a model for maintaining a strong sense of equity and an unbiased environment, specifically in working with vendors, contractors, and local cooperatives. The new director should quickly become familiar with the campus climate and proactively participate in campus initiatives for engaging in conversation and action around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- The director will be expected to be very visible and engaged with staff and users and subsequently serve as the expert on, and the “face” of, procurement at PGCC. Working side-by-side with the professional team promotes unity, camaraderie, and a sense of community within the department. The director should prioritize getting out of the office and being seen, attending local and regional events, participating in official PGCC activities, collaborating across academic and student life, and spending quality time within the campus community. To accomplish this, the director should have excellent communication skills and be able to articulate the “story” of procurement across the institution. Being empathetic, understanding, and transparent is essential for success because the role also requires close interaction with staff, faculty, and the community.
- Stakeholders unanimously agreed that the area around PGCC is ideal for all walks of life. Largo offers the feel of a smaller community while also being geographically within a one-hour drive of Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD. These same stakeholders also voiced how much they enjoy working at PGCC, appreciate the spirit of collegiality throughout the institution, and value the support extended and received from each other, particularly in times of need. The internal procurement and contract services staff recognize the need to update and enhance the department’s operation and noted a strong desire for a leader with whom they can work collaboratively to move the program forward.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
At an appropriate interval after joining Prince George’s Community College, the items listed below will initially define success for the new director of procurement.
- According to satisfaction surveys, the reputation of the procurement department is positive, average processing and response times are decreasing, and communication from procurement is frequent and transparent.
- The procurement staff indicates strong support from the director, the staff is working cohesively as a team, morale and staff retention are high, the director is consistently available and willing to listen to and work alongside staff, trust has been developed between the new director and the various individuals and units in the portfolio, and professional development opportunities are readily available.
- Listening tours have been conducted within procurement and the user community, priorities have been established, and a plan is underway to develop a training regimen for the internal organization and the user community.
- A new strategic technology and software plan is underway or complete, with specific initiatives that modernize the current operations and build toward continuing improvements.
- Budgets and other fiscal processes are clearly communicated, budgets are successfully developed and implemented, and overall departmental finances are in good order.
- The director is seen as positive, approachable, innovative in problem-solving, and able to manage crises with a level head.
OVERVIEW OF THE OFFICE OF PROCUREMENT
The office of procurement supports the educational goals of Prince George’s Community College by acquiring goods and services through a centralized purchasing program that serves all departments of the college in accordance with the responsibility and authority delegated by the board of trustees and the president, and consistent with procurement laws, regulations, and college policy.
The main functions of the office of procurement include coordinating purchases of all goods and services for all college departments, maintaining vendor records and relationships, arranging product demonstrations and referring information about new or improved products to departments using those products, providing assistance and recommendations to college departments, and monitoring procurement procedures.
Terri K. Bacote-Charles, Vice President for Financial Services and Operations
Terri K. Bacote-Charles serves as the vice president of financial services and operations at Prince George’s Community College, where she functions as the college’s chief financial officer for an operating budget of more than $100 million. Bacote-Charles also provides the college with leadership and oversight in organizational development, facilities planning and management, campus police, and auxiliary services and events management.
Before joining the staff at Prince George’s Community College, Bacote-Charles served as the director of the Prince George’s County Government Office of Management and Budget following her time as its deputy director. She managed an annual budget portfolio of $3.7 billion in operating expenses and a six-year capital budget program of $4.7 billion.
Founded in 1958, Prince George’s Community College provides higher education to Prince George County and the Washington, DC, metro area. The college is based in Largo, Maryland, with an enrollment of over 11,000 students. PGCC offers over 100 fields of study through its academic, workforce development, continuing education, and personal enrichment programs. The college was the first educational institution to integrate in the county, and today serves more African-American students than any other post-secondary institution in the state of Maryland.
The Student Body
Total enrollment (2021 data): 10,577
African American: 64%
Two or more races: 4%
Race unknown: 5%
Prince George’s Community College has long recognized the importance of equal opportunity and diversity in education and includes diversity as one of its core values.
Prince George’s Community College supports and embraces cultural diversity, understood as the creation and promotion of an inclusive, non-discriminatory environment for everyone through accepting and valuing differences, including differences in age, race, national origin, ethnicity, religious affiliation, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, and ability/disability. Prince George’s Community College strives for growth and success for its students, employees, business partners, and the community.
Falicia D. Williams, President
Dr. Falecia D. Williams is the ninth president of Prince George’s Community College. A proven transformational servant leader, Williams values learning as much as leading and understands the power of inspiring others to invest in their own positive outcomes.
Prior to PGCC, Williams served for nearly 22 years at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, holding a series of progressively responsible positions, including president of the Downtown and West campuses. In this role, she was responsible for providing academic, administrative, and fiscal leadership to support the vision, mission, and values of Valencia College, and her data-driven results demonstrate her ability to achieve lasting, remarkable outcomes through effective leadership and partnership building.
A few highlights include the disruptive design, development, and launch of a new educational ecosystem model for a joint campus in partnership with the University of Central Florida; implementation of a comprehensive $1.5 million Title III Pathways project to revamp student services and increase faculty engagement in coaching students for success; launch and management of a summer bridge program that resulted in a 97 percent course success rate and 87 percent retention rate (compared to 80 percent course success rate and 76 percent retention when students engaged in traditional enrollment); and fundraising efforts totaling more than $30 million over five years.
During her tenure at Valencia College, she also served as interim provost for West Campus, assistant vice president for Workforce Development, dean for Workforce Development, and professor.
For information on the benefits offered at Prince George’s Community College, please click here.
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Public Salary Range: $100,000-$120,000
Visit the Prince George’s Community College website at https://www.pgcc.edu.
Prince George’s Community College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons to the end that no person, on the grounds of sex, age, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, or status as a qualified individual with a disability, qualified disabled veteran, or Vietnam-era veteran, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of this institution. Under this policy, this institution will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of sex, race, age, color, religion, veteran’s status, disability, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, or national origin in its admission policies and practices or any other policies or practices of the institution relating to the treatment of students and other individuals, including employment, the provision of services, financial aid, and other benefits, and including the use of any building, structure, room space, materials, equipment, facility, or any other property. One who believes oneself or any specific class of individual to be subject to prohibited discrimination may, by oneself or through a representative, file a written complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education, the college president, or both.