Tulane leader tapped as UF’s next VP for facilities and construction 

A Tulane University administrator with extensive private-sector experience in managing large construction projects and facilities around the country has been tapped to be the University of Florida’s next vice president for facilities and construction.

A picture of a man

Randy Philipson

Randy Philipson, Tulane’s vice president for facilities, campus development, and real estate since 2015, will succeed Dave Kratzer, who is stepping back from his current position as senior vice president for construction, facilities and auxiliary operations to work part time on select university projects. Philipson will start July 22.

“Randy will be a great addition to Gator Nation. Lots of people wanted him, but we got him,” UF President Ben Sasse said. “His experience is a great fit for what we need: an experienced leader who has the bandwidth to ride herd on all the buildings – old, new and under construction – of a $10 billion enterprise. It’s a lot to have on one plate, but Randy’s ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work.

“I’m also grateful to General Dave Kratzer for stepping in to take the helm,” said Sasse. “Dave knows all about answering the call of duty for his country, and he answered UF’s call, too. He’s a servant leader who dove right in and helped this incredible university. Everyone at UF is blessed that we’ll continue to be able to draw on his vast experience, leadership, and wisdom.”

Philipson said he’s eager to get started in his new role.

“I’m excited to join a world-class university that is on an unbelievable trajectory and to support President Sasse’s vision of transforming the student experience through our work in the built environment,” Philipson said.

At Tulane, Philipson had leadership, coordination and administrative oversight responsibility for facilities planning, engineering, design and construction, and the efficient operation of physical facilities on all campuses and off-campus locations. He was responsible for roughly $1 billion in capital projects, including a 77,000-square-foot dining hall and expansion of a 70,000-square-foot Science and Engineering building.

He also led implementation of Tulane’s downtown campus strategy, including real estate acquisitions for future development; renovation of the 350,000-square-foot former Charity Hospital into a new home for the School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, the School of Medicine Labs, and public gathering spaces; and the planned renovation and re-imagination of the 600,000-square-foot Tulane Medical Center into a multi-use facility with academic programs, research, clinics, retail, community gathering, and innovation spaces.

Prior to that, Philipson spent 15 years with SMG, the world’s largest private facilities management company, most recently as director of facilities and regional director of operations for SMG New Orleans. There, he had operational oversight at 30 facilities nationwide, including five NFL stadiums, providing asset management, budget and financial management, and construction management.

From 2006 to 2013, he was director of engineering and operations for SMG Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Smoothie King Center, and Champions Square in New Orleans. His responsibilities included emergency preparedness planning, coordination, and execution with FEMA following Hurricane Katrina, City of New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness, life safety and fire code compliance, and safety training.

Philipson serves on the Bricolage Academy Board of Directors as its treasurer, as well as a member of the boards of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, and St. Augustine High School. He also serves as chair of the Parking and Transportation Subcommittee for the Super Bowl LIX Host Committee. 

Philipson graduated from Louisiana State University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and earned a Master of Business Administration degree in 2023 from Tulane.

UF News June 17, 2024