Staff Announcement: University Planning, Design & Construction

From: Scott Mabury, Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships & Vice-Provost, Academic Operations
Date: September 19, 2019
Re: Staff Announcement: University Planning, Design & Construction

It is with deep regret that I announce the departure of Gilbert Delgado, FAIA, Chief of University Planning, Design & Construction within the OREP portfolio, effective October 28, 2019.

Gilbert came to U of T in May 2016 after a successful career as the University Architect at Cornell University. With prior experience with the U.S. General Services Administration, Gilbert has led complex building development programs with an emphasis on excellent design. As if to underscore our hiring decision, directly following Gilbert’s start with us he was inducted in to The American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows in honour of his lifetime of achievement to date. 

As UPDC’s leader his mandate was to integrate and coordinate across the areas of planning, project development, design and engineering, management of projects and space to deliver value and consistent levels of service for the University.  He has succeeded in delivering these ambitious objectives while maintaining an optimistic and collegial outlook.  

During his 3+ years at the helm of UPDC, Gilbert has actively sought and capitalized on opportunities to improve the utilization of university owned properties on all three campuses to meet the academic need and/or provide additional sources of income to the institution.  He has led initiatives in pursuit of the university’s aesthetic vision and has provided leadership for design and planning initiatives for all major capital projects at the university, leading the Design Review Committee as co-Chair. Gilbert’s extensive experience leading architectural selection committees has culminated in UofT’s partnership with some of the worlds’ most celebrated and renowned architectural firms.

He was engaged in the development of innovative partnerships with Toronto-based developers to provide much needed housing while ensuring that the university obtains a fair parity share of planned revenue from the real estate development; attracted award winning, international architects to our projects; developed comprehensive real estate market studies to better understand the potential of surrounding university lands and strategize future developments; engaged in an external review of our capital projects portfolio; instituted a senor peer review process for major capital projects; and developed and implemented a centralized a project tracking and reporting tool. All this while overseeing a team with over $2.6B in either the planning, design or construction stages across all three campuses! 

Please join us in wishing Gilbert the best as he takes on his role as the new AVP, Design & Construction at Northeastern University in Boston; he will be missed.

We have engaged Opus Partners of Philadelphia, highly regarded search leaders in the field of design, engineering, construction and education, to find us, quite frankly, another Gilbert. The mandate is a challenge given what big shoes the successful candidate will have to fill, so our reach will be broad and deep. We will keep you updated and look forward to being able to make an announcement in the early new year.

In January 2012 an organizational review for the Division of the Vice-President University Operations resulted in the creation of University Planning Design and Construction (UPDC), an amalgamation of the former Real-Estate Operations with the Office of Campus and Facilities Planning. In January, 2019 the portfolio was renamed Operations and Real Estate Partnerships in recognition of the significant and transformational Four Corners Strategy.