From Executive Vice President David M. Greenberg

A headshot of David M. Greenberg

As I look back on Fiscal Year 22, there are many accomplishments that University Facilities & Operations can be proud of – including some that will be preserved in Columbia’s history. While we give those milestones their appropriate recognition, we equally celebrate the year for a return to a full and bustling campus after 18 months where Covid forced significant modifications to in-person classes and undergraduate residential living.

Campus life during Fiscal Year 22 was by no means normal with pandemic health considerations continuing to impact the University’s operations. This is where the ingenuity and steadfast commitment of the Facilities and Operations team kicked in once again to provide as close to a regular campus experience as possible with on-campus living and dining, full classrooms, athletics, and other events, while adapting where necessary to stay consistent with dynamic health and safety guidelines.

Supporting the University through a re-densified campus marked only the beginning of our organization’s accomplishments this fiscal year. After years of planning and construction, the Columbia Business School celebrated moving into its new home at Henry R. Kravis Hall and David Geffen Hall in Manhattanville in January 2022 – a historic moment for the University and long anticipated milestone for Facilities and Operations.

Opening the new Business School buildings, the one-acre Square open space, the Central Energy Plant expansion and associated below-grade spaces on time despite Covid disruptions impacting everything from construction schedules to worldwide supply chains for materials is a testament to the resourcefulness and proactive thinking of our organization. New dining venues, catering, expanded transportation and other support services launched to coincide with the opening completed the effort – and the overall success of the Business School opening speaks to the synergies across Facilities and Operations’ many functional areas.

Continuous improvement to the Columbia experience was also on the forefront of our work in FY22.  We made it easier to submit service and maintenance requests, adding texting and email as options, becoming the first Ivy League college and one of the first in the nation to receive maintenance requests via text. We also enhanced technology to simplify the process for faculty, postdocs, and graduate students to select housing. Recognizing the popularity of services, we created new Dining concepts at Uris Hall and Faculty House to increase options for students and expanded the coverage area of the Public Safety Evening Shuttle.

Construction and renovations across campus contributed to an improved experience inside and outside the classroom, including the new ESPORTS Room in Wallach Lounge and renovated lounge in John Jay Hall; renovated and redesigned classrooms to better support hybrid classes; renovated laboratories; athletic facilities enhancements; grounds improvements and more. After Covid upended the restaurant industry, it was a welcome sight to add four new food establishments to Columbia University's retail portfolio including Oliva, a Spanish tapas restaurant by Chef Franklin Becker.

Facilities and Operations has long had initiatives in place to create more opportunities for minority-, woman- and locally owned businesses that work with us, and in FY22 we launched in earnest an effort focused internally to our 2,000-plus employees to help create an organization that fosters and sustains a long-lasting sense of wellbeing and belonging for a visibly diverse workforce. As this initiative continues to take shape, there are many ongoing activities that support the same values, such as new strategies to expand recruitment during the last year.

Sustainability remained front and center in the fiscal year as the University continued its progress toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050, including committing to 100 percent net zero emissions electricity, gradually transitioning Columbia’s parking areas to zero emission vehicles only, and pledging all future campus construction will be fossil free.

I also want to note how proud I am of the awards garnered by our team, which feature top industry awards in engineering, resident wellbeing, construction, dining, sustainability and more.

The 2022 fiscal year started with hope in bringing back a full campus population, and it ended with celebration at Commencement, commemorating not only the Class of 2022 but also bringing back the Classes of 2020 and 2021. Through it all, the dedicated professionals of Facilities and Operations exhibited their trademark adaptability and perseverance while solving problems with ever greater efficiency and ability. I want to recognize and thank this exceptional team as I encourage you to explore our full Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report to learn about these initiatives and other accomplishments from the year.

Year in Review

A look back at Fiscal Year 2022


Awards and recognitions we've received for our work




The new Columbia Business School buildings at the Manhattanville campus were recognized with an Excellence in Structural Engineering Award in the category of new buildings from the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY).

SEAoNY’s Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards is modeled after the National Council of Structural Engineers Association Awards and recognizes structural engineering ingenuity by firms located in New York City.  Projects are judged on creativity of complex design, innovative use of materials and techniques, and sustainability of design.

An aerial view of the new Columbia Business School building, looking north, with a bunch of buildings in the background and the Hudson River to the west.

Columbia achieved Fitwel® certification for 600 W. 125th Street, its new 34-story building to house graduate students and faculty members on the southwest corner of 125th Street and Broadway. The building earned three stars – Fitwel’s highest standard – in Fitwel Version 2.1 Multifamily rating for its design, construction, and sustainability principles as well as its commitment to resident health and well-being.  

Fitwel, created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration, with the Center for Active Design, certifies buildings for advancing human health and well-being through their design and operational strategies.

A certificate from Fitwel that certifies Columbia's new residential building at 600 W. 125th Street has achieved a Fitwel 3 star rating.

Facilities and Operations' Tanya Pope was recognized as one of Crain’s New York Business’s 2022 Notable Black Leaders and Executives for sourcing diverse vendors for Columbia and leading programs for minority-owned, woman-owned, and locally owned business enterprises (MWLBEs) and residents.  As the Assistant Vice President of University Supplier Diversity, Pope has overseen the university’s construction portfolio which has paid more than $1.2 billion to MWLBEs in the past decade through programs such as the CU Grow Vendor Development program and its Manhattanville campus construction.

A headshot of Tanya Pope, who has medium length black hair and is wearing a tan vest over a black, long-sleeved shirt.

Columbia was recognized as the runner-up in the Commute Options category from the  Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) for the implementation of its Commuter Shuttle service that was temporarily put in place to provide an alternative to public transit for Columbia students, faculty, and staff who needed to be on campus during the pandemic. The goal of the Commuter Shuttle service was to provide a car-free travel alternative to public transit for Columbia affiliates who wish to minimize their risk of contracting COVID-19.

A group of people sitting in a banquet hall with a slide recognizing Columbia University for its overall transportation benefits on the stage.

During the Women Builders Council (WBC) 16th Annual Champion Awards, 10 women who work for Facilities and Operations were recognized for being Outstanding Women in Construction with invaluable contributions throughout their careers and the Next Generation of Women Builders with an early promise in the construction industry.  In addition, David M. Greenberg, executive vice president for University Facilities and Operations, was honored as a WeForShe Champion, for being an inspiration and helping to pave the way for today’s top female leaders in the construction industry and continuing to be an advocate for a new standard of equality in the workplace. 

A group of Facilities and Operations team members huddle together against a white screen that has the WBC logo imprinted on it.

Columbia was recognized in the 2021 Sustainable Campus Index, achieving second place in Transportation and coming in sixth for Food & Dining. Columbia has placed in the top ten in these categories, as well as earning an overall Gold rating, for the past six years.

The 2021 Sustainable Campus Index, a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), highlights top-performing colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

 Left: Illustration of Columbia University as a “green campus.” Right: Cover of the AASHE STARS 2021 Sustainable Campus Index report.

Members of the Columbia University President’s Advisory Task Force on COVID-19 were awarded the Nicholas Murray Butler Gold Medal during the 2020-21 Commencement Ceremony, which recognizes Columbians for their distinguished contributions to the University. David M. Greenberg, executive vice president for Facilities and Operations, was among those recognized, and accepted the award on behalf of all employees of Facilities and Operations for their outstanding work during the pandemic. 

IPresident Bollinger shakes David M. Greenberg's hand during Commencement.  Both are wearing Commencement regalia.

Food Management honored Columbia Dining's Chef Michael DiMartino and Registered Dietitian Alexa Gandara as their top 14 Foodservice Heroes of 2022.  DiMartino and Gandara was recognized for leading Columbia Dining through its quarantine and isolation meal program during the academic year, which ranged from just a dozen to hundreds of meals a day.

Registered Dietian Alexa Gandara and Chef Mike Martino stand by Chef Mike's Kitchen booth.