Western's John Furman, director of Facilities Management, to retire in June

John Furman, director of Facilities Management in the division of Business and Financial Affairs since 2011, will retire on June 30, 2022, just after the conclusion of the academic year.

“I will miss all the amazing people I have had the honor to work with, especially the extraordinary professionals in my FM leadership team and the incredible dedication and commitment they demonstrate day in and day out without fail! But I won’t miss all the issues and problems that make me not able to sleep at 3 a.m.!” said Furman. “The last 18 months have made clear how fragile life is and how important it is to relish precious moments. My wife Sylvia and I are eagerly looking forward to spur-of-the-moment trips, visiting family and friends whenever we want, wherever we want, and for as long as we want – without having one eye focused back on campus.”

Joyce Lopes, Western’s vice president for Business and Financial Affairs, said Furman’s unwavering commitment to the university would be sorely missed.

“John brings an incredible level of commitment to everything he does. While I have only had the opportunity to work with John for a few months, his impact at Western is seen across the university. He has introduced innovative ways to manage our campus buildings, grounds, and infrastructure,” said Joyce Lopes, Western’s vice president for Business and Financial Affairs. “He has made incredible contributions to sustainability. He has built a remarkable team of professionals to help lead operations and maintenance. And his contributions to the Incident Command structure during the pandemic were priceless.”

“I wish we could have worked together longer. He leaves Western better than he found it and we are fortunate for all he has contributed to serving our students and our community. I wish him all the best as he moves his focus to his children, grandchildren, and wife. It is clear he is value-driven and focusing on the most important values in life,” Lopes said.

Furman has been responsible for leading the university’s facilities operations, which included growing the team to 226 employees with the addition of University Residence Custodial Services and the Lockshop. Facilities Management is a large division that encompasses almost all grounds work, maintenance, and construction tasks on campus.

Melynda Huskey, Western’s vice president of Enrollment and Student Services, said Furman’s role in Western’s coronavirus Incident Management Team was crucial in helping to formulate the university’s movement forward after the pandemic began.

“One of the unexpected gifts of the catastrophe of COVID was having the opportunity to work so closely with John on the Incident Response Team. We’d connected occasionally before that, but in the hours and hours of time—early mornings, late nights, all day long—that we were engaged in crafting an institutional response to the largest, longest, and most complex emergency Western has faced, I really got to know and appreciate John’s dedication, skill, good sense, and clarity of purpose,” said Huskey. “He’s been an extraordinary colleague, and I will miss him, although I think of him every time I say, ‘We reserve the right to get smarter.’”

Furman earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and his master’s in civil engineering from the University of Illinois, and was an assistant professor at the Coast Guard Academy. Furman is a registered professional engineer and a certified facility manager.

Furman is married with two daughters and two sons. He has many plans for the future, including touring the United States in a caravan, spending time with his grandchildren, and improving his golf handicap