Executive Director, Plant Operations
Richard W. "Rich" Robben, as executive director, plans and directs the administrative and operational activities of Plant Operations, including maintenance and renovations, grounds, waste management, utilities and building services. Of the 1,400 employees that comprise the Plant Operations team, approximately 70 percent are represented by bargaining units.
Before assuming his current role, Robben served as director of maintenance and utility services, responsible for the operation, maintenance, and supply of utilities for U-M facilities on the Ann Arbor campus. Prior to joining U-M, Robben served as director of physical plant at the Morningside and Midtown campuses of Columbia University for ten years. His responsibilities included energy conservation and consumption, capital construction improvements to the campus infrastructure, budget preparations and administration, as well as grounds, fire safety, and quality assurance. He was an adjunct professor for facilities engineering at the State University of New York Maritime College before moving to Michigan.
Robben holds a bachelor of science degree in nuclear engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College and a master of business administration degree from Columbia University. He served in the United States Naval Reserve from 1974–1994, attaining the rank of commander. He is a licensed professional engineer and a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers and the National Engineering Honor Society.
Mr. Robben also serves on the board of directors of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority and the parish finance council of St. Mary's Student Parish at the University of Michigan.
326 East Hoover Avenue
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1002