Chief, Campus Safety & Emergency Management Services-Syracuse University (NY)

Syracuse University was founded in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution offering programs in the physical sciences and modern languages. By 1934, the University’s academic divisions had grown to comprise 13 schools and colleges that persist to the present day. At the end of fiscal year 2019, the University’s endowment fund was valued at approximately $1.4 billion. The University has nationally recognized programs in information studies and library science, architecture, communications, business administration, sports management, public administration, engineering, humanities, and the natural and social sciences. Syracuse aspires to be a pre-eminent and inclusive student-focused research university, preparing engaged citizens, scholars, and leaders for participation in a changing global society through a clearly articulated vision and mission.


Syracuse is a university of national stature and international opportunity, known for its professional programs, investment in research and innovation, and undeniable school spirit. Ranked #58 among the Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, Syracuse University offers many highly ranked programs and co-curricular opportunities. In 2021, the University was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars.

Syracuse University’s total enrollment for fall 2020 was 21,322, which includes 14,479 undergraduate students, 6,193 graduate students and 650 law students. The student population represents all 50 U.S. states and 127 countries. Students of color represent approximately 27% of the total student population, and approximately 19% of the University’s undergraduate students are first-generation college students. More detailed information on student demographics can be found here.

More than 60% of Syracuse University’s undergraduate classes have fewer than 20 students, allowing for close mentoring and support from its dedicated faculty and staff. There are 930 tenured and tenure-track faculty and 881 non-tenure track faculty. Syracuse University employs 3,554 staff members. At Syracuse, the combination of cutting-edge research, a rich liberal arts core and a wide array of strong professional and graduate schools creates an invigorating atmosphere in which students can tailor their education to meet their goals and in which researchers can easily collaborate.

Syracuse University recently completed an intensive, independent review of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). This review, along with guidance from the Board of Trustees Special Committee on University Climate, Diversity and Inclusion and results from the Campus Climate Pulse Survey, provide a foundation from which the Chief, Campus Safety and Emergency Management Services (CSEMS) will refine current and implement new initiatives, services, and training opportunities while also establishing strong relationships with students and departments across campus. This position will lead a strategic, thoughtful and holistic transformation of CSEMS, ultimately resulting in enhanced community-oriented policing practices, strengthened student engagement, deeper campus partnerships, innovative updates to services, and improved communication, accountability, and transparency.

Reporting directly to the Senior Vice President for Business, Finance and Administrative Services (BFAS) and Chief Financial Officer, the Chief, Campus Safety and Emergency Management Services is responsible for planning and directing the administrative, operational, and financial aspects of the DPS, Emergency Management, Global Safety and Support, and CSEMS Administrative and Technical Services. The new Chief will join on the heels of DPS earning accreditation from CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies), one of only 11 law enforcement agencies in New York State to meet the highest professional standards in law enforcement. Along with previous accreditation from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), DPS is one of only 27 dual CALEA/IACLEA accredited campus public safety agencies nationwide and the only one in New York State. As a senior leader in the BFAS division, the Chief will help bring to life the vision of the BFAS division’s strategic plan, The Orange Standard, which calls for creating a signature experience unparalleled in practice and a commitment to continuous improvement in order to power the success of the University as a whole. The Chief will ensure operational excellence and a unified approach to safety, law enforcement, fire and life safety, and emergency management by providing exemplary service and supporting a diverse campus community in which all members feel valued, respected, and safe and positioned to thrive. CSEMS serves the entire Syracuse University campus area, over 900 acres, including North Campus, South Campus, and University-controlled properties in the city of Syracuse.

This position leads CSEMS’s interactions and collaborations with other divisions and departments providing consultation, guidance and information to support the various functions of the University, including an important partnership with Enrollment and the Student Experience. As the University’s chief law enforcement officer, the Chief provides the Senior Vice President for Business, Finance and Administrative services and Chief Financial Officer, the Chancellor and all executive teams/councils, and members of the Board of Trustees with guidance related to safety, investigations, and emergency and crisis-related matters on campus and, as necessary, globally. The Chief will also serve as the primary liaison with local, state and federal law enforcement, fire, and emergency management agencies.

Overseeing approximately 230 full- and part-time employees, including approximately 60 union members and 180 student workers, the Chief will maintain a high level of professionalism, continued development, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and unwavering dedication to social justice and the safety of Syracuse University’s students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum of 10 years of significant responsibility and experience in law enforcement, safety and security, and/or as an emergency first-responder, with four years at an upper management level with supervision or an equivalent combination of education and experience (master’s degree preferred). It is imperative that this new Chief have a demonstrated commitment to and track record of success related to issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice and have effectively infused these values into the ethos of their staff/department. Further, candidates must be authentic communicators with outstanding interpersonal skills; an ability to thrive within a decentralized, complex work environment; excellent analytical, organizational and time management skills; experience successfully mentoring and professionally developing staff; and expert knowledge, interpretation and application of Clery and the collection of applicable crime statistics. This Chief will have experience overseeing police operations for large scale special events, dignitary visits and protests/demonstrations; the ability to foster collaborative working relationships across campus and with local, state and federal law enforcement and first- responder agencies; and possess a track record of promoting an environment of accountability and continuous performance improvement by establishing and monitoring concrete performance measures to drive achievement of targeted outcomes. Lastly, the Chief must maintain a New York State Bureau of Municipal Police Officer or Campus Public Safety Peace Officer (with firearms) certification (approved through the Municipal Police Training Council pursuant to Education Law §6435), or, if certified as a police officers in another state, must be eligible for certification as a NYS Campus Peace Officer (with firearms) through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and achieve such certification within one year of appointment. Law experience within a higher education environment and training certifications in emergency management from FEMA or related agencies are both preferred qualifications for the Chief.

Review of applications will begin May 5, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be emailed to Heather J. Larabee at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

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Syracuse University is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law to the extent prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs, services, and activities.