Chief of Public Safety-Bucknell University (PA)

Chief of Public Safety

Job No: 496842

Position Type: full-time

Location: Lewisburg, PA

Categories: Public Safety

Bucknell University is seeking an experienced and equity-minded public safety leader to serve as its next chief of public safety. The expected start date is January 2022.

Founded in 1846 and located along the banks of the Susquehanna River in historic Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Bucknell University is an undergraduate-focused institution that stands uniquely at the intersection of top-ranked liberal arts, engineering and management programs. Students choose from more than 60 majors and 70 minors in the arts, engineering, humanities, management, and natural and social sciences, as well as extensive global study, service-learning and research opportunities. Bucknell’s 3,700 undergraduate and 30 graduate students enjoy a low 9:1 student-faculty ratio and exceptional opportunities to collaborate with faculty mentors on scholarly and artistic projects.

Bucknell’s 450-acre campus includes first-rate facilities and is home to more than 90 percent of its undergraduate students. Student life is vibrant with more than 200 student-run organizations, 27 NCAA Division I athletics teams, a robust arts culture, and a student commitment to community and global service work.

The Position
Reporting to the vice president for finance and administration and a member of her senior leadership team, the chief of public safety (chief) is responsible for the leadership and administration of the Public Safety department and maintaining the safety of the university community. The chief has the principal responsibility for protecting the safety and security of Bucknell students, faculty, staff and visitors, as well as the physical campus. The department is made up of 23 full-time staff, including three direct reports to the chief. The full-time staff is composed of commissioned and armed police officers, communications officers and supervisors for traffic and safety and medical transportation. The department also includes a casual public safety officer position and 23 additional part-time or temporary positions that provide service as needed for traffic enforcement, medical transport, and additional security support. The chief manages the relationship with surrounding local law enforcement including the Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department, the local volunteer fire department and emergency management service, the Union County Sheriff’s office, and the Union County District Attorney. The chief shall be expected to live in reasonable proximity to the Bucknell campus.

Employing a community and prevention-based approach to their work, the chief will promote a strong culture of community engagement throughout the department. They will collaborate with key partners across the campus and work closely with key stakeholders including university students, staff and faculty and external stakeholders including local, state, county and federal agencies in support of the university’s educational mission. A key expectation for the next chief will be to provide vision and direction for departmental diversity initiatives and to partner with others on campus to facilitate a broader understanding of the public safety team’s role in wider institutional initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This position is an exceptional opportunity for a forward-looking and collaborative leader with a strong knowledge of public safety and emergency response practices. The successful candidate will possess outstanding communication skills, an appreciation and vision for the unique role of public safety at a residential university, as well as a record of success advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in a public safety organization.

Minimum qualifications include graduation from a POST certified or equivalent leadership academy, as well as ten years of experience in safety and security or law enforcement, with at least five years in a supervisory and management capacity. The position also requires Pennsylvania Act 120 and Act 235 certification or the ability to obtain same; a Pennsylvania driver’s license or the ability to obtain one; and successful completion of a psychological evaluation and physical examination. Preferred qualifications include a bachelor’s or master’s degree; POST executive certification, POLEX and/or graduation from the FBI National Academy; and experience in a college or university campus safety department.

The search committee particularly invites applications from candidates with extensive experience in understanding and addressing the interests and needs of broadly diverse populations, including a demonstrated ability to establish trust and maintain positive, effective working relationships with students, faculty, staff, customers, and individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Application and Nomination
Bucknell has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with leading this search. Review of applications will begin Friday, October 1, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the position specification must be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be forwarded to Michel Frendian at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Bucknell University website at and the Bucknell Public Safety website at

To apply, visit

Copyright ©2021 Inc. All rights reserved.