The University of Southern California (USC) is a leading private research university located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles – a global center for arts, technology, and international business. USC is a comprehensive research university, and as a member of the prestigious American Association of Universities, USC is recognized for solid research and academic programs. In its comprehensive 2021 ranking, The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education ranked USC 19th among 1,000 public and private universities. USC is home to the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and 21 exceptional academic schools and units. USC’s Health Sciences campus houses renowned specialized care and research in cancer, stem cell and regenerative medicine, orthopedics, and sports medicine. Founded in 1880, USC is home to over 49,500 students engaged in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. USC is among the most diverse institutions of higher education in America, with 24 percent international students and more than 48 percent ethnic minority students.

Reporting to the associate senior vice president of safety and risk assurance, the assistant vice president (AVP)/chief of public safety (Chief) leads the Department of Public Safety (DPS), one of the largest campus public safety departments in the United States, employing 306 full-time personnel, including approximately 96 armed officers, 120 unarmed officers, 60 CCTV monitors and dispatchers, and 30 part-time student workers. The AVP/Chief provides leadership oversight of all areas responsible for protecting and ensuring campus safety and security on all USC campuses and surrounding communities. The AVP/Chief will collaborate with key stakeholders to ensure the work of DPS reflects the university’s commitment to building and maintaining inclusive relationships with the community. In addition, the AVP/Chief develops and oversees comprehensive safety and security standards, operational plans, officer deployments, and enforcement of department and university requirements; interfaces effectively with senior leadership and appropriate offices (e.g., Student Affairs, Campus Support Intervention, University Human Resources, the Provost, Office of General Counsel, and Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX amongst other offices); and works closely with other departments (e.g., Facilities Planning & Management, Information Technology Services, Environmental Health & Safety, Fire Safety & Emergency Planning, and Executive Protection, amongst others) on safety, security and access protocols. This position also collaborates with local law enforcement, external stakeholders, and internal university leaders to implement effective crime prevention strategies and emergency response protocols; and oversees management related to crime prevention and policy enforcement, Clery Act, and related Title IX compliance, and community engagement program development.

In 2020, President Folt created the USC Department of Public Safety Community Advisory Board (CAB) and tasked the CAB with undertaking an evidence-based examination of USC’s public safety practices, including departmental accountability, transparency, bias training, and hiring. CAB completed its report in July 2021 after ten months of meetings and conversations with over 700 people from across the university community — students, staff, faculty, and neighbors, as well as current and former law enforcement — to ensure the recommendations would be informed by a diverse collection of voices. The result of these efforts was a ONE USC Safety Vision, which describes an environment where everyone feels safe, respected, and protected from victimization, and where the diverse experiences and needs of all USC students, faculty, staff, and neighbors throughout USC’s spheres of influence are addressed and respected. To achieve these two broad goals, the CAB presented 45 recommendations grouped into four thematic pillars: accountability, alternatives to armed response, community care, and transparency. While a CAB implementation team is in place to oversee the review and implementation of these recommendations, the new AVP/Chief will play an integral role in their ultimate realization.

The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in law enforcement administration, criminal justice, security management, or related areas and a minimum of ten years of experience in law enforcement or public safety environments, with five years of experience in campus-based environments and a demonstrated ability to learn, understand and apply higher education-related regulations, policies, and procedures. The AVP/Chief will have a commitment to diversity and inclusivity, with demonstrated ability to build, develop and manage diverse, high-performing teams, fostering an environment of inclusiveness, trust, collaboration, transparency, and accountability. The AVP/Chief will have a thorough knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to national best practices in constitutional and community policing, and transformative justice, including the principles of 21st Century Policing as described by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Further, the AVP/Chief must have experience successfully developing, implementing, and evaluating community engagement strategies and community-oriented policing strategies.

The successful candidate will have the ability to learn institutional cultures with a demonstrated sensitivity to diverse, underrepresented, or marginalized groups of constituents; demonstrated experience interacting with a broad spectrum of leaders and community members, exercising diplomacy, good judgment, excellent written and oral communication skills, and the ability to carry out clear instructions and explain technical safety information, terms, and data in an understandable manner and discretion; and demonstrated customer service, interpersonal and analytical skills. Further, extensive experience with ICS/CMS and emergency management and recovery; ability to learn, understand and perform first responder responsibilities when needed; extensive demonstrated experience of compliance with the Clery Act, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act; and experience overseeing and conducting confidential, sensitive investigations. The AVP/Chief will have experience applying and managing state-of-the-art security systems and automated equipment; demonstrated knowledge of organizational development, with skills in evaluating operations and procedures, formulating policy, and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures; experience developing, planning, and implementing short- and long-range goals; expertise in staffing, evaluating, and organizing security departments; and experience managing the onboarding, training, supervising and monitoring of employees; and, organizing, prioritizing and scheduling work assignments in fast-paced environments. In addition, the successful candidate must obtain a CA driver’s license and California POST certification or equivalent out-of-state training, as well as possess a Bureau of Security and Investigative Services Firearm Permit and Guard Card, or obtain licenses within six months of contingent offer acceptance, barring extreme and extenuating circumstances.

Preferred qualifications include current/prior appointment and experience at the university administrative level, a master’s degree or law degree with an emphasis in law enforcement administration, criminal justice, public administration, public policy, sociology, cultural competence, security management, leadership and change management or related subject matter areas. Experience working at an NCAA Division I FBS institution in a major urban area with a large international student population; law enforcement leadership training from an accredited or nationally recognized organization certification (e.g., Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, FBINA, FBI LEEDA, ASIS); established relations with local, state or federal law enforcement entities; experience developing, implementing, and maintaining records management systems and procedures; and working knowledge of California BSIS laws and regulations.

Review of applications will begin on August 22, 2022, 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 or email

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USC is an equal-opportunity educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding persons of every race, gender, creed, and background. The University particularly encourages women, members of underrepresented groups, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply. USC will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship.