Search Updates

Search Update – January 2021

The search committee identified three highly qualified finalists and conducted virtual campus visits January 14 through January 19. The deadline for feedback has closed and a decision and announcement will be forthcoming. Thank you to the campus community for your participation in this very important search process.


Search Update – October 2020

The Search Committee has retained Spelman and Johnson to facilitate the search for MSU’s sixth Chief of Police and Director of the MSU Police Department.

Reporting to the president and serving as an active member of the president’s leadership team, the chief of police and director of the MSU Police Department is responsible for the overall planning, development, and implementation of a comprehensive and dynamic public safety and law enforcement program at Michigan State University. Through this individual’s leadership, the department strives to enhance the quality of life on campus by building relationships, strengthening stewardship, and working collaboratively to reduce crime, enforce laws, preserve peace, and provide a safe environment for the diverse MSU community.

The chief leads and manages the daily operations of the department; provides effective strategic direction by setting short- and long-term goals; engages collaboratively and consistently with senior administration, faculty, staff, students, service departments, and other law enforcement agencies; identifies, devises, and promotes national best practices, sound policies and procedures, and innovative problem-solving initiatives; and supports the goals and mission of Michigan State University. 

The chief ensures appropriate programs are in place to meet the compliance needs of the University, administers federal, state, local, and MSU laws and ordinances to ensure University security, and serves as a spokesperson for the institution on law enforcement, public safety, and security matters. This individual creates, supports, and implements plans to promote diversity and inclusion within the department, and continuously broadens the department’s awareness and understanding of the various geographic, cultural, gender, ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds, including multi-language communities. In addition, the chief ensures that the department works collaboratively with the Title IX Office and campus units that provide support services to victims of relationship violence and sexual misconduct, and that department personnel are well-trained in trauma responses, interviewing, and the identification of the predominant aggressor.

The department is integrally focused on community and 21st century policing, and the chief manages a full array of campus and community-based initiatives designed to deter criminal activity, proactively engage the campus community, build positive relationships, and prevent crimes. The chief efficiently manages the department’s fiscal operations and ensures good stewardship of resources; oversees, assesses and responds to critical campus concerns, catastrophic events, major security issues, and emergency situations; ensures appropriate threat assessment and risk mitigation measures are in place; and coordinates with internal and external organizations regarding major activities held on campus, including, but not limited to, athletic events, concerts, speakers’ series, commencements, and student/public assemblies.

The chief of police and director of the MSU Police Department is responsible for a comprehensive staff of 109, including two direct reports, and oversees a budget of approximately $20.3 million.

Position Description (.PDF)

Search Timeline:

    • September – selection of search committee, search firm, launch search
    • October – stakeholder meetings, finalize position description and advertise
    • November – search committee hosts public listening sessions November 11 and 13, and identifies candidates for initial interviews
      • The search committee created a feedback form for those unable to join the listening sessions or would rather submit their comments in writing.
    • December – semi-finalist interviews
    • January – host finalist interviews 

Since 1928, the Michigan State University Police Department has served the MSU community by providing a safe environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors to live, learn and work.

Eighty officers, certified by the state of Michigan, have been granted the full range of legal powers on property owned by the university or governed by the MSU Board of Trustees. Those officers provide a variety of services, including calls for service, investigations, special event security and emergency management. In addition, more than 25 civilian employees manage critical operations within the MSU Police Department, including traffic engineering, information technology, access control and parking services.

All MSU employees reflect the community they serve, as they are a diverse group of outstanding women and men. All sworn officers and many civilian employees have completed higher education requirements to earn bachelor’s degrees. Some employees have furthered their education with advanced degrees while employed at the department.

The MSU Police Department maintains a cooperative relationship with local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. On a county level, this cooperation is documented in a mutual aid assistance agreement. This cooperation includes multi-jurisdictional task forces, special event coordination, shared disaster exercises, requests for emergency assistance and joint training programs.