RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DIRECTOR OF CAMPUS SAFETY
Reporting to the vice president for student affairs and dean of students, the director leads the campus safety department, creating a strong team culture focused on relationship building, community engagement, and a community-centered approach to campus safety. The director oversees the functions of campus safety and the campus safety team, including three full-time staff and contract security officers and dispatchers. In addition, the director leads the response to campus emergencies, ensuring timely warning and community notifications as needed and in consultation with senior leadership, and administers the college’s emergency communication system. The campus safety department conducts investigations into violations of the college’s policies, assists outside law enforcement agencies in investigating crimes on campus, and directs, organizes, and implements comprehensive campus safety and emergency response programs, including safety education, for the Wheaton College community.
The director collaborates widely across the institution, working with various campus departments (e.g., the dean of students office, residential life, risk management, environmental health and safety) to promote safety on campus. They are responsible for developing educational and informational outreach programs to maintain effective community relations and open communication. The director must build strong, collaborative relationships with local officials by conducting joint training and sharing emergency preparedness plans.
The director oversees the department’s recruitment, ongoing training, and supervision, ensuring that the campus safety team (officers, dispatchers, and staff) demonstrates behaviors consistent with department policies and the college’s mission and values. The director provides supervision and mentorship to officers and staff, manages the department budget, and periodically reviews policies, practices, and training to maintain department consistency when responding to the needs of a diverse community while respecting the college’s philosophy. The director serves on the student affairs leadership team and co-chairs the campus safety advisory and emergency response committees.
The director of campus safety:
- Provides leadership, management, guidance, training, and evaluation for the campus safety department staff.
- Manages the relationship with Securitas Security and establishes strong communication and clear standards of conduct and performance for all individuals serving as campus security personnel.
- Oversees the development and implementation of plans for parking, traffic control, crowd control, and related safety/security issues.
- Develops positive and collaborative relationships with students and student organizations.
- Establishes and maintains effective relationships with and serves as the liaison to local, state, or other law enforcement agencies concerning safety, security, and/or laws.
- Provides effective crime prevention programs for the college community.
- Ensures the collection and maintenance of all statistical information to comply with all reporting requirements, including preparation of the annual Clery Act report.
- Participates in weekly incident review and behavioral threat assessment team meetings with student affairs and Securitas leadership.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
The successful candidate must have a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, education, criminal justice, or a related field with ten years of increasingly responsible, high-level leadership positions within a police or public safety agency. The director must demonstrate success and expertise working in culturally diverse communities and a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and social justice. Further, candidates must be eligible for appointment as a special state police officer in Massachusetts, have emergency management experience, and be trained in mental health situations and de-escalation techniques. A master’s degree, management and leadership training, and experience at a college or university (or similar institution) are strongly preferred.
Additionally, stakeholders indicated the following as essential characteristics and attributes for the director of campus safety:
- Demonstrates a solid understanding of policing practices and procedures within a non-armed environment.
- Culturally competent, with a genuine appreciation for and experience working with a diverse student population and a robust understanding of social justice and gender identity.
- Understanding of and appreciation for a student-centered educational environment and the department’s role within the campus community.
- Displays genuine excitement to work and build trust with students by actively engaging students in community connection practices, facilitating ongoing open communications and positive daily interactions, and being responsive to needs and concerns.
- Visible, collaborative, relationship-oriented, willingly engaged at all levels, and ready to step in and support or assist in any situation.
- Models treating all community members with respect and dignity; a strong supervisor capable of challenging and appreciating individuals while effectively training, educating, and holding staff accountable to the highest standards of professionalism.
- Possesses excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to manage confidential and sensitive matters with tact and discretion.
- Shows an in-depth understanding of applicable laws, risk management, safety and security procedures, policies, and protocols necessary to inform an immediate response to situations.
HISTORY OF THE POSITION
Wheaton experienced a leadership change when the chief of public safety left the institution in 2021 for another opportunity. In reviewing the department, Wheaton recruited a retired police chief with significant higher education experience to serve in an interim role and he has been in place for 18 months. Within the last six months, the reporting structure for campus safety transitioned from finance and administration to student affairs. Campus safety staff and stakeholders have applauded the new reporting structure because it facilitates better relationships between campus safety staff and student-facing staff with whom they most regularly interact.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
The new director of campus safety has a significant opportunity to realign expectations, improve collaboration, and strengthen overall campus safety at Wheaton College. The following are opportunities and challenges to be addressed by the new director of campus safety.
In January 2021, Wheaton transitioned the public safety department, comprised of sworn unarmed peace officers, to campus safety, an unsworn department. Wheaton retained three full-time safety staff, and the college contracted with the third-party security vendor, Securitas Security. Following the college announcement, a swift transition left a short time to realign expectations and educate the community on how service delivery would change.
The interim director and lieutenant have made great strides in strengthening relationships and establishing new expectations with campus and community partners. Challenges still exist with campus safety’s communication of their services and engaging with the community. At the same time, many willing partners want to see the department succeed and are excited to see a new director quickly engage and build relationships to strengthen safety at Wheaton College.
The new director has an opportunity to develop a functional and robust campus safety program, taking advantage of the recent transition to reporting to the vice president of student affairs, willing partners across campus, and investments in campus safety technology. The vice president of student affairs and dean of students has established solid partnerships and recognizes the need for improved alignment of expectations across campus. The new director must leverage their expertise and above strengths to:
- Improve training and retention; build a department focused on high service delivery and strong partnerships on campus and in the community.
- Realign expectations with campus and community partners who perceive a gap between expectations and service delivery.
- Create a more sustainable workload, establish role clarity, deliver reliable and consistent actions and responses, offer knowledgeable resources to the community, and provide accurate reporting.
- Exhibit sensitivity and competence in implementing strategies to strengthen practices that enable equity, inclusion, and belonging.
- Create a sense of transparency and strong communication.
- Work with local law enforcement and emergency response agencies to establish mutually agreed-upon processes and procedures.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
At an appropriate interval after joining Wheaton College, the items listed below will define success for the director:
- Campus safety is a trusted resource known for its caring support for the Wheaton community.
- The director is valued as a subject matter expert for best practices in campus safety, known as a solution-oriented problem solver, and recognized for improving the performance of campus safety and Securitas staff.
- Campus safety processes, procedures, and policies are formalized, efficient, timely, and well-communicated, and they provide training and education to faculty and staff to improve safety.
- The director possesses strong relationships on campus and collaborates closely with campus partners and community stakeholders.
- External stakeholders, such as parents and Norton community members, find campus safety responsive, compassionate, and considerate of their concerns.
- The campus safety department has a clearly articulated and comprehensive strategic plan.
OVERVIEW OF THE CAMPUS SAFETY DEPARTMENT
A part of the division of student affairs, campus safety is committed to providing a comprehensive program of security, crime prevention, parking and traffic enforcement, and other related services to help ensure that Wheaton is a safe and orderly environment for the entire college community. The campus safety staff pledge to show respect for all individuals and their rights, to uphold the law, to strive for excellence in every service they provide, and to act with the highest integrity at all times.
OVERVIEW OF THE DIVISION OF STUDENT AFFAIRS
In addition to campus safety, student affairs departments facilitate robust living and learning environments and comprehensive student care and support.
STUDENT AFFAIRS LEADERSHIP
Darnell T. Parker, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Assuming the role in 2021, Dr. Darnell Parker has considerable expertise in student affairs, diversity and equity, and Title IX compliance within higher education. Most recently, he served as the senior associate vice president for equity at Case Western Reserve University after four years in the division of student affairs. In this newly created office and role at Case Western Reserve University, he oversaw the university’s efforts and initiatives to address and prevent discrimination and harassment and effect sustainable change.
Parker’s passion for the liberal arts has been a thread throughout his career. His dissertation explored diversity at liberal arts colleges, the impact of diversity on student learning in the liberal arts, and methods to improve campus climate on a college campus by creating campus dialogue and professional development opportunities. Before Case Western Reserve, Parker spent nine years at Washington College in Maryland working in residence life, multicultural affairs, student activities, and compliance roles within student affairs, including partnering to create the office of wellness and prevention education.
Wheaton College is a private, four-year residential college in Norton, Massachusetts, consistently ranking among the nation’s best. Wheaton offers more than 100 career-connected majors and minors, providing guaranteed access to internship funding and highly personalized education in the liberal arts and sciences. Located halfway between Boston and Providence, Wheaton draws students and faculty from around the globe. The location in southeastern Massachusetts provides easy access to numerous businesses as well as cultural and educational resources in the greater Boston and Providence areas. At the intersection of Routes 128 and 495, central arteries of the Massachusetts high-technology economy, southeastern Massachusetts has become the fastest-growing residential area in a very prosperous state.
Consistently ranked among the most beautiful in New England, the Wheaton campus mixes traditional Georgian-style brick buildings with modern designs. The original design of the campus is organized around a central quadrangle with a circular declivity, affectionately known as the Dimple. The beautiful 400-acre campus is welcoming and walkable and contains many innovative spaces for students to enjoy—a sculpture studio, maker and fiber spaces, an idea lab, and much more.
Wheaton College was founded as a female seminary in 1834 by U.S. congressman and local community leader Judge Laban Wheaton at the urging of his beloved daughter-in-law, Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton, who would nurture the school until her death in 1905. From its very first classes, Wheaton focused on rigorous liberal arts study, placing the institution at the forefront of a movement to offer women an equal education to men. It was the act of a changemaker, the first of many such acts the institution would take in the years ahead.
Chartered as a four-year liberal arts college in 1912, Eliza Wheaton championed rigorous education with practical benefits and intellectual satisfaction. These institutional traits still hold today. For example, in 1917, the college hosted the nation’s first conference on professional development for women, organized by then-undergraduate Catherine Filene Shouse; when the college established a center in 1986 to promote experiential learning as central to the liberal arts, it named the organization the Filene Center for Work and Learning in Shouse’s honor. Internships, community impact, and research continue to play a vital role in Wheaton’s experiential nature, led by multiple centers on campus including the renamed Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services.
The egalitarian impulse that established Wheaton as an educational institution for women has also shaped the college’s development. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the college’s faculty developed the influential Gender Balanced Curriculum Project, bringing scholarship by and about women from the margins to the mainstream of undergraduate education. And when Wheaton chose coeducation in 1987, it also instituted the first of a series of initiatives that has internationalized the college’s curriculum and student body.
Throughout Wheaton College’s history, its reputation for academic excellence has been a direct result of pioneering leadership. Today, Wheaton shares with past generations the rich academic tradition of the liberal arts and sciences. At the same time, it benefits from a host of curricular initiatives begun during the past few decades—new programs that help students explore ideas and concepts across academic disciplines, link academic study with learning outside the classroom, appreciate and celebrate diversity in all its forms, and see themselves as active members of a global community.
The Wheaton Community
The college currently enrolls approximately 1,700 students, representing 40 states and more than 50 countries. Approximately 6 percent of Wheaton’s students are international, and 27 percent are self-identified students of color, including Asian, Black, and Latinx students. First-generation students account for about 22 percent of enrolled students. Nearly one-third of Wheaton students participate in the college’s 23 NCAA athletic teams. In addition to over a dozen club sports and seasonal intramurals, Wheaton athletics also houses one of the world’s oldest-running artistic swimming programs.
Wheaton students take an active role in shaping campus life through their community engagement. The college’s approach to education acknowledges that learning in a residential liberal arts college extends beyond the classroom; thus, students are empowered—and expected—to teach as well as learn from each other in residence halls, on the playing fields, and at meetings of clubs and organizations. This expectation has long been a critical aspect of Wheaton’s culture. It reflects the college’s honor code, established in 1921 to guide academic and social life on campus. In keeping with the college’s character, Wheaton’s admission process is holistic, considering the whole student. The college adopted an optional standardized test policy in 1990, among the first national liberal arts colleges to take this approach.
Wheaton faculty are celebrated artists, renowned researchers, and gifted instructors who take their experiences into the classroom and ask students to apply their own experiences to the world. Wheaton’s student-faculty ratio is approximately 11:1, and the average class size is 15 to 20 students. Faculty members take an engaged and active interest in the Wheaton community, serving as formal advisors and informal mentors for students and as professional partners to staff, building relationships that last a lifetime. Faculty collaborate with their students on research projects and work with one another to build truly interdisciplinary courses and programs, with the aid, resources, and support provided by the center for collaborative teaching and learning and the Madeleine Clark Wallace Library, among others.
Staff members play a vital role in delivering the college’s educational programs, contributing directly to student learning in their capacity as academic advisors, global study counselors, co-curricular programming directors, formal and informal mentors, and so much more. Staff members across the college also help sustain the vibrant living-learning environment by providing supervision for the 50 percent of students with on-campus jobs.
For more information on Wheaton College, please visit: www.wheatoncollege.edu
THE STUDENT BODY
Total enrollment: 1,669
African American: 6%
Two or more races: 4%
Race unknown: 2%
The diversity, equity, and inclusion vision and mission statement was developed throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, and the entire community of students, faculty, staff, college leadership, and alumni contributed to its development. The mission and vision statement provides a framework and an anchor for the campus to guide work as Wheaton College continually outlines new action steps and refreshes its diversity and inclusion strategic plan.
Michaele Whelan, President
Michaele Whelan, an experienced and energetic higher education leader and a scholar of English literature, took office as the ninth president of Wheaton College on January 1, 2022. In her leadership roles, Whelan has excelled at collaboratively developing academic programs that address evolving curricular and student needs while strategically advancing the institutions she has served.
Whelan came to Wheaton from Emerson College and served as provost from 2013 to 2022. During that time, she developed a reputation for increasing academic and inclusive excellence and equity through a broad array of initiatives. She is credited with encouraging a culture of collaborative pedagogy, fostering innovation in teaching, supporting research and creative work, deepening connections of the liberal arts with the professions, and increasing the institution’s global capacity.
Wheaton College offers the following comprehensive and competitive benefits to employees:
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- Legal insurance
- Group life insurance
- Long-term disability insurance
- Retirement plan
- Paid holidays, vacation, sick, personal leave
- Pre-tax savings accounts — health savings account, dependent care & health care flex spending accounts
- Wheaton nursery school discount
- Tuition benefits
- Computer loan purchasing program
- Verizon wireless employee discount
- Employee assistance program
- Liberty Mutual discounted auto/home insurance
- Free parking
- Library use
- Athletic facilities use and fitness center
For detailed information about benefits offered through the end of 2023, see the 2023 Benefits Guide (pdf).
Review of applications will begin April 12, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Email nominations for this position to Kara Kravetz Cupoli at email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The public salary range for this position is: $125,000 to $130,000
Visit the Wheaton College website at https://wheatoncollege.edu/
Wheaton College is committed to providing equal opportunities to all employees and applicants as defined under federal and state law. Wheaton does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, mental or physical disability, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, age, religion, gender or sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital or familial status, veteran or military status, membership in the Uniformed Services, or any other characteristic protected by law.