The University of Denver is seeking an experienced and community oriented public-safety leader to serve as its next director of campus safety. The expected start date is late August/early September of 2021.
Founded in 1864, the University of Denver (DU) is an independent, doctoral-granting university with high research activity and robust undergraduate and graduate education. DU has become increasingly known, nationally and internationally, for its creative, 21st-century approaches to problem-based scholarship, as well as its holistic, student-centered approach to learning and its dedication to the public good through local, national, and international partnerships. The university’s DEI Action Plan serves as a guide to DU’s abiding commitment to truly exemplify a forward-looking institution and community where all can belong, contribute, and thrive.
DU enrolls approximately 14,000 students from across the United States and over 85 countries in its distinguished liberal arts, science, graduate, and professional programs. Since 2010, the university has seen a 44-percent increase in domestic students of color, from 18 to 26 percent of the student body. An additional four-and-a-half percent are international students from over 85 countries around the globe.
During the past 20 years, DU has invested more than $852 million in renovating, modernizing, and growing its campus. Three new buildings represent the first phase of the Denver Advantage, an innovative campus vision for the physical future of DU. The Burwell Center for Career Achievement and the Dimond Family Residential Village opened in Fall 2020, and the Community Commons opened in Winter 2021. The beautiful campus, with sweeping views of the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains, includes an arboretum.
Role of the Director of Campus Safety for University of Denver
Reporting to the senior vice chancellor for business and financial affairs and a member of her divisional leadership team, the director of campus safety (director) will provide transformative and relationship-based leadership to the Division of Campus Safety (DCS). The director oversees a team of professionals who are dedicated to providing the highest-quality safety and security services in a respectful, professional, and consistent manner. The director will collaborate with and serve as a key advisor to the university’s senior leadership on campus safety issues and security operations and will work closely with colleagues across the institution to refine, elevate, and articulate DCS’s vision and mission as a critical element of the DU community and experience.
The successful candidate will be well-versed and fluent in leading thoughtful and transparent conversations with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and external partners on the contemporary challenges facing campus safety departments including, but not limited to, authentic community engagement, the role and philosophical underpinnings of campus security, gender-based violence and harassment, disparate treatment of minoritized individuals and communities, and legal and compliance requirements.
DCS was awarded Campus Safety reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in July of 2020. The division comprises 45 unsworn and unarmed team members who provide services across the following areas: campus security, fire and life safety, emergency preparedness, electronic security systems, patrol operations, investigations, community outreach/crime prevention, recruitment efforts, compliance requirements, and communications. The director administers an operating budget of $3.4 million and oversees the university’s mutual-aid agreement with the Denver Police Department.
History of the Position
The division of campus safety at DU had a long-serving director who left the role in December of 2019 after a 19-year tenure. Since the former director’s departure Michael Holt, associate director of campus safety, has served as the interim director. During this period of interim leadership, DU stakeholders have engaged in a holistic assessment of campus safety and have identified a number of priorities that will help shape its future and focus in the context of a culturally diverse and rapidly changing university setting.
Opportunities and Challenges of the Role
The next director will need to take the time to build a thorough understanding of the university, its residential culture, increasingly diverse community, mission and vision, facilities, and urban setting, as well as the services, operations, use of technology, and importantly, the personnel that comprise the current Division of Campus Safety. Discussions with the university’s executive leadership team, student affairs, legal counsel, Title IX colleagues, student leaders, and other key stakeholders will be a critical part of a comprehensive assessment of the division as the director strives to support and sustain the positive work of this unit and map out strategic priorities going forward.
The director is tasked with developing and maintaining a highly professional, forward-looking campus-safety operation that is attuned to the quickly shifting dynamics and trends that impact both the university and national campus law-enforcement. This will require the director to identify opportunities for continuous improvement and advocate for the support and resources needed to accomplish those objectives.
Additional opportunities and challenges for the next director of campus safety, as articulated by key campus stakeholders, include:
- Draw and build on the DCS’s existing strengths in the areas of emergency management and educational programming that has garnered the respect and good-will of the campus community.
- Take the time to time to learn about the strengths and areas needing additional support in each of the campus-safety operational units, DU’s culture and needs, and the key partners who contribute to building and maintaining a safe and secure campus, then clarify and refine DCS’s mission, vision, and identity.
- Engage the university community in honest and proactive dialogue about how DCS will evolve, refine, and elevate its practices and policies in response to the national conversations about policing reform, as well as the ‘We Can DU Better’ campaign on campus.
- Design and implement regular training for all DCS personnel, including training on addressing individuals experiencing mental-health crises and on responding to sexual violence. Establish clear expectations of professional conduct, presentation, and execution of duties for all DCS personnel, which is critically important to garner the confidence of others throughout the campus community.
- Create deeper and more cohesive partnerships with Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Title IX, and general counsel colleagues, as well as DU undergraduate and graduate student leadership. These connections are essential to assessing and understanding the university community’s needs, designing student-centered programs, and consistently providing responsive services. Additionally, DCS works closely with state and local law enforcement, so the new director should be prepared to continue to foster strong collaborative relationships with these partners.
- Build on the division’s commitment to a strong community engagement approach. The new director should use national best practices, innovative new trends, and professional networks to inform the further enhancement of a compassionate and culturally responsive campus safety philosophy that is informed by a diversity, equity, and inclusion perspective.
- Work closely with the Denver Police Department and the communities surrounding the university in order to support town-gown relationships and further clarify jurisdictional matters, recognizing the latter can be particularly complicated with regard to students’ behavior in off-campus spaces where DCS has no official authority.
Measures of Success
The University of Denver’s next director of campus safety will work with the senior vice chancellor for finance and business affairs to determine specific measures of success and their respective timetables. The search committee offers the following general metrics for the position:
- The new director has established themselves as a trusted and respected campus leader, recognized as the “face” of the department, and engaged fully both within and outside the university community.
- The biennial survey administered by DCS shows demonstrable improvement in its reputation, image, and services.
- Drawing on best practices across the country, the department has refined its identity and is employing the latest and most promising campus-safety and engagement practices.
- The DCS staff is working together cohesively as a team, morale is high and rising, staff vacancies are being filled as quickly as possible, and professional-development opportunities for all levels of staff have been made available.
- Internal and external communication from the division is timely, transparent, and high-quality.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion are clear priorities that are made operational throughout DCS in its hiring, internal practices, and outreach to the broader campus in order to ensure that underrepresented and minoritized members of the community feel valued, heard and supported.
- Strong collaborative relationships have been established, particularly with DU students, the senior leadership team, Title IX and legal-counsel colleagues, student-affairs leaders, local partners in the community, and the Denver Police Department.
Qualifications and Characteristics
This position is an exceptional opportunity for a reform-minded leader with a strong knowledge of higher-education public safety and emergency response practices. The successful candidate will possess outstanding communication skills, an appreciation and vision for the role of campus safety at an urban residential university, and an unwavering commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in every facet of the division’s activities. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent credit hours with an emphasis in criminal justice, security management. or related area, 4-plus years of public safety experience and/or training, or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required. Experience in a residential higher-education setting is strongly preferred.
The search committee invites applications from candidates with a strong attraction to an increasingly diverse and innovative university environment, as well as a genuine interest in collaborating with students and a commitment to be visible and accountable to all constituents. Key expectations for the successful candidate will be experience developing, implementing, and evaluating community engagement strategies, working with young adults and their families, proven ability to coach and inspire a diverse workforce to succeed as a high-functioning team, and the capacity to inspire trust and confidence across multiple stakeholder groups. The successful candidate will be expected to hold or be eligible for a valid Colorado driver’s license, be insurable under DU guidelines, and possess or obtain a City and County of Denver Security Guard License.
In addition to the stated qualifications and characteristics above, DU stakeholders indicated that the next director of campus safety should be one who:
- is seen as authentic and approachable;
- has a learner mindset and is flexible and open-minded;
- has a record of engagement and success with DEI issues;
- has a track record of successful organizational/cultural change, particularly in diversifying a campus public-safety organization;
- can lead thoughtful and complex conversations about the role of campus safety at DU with skill and without defensiveness;
- is adept at setting realistic and sustainable expectations for the team;
- is comfortable using experts within and outside the campus safety division;
- is skilled in aligning the community’s expectations with the department’s abilities and potential;
- has a demonstrated commitment to mentoring, coaching, and professional development;
- has the acumen and emotional intelligence needed to quickly garner trust, respect, and confidence with a wide variety of constituencies;
- is genuinely interested in engaging with and supporting students, particularly in the context of DU’s 4D Experience framework; and
- can quickly and convincingly leverage the inherent strengths and opportunities of an unarmed and unsworn campus safety organization.
Overview of Campus Safety at University of Denver
The mission of the Division of Campus Safety is to enhance the quality of life at DU by providing a safe and secure environment that is conducive to learning, while building collaborative community partnerships based on inclusivity, mutual respect, and trust.
In its current iteration, the DCS leadership team consists of the director, associate director, assistant director, patrol captain, and manager of emergency preparedness. The functions of the division fall broadly into the following six areas:
Communications. The division’s communications center offers first-line assistance for anyone on campus. Nine Communication Technicians monitor CCTV, intrusion-alarm systems, 911 monitoring, C-cure system monitoring, radio traffic for campus safety officers, all emergency notifications to the community, and handle all emergency and non-emergency calls.
Compliance and Administration. The compliance and administration unit is responsible for conducting organizational compliance and management of the division’s administrative processes. These include, but are not limited to, internal selection, hiring and promotion processes, uniform and equipment inventory control and inspections, participation in the internationally accredited CALEA (Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies) program, and the university’s obligations under the federally mandated Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act).
Emergency Preparedness. The emergency preparedness unit coordinates all university activities necessary to build, sustain and improve DU’s capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural and human-made disasters.
Patrol Operations. Comprising two sergeants, four corporals, and 17 patrol officers, patrol operations duties include, but are not limited to, receiving and answering calls for assistance, information dissemination, proactive patrols of the campus, safety walks, special-event staffing, and direction to external services.
Security Systems and Technology. The electronic security systems and technology (ESS&T) team installs, maintains, and upgrades intrusion alarms, surveillance cameras, fire alarms, and exterior-door access systems.
Special Support Services spearheads crime-prevention efforts by providing community outreach and training opportunities. The unit also coordinates with patrol operations and the Denver Police to facilitate and participate in ongoing investigations.
Leadership of the Division
Leslie Brunelli, senior vice chancellor for business and financial affairs
Leslie Brunelli was appointed senior vice chancellor for business and financial affairs at the University of Denver in June 2019. In this role, she functions as the university’s chief financial officer and develops operational and financial policies that deliver the resources, services, and facilities necessary for DU’s continued advancement. As the senior vice chancellor, she is responsible for seeing that the institution’s mission and plans become operational reality.
Brunelli has 24 years of experience in higher education and previously served in multiple positions at the University of South Carolina, including vice president for finance and chief financial officer. She is an appointed member and chair of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Research Universities Council and has presented at NACUBO, SACUBO and APLU events.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of South Carolina, Brunelli holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and an MBA.
Institutional Background and History
Both DU and Denver rose out of the Colorado frontier and have developed in tandem ever since. The university was founded in 1864 as the Colorado Seminary, only six years after the founding of Denver City in what was then the Colorado Territory. As Denver has grown from a gold-rush boom town with a population of around 3,000 into one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities of the interior West, DU too has evolved from its roots as a Methodist seminary into a global intellectual center in a city on the rise. The university’s first female and African American graduates earned their degrees in 1886 and 1900 respectively.
DU is credited with establishing one of the first business schools in the country, as well as the first school of social work between the Mississippi and the West Coast. Football teams from the NFL and the AFL played each other for the first time on its campus. During the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. visited and DU became a center of protest for the region.
In the 21st century DU has modernized its campus and renewed its commitment to academic excellence and inclusion. Students and faculty continue to drive the university’s development as one of Denver’s defining institutions and an internationally known, student-centered research university.
“The mission of the University of Denver is to promote learning by engaging with students in advancing scholarly inquiry, cultivating critical and creative thought, and generating knowledge. Our active partnerships with local and global communities contribute to a sustainable common good.”
“The University of Denver will be a great private university dedicated to the public good.”
“In all that DU does, it strives for excellence, innovation, engagement, integrity, and inclusiveness.”
“Community: Create a diverse, ethical, and intellectually vibrant campus community to provide a challenging and liberating learning environment.
“Learning: Provide an outstanding educational experience that empowers students to integrate and apply knowledge from across the disciplines and imagine new possibilities for themselves, their communities, and the world.
“Scholarship: Invigorate research and scholarship across the university to address important scientific, sociopolitical, and cultural questions of the new century.”
“The University of Denver has a bold and courageous vision for higher education in the 21st century. DU champions innovation and reform that will have an enormous impact on our students, the research of our faculty, the community and beyond. DU continues to innovate around its strengths in teaching, learning, and discovery. The faculty accelerates the ways research can be used to address society’s most vexing problems.”
Currently, Provost Mary Clark leads implementation of DU IMPACT 2025 with the strong support of Chancellor Haefner, who has introduced five strategic imperatives that will accelerate DU’s progress toward the goals of DU IMPACT 2025. These imperatives include:
- Ensuring a sustainable future for the next generation;
- Creating a unique global, 4D student experience, emphasizing a holistic approach to learning and student success;
- Cultivating an exceptionally diverse, inclusive, equitable, and welcoming community;
- Defining and modelling a global, engaging research university; and
- Ensuring a signature portfolio of academic programs.
To read the DU IMPACT 2025 Plan, visit http://impact.du.edu/
Dr. Jeremy Haefner, Chancellor
Jeremy Haefner is University of Denver’s 19th chancellor and brings over three decades of leadership experience in higher education to DU. Named chancellor by the University of Denver Board of Trustees in 2019, Haefner seeks to continue and accelerate the momentum of the DU community. He believes DU is an institution uniquely able to serve students as they prepare for lives of purpose and careers of fulfillment—all while serving the public good. As chancellor, Haefner supports the university’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence, and he will continue to build on DU’s long legacy of innovation and ethical leadership.
Previously, Haefner served as DU’s provost and executive vice chancellor. He has also served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, as dean of engineering and applied science, associate vice chancellor for research, and dean of the graduate school. He has also held fellowships with the American Council on Education, the National Learning Infrastructure Institute, and the University of Murcia in Spain.
As a mathematician, Haefner studies integral representation and module theory, and his research has been supported by the National Security Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the government of Spain. Haefner’s enthusiasm for using technology as a learning tool led him to receive the inaugural President’s Faculty Excellence Award for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Technology (1998) from the University of Colorado System and the inaugural Innovations in Teaching with Technology (1998) from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Haefner graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in mathematics and has a PhD and an MA in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.
University of Denver offers over 100 undergraduate degree programs, allowing students to focus on what inspires them. Programs are built for exploration, meaning students can complement their degree with courses across subjects—taking engineering classes as a biology major or exploring international business through the lens of world history. Faculty and academic-support staff work closely with students as they customize their college learning experience to match their interests and build a foundation for their chosen career.
DU also offers over 120 graduate programs across 10 schools and colleges, ranging from business, entrepreneurship, and international politics to the natural and social sciences. Programs combine critical thinking with collaborative and applied-learning experiences, positioning graduate students for success in their careers.
Schools and Colleges
- Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science
- Daniels College of Business
- College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
- College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
- Josef Korbel School of International Studies
- Morgridge College of Education
- Graduate School of Professional Psychology
- Graduate School of Social Work
- Sturm College of Law
- University College
DU’s academic schools and colleges provide a focused approach to education that allows students to pursue their interests in an environment fully dedicated to their success. As such, DU strives to be a place for the intersection of ideas; faculty from all its schools and colleges work across disciplines in order to address today’s most daunting challenges.
The Student Body
In the fall 2020, DU had 5,699 undergraduates and 8,157 graduate students. Four-and-a-half percent of students are international, 60 percent are female, and over a quarter identify as a domestic minority.
DU students display ethnic, cultural, and spiritual diversity. Students work closely with faculty, staff, peers, members of the broader Denver/Rocky Mountain area, and international communities on projects, research and fieldwork.
Enrollment by Level
Undergraduate 5,699 41%
Graduate 8,157 59%
Total 13,856 100%
About Denver, Colorado
Denver, located at the junction of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, is the state capital and largest city in Colorado. Situated 5672 feet above sea level in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is known as the “Mile High City.” It was named after James W. Denver, governor of the Kansas Territory that included parts of Colorado. Prospectors settled Denver in 1858 with the discovery of gold on the shores of Cherry Creek. The opening of gold and silver mines in the 1870s and 1880s brought prosperity to the growing city. Installation of military bases in the area after World War II triggered even more rapid growth.
Today Denver is an important cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation hub. Its economy is buoyed by the telecommunications and biomedical-technology industries, as well as mining, construction, real estate, and tourism. Denver is home to a US Mint and numerous federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Denver International Airport is the largest airport in North America, spread over 53 square miles.
DU has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with leading this search. Review of applications will begin immediately 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. Nominations for this position may be forwarded to Michel Frendian at email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
Visit the University of Denver web site at www.du.edu and the University of Denver Campus Safety web site at www.du.edu/campussafety.
The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, members of the LBGT community, people with disabilities and veterans. The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.