Founded in 1908, James Madison University (JMU) is a public university with an enrollment of 21,808 students located in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley. JMU is fast becoming one of the nation’s leading lights in higher education because students enjoy unusually engaged relationships with world-class faculty who are here because they want to pursue knowledge and make teaching their No. 1 priority. Providing engaged experiences has been central to JMU since its founding. JMU is ranked number one in the U.S. for graduation rate for large, master’s level public universities and has a 90 percent freshman retention rate. JMU athletics sponsors an 18-sport intercollegiate athletics program that competes at the Division I level in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Position


Reporting to the senior vice president for administration and finance, the director of public safety provides leadership to the JMU police department, including patrol operations, technical services, dispatch and communications, investigations, crime prevention, special events, and the cadet program, as well as life safety and risk management for the entire university. The director is responsible for developing, planning, implementing, and managing a comprehensive law enforcement program that ensures a safe and secure environment to the JMU community; upholds a strong departmental commitment to the university’s mission as well as the divisional and departmental missions; verifies proper and adequate coverage by police department staff for all special and athletic events; and maintains continuous communication with senior leadership to keep them apprised of actual and potential risks. The director provides leadership for a staff of 73, including 51 sworn officers, and manages a $4.6 million budget.

The following competencies apply to all A&P Faculty Members at JMU:

  • Commitment to University Mission: Demonstrates a sense of responsibility for helping the university achieve success through a commitment to the university’s mission, vision, values, and appropriate defining characteristics.
  • Leadership: Communicates effectively, shares vision, focuses on people, initiates positive change, values differences, and fosters collaboration. Inspires others to achieve university, unit, and individual success. Challenges processes and is willing to break from the status quo to improve individual and unit performance.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates self-awareness, self-control, motivation, empathy, social skills, and group work skills. Is known as trustworthy, understanding, and helpful. Considerate. Works well on committees.
  • Professionalism/Judgment: Acts with integrity. Makes the right decision even when that may not be the most popular decision. Poised. Coachable. Respects authority and the rights of others. Fair.
  • Execution: Identifies/addresses problem areas before they escalate into crises. Solves problems courageously and creatively, plans effectively and carries out those plans. Improves individual and unit performance. Manages ambiguity and is able to align unit and university values with performance. Is productive, demonstrating a strong work ethic and sense of ambition. Makes good use of resources. Accountable.
  • Professional Development: Committed to learning and growth. Pursues improvement and encourages and empowers others to learn.

Key Responsibilities for this Position:

  • Provides effective and moral leadership to employees through supervision, guidance, encouragement, and support to all areas of oversight, to include patrol officers, investigators, police dispatchers, special events, cadet program, risk management, and police technical services.
  • Directs and coordinates all matters related to the functions of the JMU police department and risk management in conjunction with the senior vice president for administration and finance. Serves as principle advisor to senior leadership on policy and program matters as they relate to campus safety and security.
  • Ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements as it relates to the police operations. Communicates changes in operations or compliance to staff and leadership in a timely manner. Develops and implements departmental policy and procedures and ensures adherence. Stays abreast of changes in regulations and requirements and informs senior leadership of such changes promptly.
  • Oversee preparation and management of the budget for risk management and the police department and serves as the signature authority for expenditures. Forecasts and controls expenses by projecting department needs, justifying requests, allocating funds, revising priorities, and monitoring overall budget health for the department.
  • Ensures police and risk management personnel remain certified and trained as needed for required certifications. Encourages learning for all staff.
  • Guarantees police department remains accredited through the Virginia law enforcement Professional Standards Commission.
  • Provides proper and adequate risk management and police/public safety coverage for special and athletic events. At times, this requires collaboration with Virginia State Police and local police departments to provide ample coverage.


Lee Shifflett served as director for over 20 years and retired in July 2019. Major Kevin A. Lanoue is currently serving as interim director.



The director must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices with regard to community policing and embrace the educational values of an academic institution. The director should be an experienced command officer capable of managing crises and complex situations, working across the institution and into the surrounding community with many varied and diverse constituents and equipped to lead emergency preparedness training and response exercises. Importantly, the director must also be a strong leader and personnel administrator who directs strategy, creates stability, upholds policy, and sets the tone for a high-functioning organization in which every member contributes at their maximum ability, garnering the respect of fellow officers, staff, students, and others throughout the campus community.

Additional challenges and opportunities for the next director of public safety as articulated by stakeholders are listed below.

  • The next director will be expected to build on the positive reputation and practice of the university police department while planning for the future and enhancing excellence in all areas.
  • The university police department has joint jurisdiction throughout the city with the Harrisonburg police department. A close relationship with the municipal department is critical for success.
  • The director must bring a nuanced understanding of free speech and issues of social justice and the importance of these issues within an educational institution.
  • A new arena (8,500 seats) is under construction on campus and the football stadium was recently expanded to 25,000 seats. The athletics department looks to the university police for expertise in crowd management and event security.
  • Continuing efforts to strengthen relationships with individuals of underrepresented and marginalized populations must remain a priority with the goal of supporting all JMU community members in their ability to live, learn, work, and thrive in a welcoming, inclusive environment. Ensuring inclusivity training remains an important and ongoing focus of all staff under the command of the director.
  • It will be important that the director forge a strong working relationship with the senior vice president, senior administrators, and other key partners throughout the university.
  • The director will work with campus stakeholders to find and implement solutions to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the campus community while mitigating the need for unnecessary force even in the most difficult of situations.
  • As recruitment opportunities arise, make a concerted effort to diversify staffing within the university police department to reflect the diversity of the campus community.
  • Support requests from campus colleagues for police officers to facilitate educational programs that will help promote safety among the student body and campus at large while also building relationships and humanizing members of the university police department in the eyes of the university community.
  • Enhance the visibility of police officers on campus and encourage community interactions by increasing the frequency of foot patrols.


At an appropriate interval after joining JMU, the following items will define success for the next director of public safety. The director will have:

  • Assessed and evaluated the strengths and professional development needs of all individuals throughout the department.
  • Developed, nurtured, and sustained positive working relationships with senior members of the administration, faculty, staff, and students throughout the campus.
  • Demonstrated a growing understanding of the unique culture of the university police department, the JMU campus, and the Harrisonburg community.
  • Demonstrated a strong service mentality.
  • Exercised appropriate situational leadership.
  • Demonstrated effective communication skills—with staff, students, senior administrators, faculty, and members of the media.


A bachelor’s degree and significant experience in a management level position within a law enforcement organization are required. A degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, or a related field and experience in an institute of higher education’s police department are preferred. The ideal candidate will possess extensive knowledge of federal, state, and local laws, policies, and procedures that promote campus security; experience in and considerable knowledge of the concept of community policing; and strong customer service skills. The ability to obtain a certification by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services is also required.

JMU stakeholders also indicated the following capabilities and attributes would be attractive in a successful candidate:

  • Bring innovative and transformational leadership capabilities to the role.
  • Demonstrate a proactive approach in providing advice and serving as a valuable resource to the campus community.
  • Exhibit a high degree of personal energy and enthusiasm which readily inspires others to do their best work.
  • Think broadly, understand complexity, and lead strategically, while attending to the tactical needs of the department.
  • Exhibit a clear grasp of understanding with regard to the use of technology and social media as it relates to a contemporary, full-service police department and communication with constituents.
  • Maintain an open mind, actively solicit input from others, and demonstrate a willingness to learn and apply new strategies for serving the needs of the community.
  • Be comfortable leading and managing change.
  • Maintain high morale and a collaborative environment within the command structure of the department.
  • Be a consummate networker and bridge builder, able to connect with individuals of all identities.
  • Balance the needs of an educational institution with those of law enforcement.


An Overview of the Division of Administration and Finance

The Division of Administration and Finance is committed to customer service excellence in support of the university mission. The Division’s stated values include:

  • Service-Oriented
  • Student-Centered
  • Ethical
  • Quality-Centered
  • Accountable
  • Innovative

The Division shall provide superior customer service while ensuring proper internal control and maintaining compliance with university, state, and federal laws and policies.

The Division conducts its affairs and administers the university’s resources, data, information, and records at the highest level of professionalism and in an ethical manner as to ensure that the tests of public scrutiny and prudent stewardship are consistently met.

The adopted values and work accomplished by the Division are based on high ethical standards, which focus on behavioral choices made in the execution of duties and responsibilities. The James Madison University Division of Administration and Finance professional ethics include:


Rely on others to uphold their covenants, believe in their ability and willingness to do so, rely on and be confident in the character, ability, strength, and truth of others.


Be fair and straight-forward in conduct, refuse to harbor hidden agendas, commit to objective decision making where each individual, unit, or department is treated fairly in an environment free from bias or favoritism.


Adhere to the university’s values (student-centered, excellence, integrity, and mutual respect) and make decisions based on the greater good to the university and not to the individual. Avoid conflicts of interest by meeting the university’s Conflict of Interest Policy.


Believe that all members of the university community are worthy of high regard and the treatment of all with civility, consideration, and care.


Provide full, fair, accurate, timely, and understandable work. Take responsibility for the work and services performed. Be responsive to the needs of the university community.

Organizational Chart for the Division of Administration and Finance

Department of Public Safety and Police Department

Mission Statement

The James Madison University Police Department strives to improve the quality of life of those we serve by developing partnerships with the university community so that together we can effectively address issues and concerns. It is our primary goal to maintain a secure environment with equal protection under the law and to provide dedicated service for all persons living, working, and visiting with the university.

Institution & Location


Institutional Background/History

Founded in 1908, James Madison University is a public university located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. JMU is fast becoming one of the nation’s leading lights in higher education because students enjoy unusually engaged relationships with world-class faculty who are here because they want to pursue knowledge and make teaching their No. 1 priority.

At James Madison University, we define civic engagement as advancing the legacy of James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” by preparing individuals to be active and responsible participants in a representative democracy dedicated to the common good. As philanthropist David Rubenstein noted in a speech on Constitution Day 2018 at JMU, as the university named for the “Father of the Constitution,” we “have a special obligation to know something about the Constitution” and our namesake because “people who are more knowledgeable about our government, more knowledgeable about our Constitution, probably are going to be better citizens, vote more intelligently, and be more engaged in our country.”

As you will read in this brief essay on his life, the legacy of James Madison is complex. How can the “Father of the Constitution,” a proponent of religious freedom and individual liberties who was deeply concerned about socioeconomic and political inequality own and keep other human beings in bondage for the sake of labor to uphold his own socioeconomic privilege? As with other founding fathers, Madison’s legacy of political leadership and statesmanship is irreconcilable with his legacy as a slave owner. However, we should study history if only to ensure that we are not condemned to repeat it.

Men are no angels, as Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 51, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Because of human nature, politics can be low and self-interested. However, with active, informed participation in political and civic life, grounded in the democratic values of pluralism, diversity and inclusivity, we can develop the capacity to collectively address the most pressing issues we face today.

James Madison University rankings:

#1 most innovative university in the south by U.S. News & World Report

80% of JMU students do undergraduate research, an internship, a practicum, or student teach

#2 graduation rate in the U.S. for large, master’s level public universities

#1 Best College for Employment in Virginia according to U.S. Department of Education statistics compiled by Zippia. JMU has the highest post-graduation job levels of all Virginia colleges.

#25 best public college value in the U.S. by MONEY magazine

96% of 2018 JMU graduates were employed, in graduate school, or involved in other career endeavors within six months of graduation

#2 graduation rate in the U.S. for large, master’s level public universities

#5 in the nation for “students who made the right choice” by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education

90% freshman retention rate (national average is 72%)

About Harrisonburg, Virginia

Our home is in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a region known for the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park, the Shenandoah River, rolling farmland and breathtaking views. Only two hours from Washington, D.C., JMU’s 675-acre campus is situated in the city of Harrisonburg, a safe, friendly community with a diverse population of approximately 42,000. Getting here is a cinch, with several major airports within a short driving distance and plenty of transportation options to get you to and from school.

We have four distinct seasons with average daytime temperatures ranging from 33 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 82 degrees Fahrenheit in July. Snow in the winter and sunshine in the summer mean we have a little of everything. There are ski slopes, trails for biking, rivers for fishing, and forests for camping. And on any given evening, you can choose between home-cooked southern-fried chicken, an edgy coffee shop, live music in a bar, or ethnic cuisine.

Harrisonburg is an incredibly diverse community, with the variety of a larger city and the charm of a small town. The natural beauty of the area combined with a focus on local businesses, food, and people create an environment that makes it easy to see what makes Harrisonburg such a great place to be.

Backpacker magazine ranked Harrisonburg a top spot to “beat nature deficit disorder,” and for good reason. Outdoor fun is serious business in Harrisonburg and the neighboring counties. Most students are aware of the breathtaking views of Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive, the wide sky full of stars visible from Reddish Knob, and swimming just like nature intended at Blue Hole. Beyond these well-known treasures, however, a world of recreation awaits.

In addition to mountain and river sports, this area is also rich with horseback riding, fishing, hunting, scenic flights, and even scuba diving training.

Hike through fall foliage; ski and snow tube in winter; enjoy wildflowers and cool walks in spring; and swim, canoe, and fish in summer. With four distinct and beautiful seasons, there are endless and inexpensive fun ways to enjoy the great outdoors as part of your Madison Experience.

What’s cool in and around the ‘Burg?

The great outdoors, sports and recreation, a piece of history, high art, and plenty of fun destinations downtown and around Harrisonburg — it’s all here.

While you’re arranging your schedule, be sure to save plenty of time for your visit to James Madison University. The heart of our institution is our students — more than 21,000 strong. Sporting purple and gold most days, they drive the activity of our vibrant campus.

Visitors are always welcome at JMU!

Mission, Vision, and Values

James Madison University’s mission, vision, and values statements reaffirm the university’s long-time commitment to meeting the needs of its students. In one simple sentence the mission states JMU’s commitment to the country and society.


We are a community committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.


To be the national model for the engaged university: engaged with ideas and the world.


Academic Quality: We are dedicated to exemplary learning experiences because they are the essence of our mission.

Community: We thrive when we collaborate, respect, and serve others, and appreciate our interconnectedness.

Diversity: We strive to be an inclusive community that values the richness of all individuals and perspectives.

Excellence: We seek to be innovative and to perform at the highest levels.

Integrity: We pursue ethical reasoning because it is essential to meaningful citizenship.

Student Focus: We provide experiences that challenge and support students.

Strategic Plan

July 1, 2014, marks the start of a bold new strategic plan for James Madison University and a vision to be the national model for the engaged university: engaged with ideas and the world.

Read the James Madison University Strategic Plan 2014-2020:

As JMU’s current strategic plan—The Madison Plan— heads toward culmination in 2020, work has begun on adapting and updating the plan for 2020-2026. This process won’t involve a complete re-build of our strategic plan, which occurred in 2014 with the Madison Future Commission. Instead, we will be analyzing our current progress, our environment, and its likely future changes and gathering perspectives on how to focus resources to ensure the best JMU for 2026. Our current mission, vision, and values will remain the same. Our analysis and adaptation will involve our core qualities, key university goals, and strategic plan performance measures. The University Planning Team will be overseeing the process, which began this spring and is to be completed with a set of recommendations to be developed by January 2020. President Alger and the Senior Leadership Team will review those recommendations and determine the final look of our new plan—The Madison Plan, Phase II—which will be set in place in the summer of this year.

To read more about the JHU strategic planning process:


Jonathan Alger – President

Jonathan Alger became the 6th president of James Madison University (JMU) on July 1, 2012. Under his leadership, this public comprehensive university in Virginia with almost 22,000 students developed a bold new vision to be “the national model of the engaged university:  engaged with ideas and the world,” and a strategic plan focused on engaged learning, community engagement, and civic engagement. This plan has included the development of ambitious new programs and initiatives across the institution, such as the Valley Scholars Program (for first-generation students from local public schools), the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement (which provides national as well as institutional leadership), the Madison Trust (to provide philanthropic support for innovative projects) and the Engagement Fellows (a public service year program for recent college graduates), among many others. JMU has grown significantly under President Alger’s leadership, and has embarked on the $200 million comprehensive Unleashed campaign to support the university’s goals.

Career Highlights and Achievements

Prior to coming to JMU, Alger served as senior vice president and general counsel at Rutgers University, where he provided strategic leadership on a variety of issues and established a comprehensive compliance program. He had previously worked as assistant general counsel at the University of Michigan, where he played a key leadership role in the university’s efforts in two landmark Supreme Court cases on diversity and admissions and coordinated one of the largest amicus brief coalitions in Supreme Court history.  Earlier in his career he worked in the national office of the American Association of University Professors on issues such as academic freedom, shared governance, tenure, and due process. He also served for several years in the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, where he was the point person on the development and implementation of national policies on race-conscious financial aid, racial harassment, and free expression. He began his career as an associate in the Labor and Employment Section of the international law firm of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius.

Scholarship and Teaching

Alger is a nationally recognized scholar and speaker on higher education policy and law and has given hundreds of presentations across the United States and abroad on a wide range of topics. He has published numerous articles and has done significant editorial work for scholarly journals and publications such as the The Journal of College and University Law and The Law of Higher Education (the leading treatise in the field). He co-teaches a leadership seminar in JMU’s Honors College and has previously taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Rutgers and Michigan in law, higher education, public policy, and diversity.

Boards, Memberships, and Service

President Alger has been recognized as a leader by his peers nationally in many contexts. He currently serves on the American Council on Education Board of Directors, the Campus Compact Board of Directors, the Association of Governing Boards’ Council of Presidents, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Council of State Representatives, and the NCAA’s Division I Infractions Appeals Committee. He is a member of the Council on Competitiveness (and co-chair of its task force on the fusion of STEM and the liberal arts) and the Council on Foreign Relations. At the state level, he serves as a board member of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the Virginia Business Higher Education Council, the Region 8 Virginia Growth and Opportunity Regional Council, and the Virginia Complete Count Commission (focused on the 2020 Census).

Alger is past president of the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, which has honored him with Life Membership and the Distinguished Service Award. He has also served on the Division I Board of Directors for the NCAA (2014-16), as chair of the Colonial Athletic Association board (2016-18), and as chair of the Virginia Council of Presidents (2018-19). He is a past member of the American Bar Association’s Accreditation Committee (which oversees the accreditation of the nation’s law schools) and has led or served on numerous site visit teams for major universities and law schools. He was a public member for several years on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health, which provides advice and oversight on grant applications to support biomedical research and research training activities. He has also participated on national advisory committees for many different organizations (such as the Association of American Universities, College Board, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) and has chaired national conferences on diversity, discrimination, technology, and academic freedom.

Personal History and Family

Alger was born and raised outside Rochester, New York. He earned his BA with High Honors and Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College (political science major, history minor, and public policy concentration), and his JD with Honors from Harvard Law School. His wife, Mary Ann, serves in many volunteer capacities at JMU and in the community and has a BS from Auburn University and an MBA from the University of Miami (FL). Her extensive business background includes experience with university technology commercialization and start-up companies. The Algers have a daughter named Eleanor, who is a theatre major at Miami University (OH). The JMU president has sung with acclaimed choral groups that have toured internationally, made professional recordings and performed on national television. His other interests include travel, history, tennis, hiking, and coin collecting.  All three family members are avid fans of college sports and arts programs, and the family has also been involved in numerous community and charitable organizations.

Academic Programs and Faculty

Degree programs

Degree programs offered: 139

Undergraduate: 76

Master’s: 53

Education specialist: 2

Doctoral: 8


Full-time instructional faculty: 1,062

Part-time instructional faculty: 513

Faculty with doctoral or terminal degree: 77%


Student/faculty ratio: 16:1

Average class size: 25 students

Classes with fewer than 50 students: 89%

Classes taught by professors: 98%

The Student Body

Enrollment (Fall 2019)

Undergraduate students: 19,883

Graduate students: 1,925

In-state/out-of-state ratio: 76/24%

Male/female ratio: 42/58%

International students: 2%

Minority students: 22%

Admitted freshmen (Fall 2019)

Applications: 24,449

Applicants accepted: 73%

Applicants enrolled: 4,625

Ranked in top third of high school class (77% reported ranks)

SAT mid-50% range*:1160-1320

ACT mid-50% range*: 24-30

Admitted Transfer Students (Fall 2019)

Applications: 2,358

Applicants accepted: 57%

Applicants enrolled: 894

Benefits Overview

As an employee of James Madison University you have the following benefits, among others, available to you:

  • Health plans
  • Dental plans
  • Vision plans
  • Retirement plans
  • Supplemental retirement plans
  • Disability plans
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Tuition assistance
  • Life insurance
  • Leave benefits
  • Employee assistance program
  • Training opportunities
  • Workers compensation

Application & Nomination

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 emailed to Mark Hall at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the James Madison University website at

James Madison University does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, race or color, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation or belief, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, parental status (including pregnancy), marital status, family medical or genetic information, in its employment, educational programs, activities, and admissions. JMU complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination, affirmative action, and anti-harassment.