ROLE OF THE POSITION

Reporting to the executive director for campus safety and working collaboratively with the Laboratory School’s associate director of finance and administration, the director of safety & security for the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (“Lab”) is part of the Department of Safety & Security (DSS) and serves as a key liaison between the Schools and DSS. The director of safety & security serves as the primary safety administrator for the Laboratory Schools, including leadership for developing, implementing, and maintaining a comprehensive physical security plan and school safety program as well as emergency preparedness for the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. The director aims to promote a safe and secure educational environment for students, staff, parents, and visitors. This position supervises and evaluates subordinate proprietary or contractual staff, provides recommendations for enhancements to school security and emergency preparedness systems, recommends and implements new school safety initiatives, conducts incident investigations, and regular general safety and security assessments. The director must work collaboratively with organizational leadership to develop, implement, and maintain programs that promote a safe and secure school. Additionally, the director oversees a safety and security team comprised of 13 full-time employees, including two direct reports; the assistant director of security operations and the emergency management and safety education coordinator.

Other responsibilities include:

Security Operations

  • Oversees the development and implementation of security operation policies and procedures compliant with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA) Campus Safety standards.
  • Oversees the recruiting and hiring of proprietary security staff and coordinates with DSS’ Security Services division for any contract security.
  • Develops and implements pre-service, annual in-service, and other ongoing career development for security staff in accordance with security best practices.
  • Responsible for conducting incident-based investigations and ensuring security staff is adhering to unit-specific policies and procedures.
  • In collaboration with the University of Chicago Police Department, indirectly oversees the assigned UCPD school resource officers (SROs).

Emergency Management & Preparedness

  • In collaboration with the DSS Emergency Management Unit, responsible for developing and maintaining Lab’s Emergency Operations Plan.
  • Responsible for developing and maintaining building-specific Emergency Action Plans.
  • Recommends, develops, and conducts an annual emergency preparedness training program for Lab’s faculty, staff, and students.
  • Chairs Lab’s Emergency Management Committee, whose members assist in revising Emergency Operations Plans and the development of emergency management and safety-related programming.
  • Develops and conducts, at minimum, an annual emergency management tabletop exercise for school leadership.

Community Safety Education

  • Recommends, develops, and conducts school safety education programs and collaborates with other DSS divisions to coordinate specific safety education programs for Lab community (e.g., active threat response, fire safety education, crime prevention safety, etc.).

Physical Security and Emergency Response Systems

  • Conducts ongoing assessments of Lab’s physical security and emergency management systems and recommends additions and/or improvements to that technology (e.g., cameras, card access, public address systems, etc.) to school leadership.
  • Works collaboratively with DSS’ Security Systems Unit to make enhancements or additions to physical security and emergency management technology.

Collaborative Partnerships

  • Serves as a member, and the security & law enforcement liaison, of Lab’s Threat Assessment Team.
  • Maintains a working relationship with police, fire, and other safety and security-related organizations to ensure their assistance when responding to incidents.
  • Collaborates with key internal stakeholders within DSS and Lab on safety and security issues.
  • Works with the appropriate departments to maintain safe and secure buildings for after-hours programs.

Other Duties

  • Reviews all incident reports and takes action when appropriate, which may include working with the local police or other law enforcement agencies.
  • Responds to requests from key administrators, including principals, regarding school safety and security matters.
  • Conducts, at minimum, a triennial assessment of Lab’s safety and security program with a particular focus on security, technology, and emergency preparedness functions, and makes recommendations to school leadership regarding any needed changes or enhancements.
  • Performs all other duties as assigned. 

The Position

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

The successful candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree, preferably in criminal justice or a related field such as emergency preparedness, from an accredited college or university. Considerable experience in managing an organization of comparable size in law enforcement, security, or other related field is required. Other combinations of applicable education, training, and experience which provide the knowledge, abilities, and skills necessary to perform effectively in the position may be considered. The successful candidate must be familiar with current safety and security best practices including: physical security (to include electronic security systems); personnel security; emergency preparedness and response; risk assessment; local, state, and federal laws and ordinances related to school safety and security; and have the ability to plan, organize, monitor, and evaluate a comprehensive safety and security program. Preferred qualifications include professional experience in K-12th grade settings; ASIS Certified Protection Professional (CPP) or Physical Security Professional (PSP) Certification or the ability to obtain certification within one year; Incident Command System 200 Level and NIMS 800 Level Certification; and a valid Security Officer Registration Card (where applicable).

Additionally, stakeholders at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools identified the following characteristics and attributes when considering the position of director (in no particular order):

  • Experience creating a unified vision, mission, and strategic plan to move safety and security at Lab in a positive direction.
  • A proactive safety and security professional with a sense of curiosity and a desire to continually improve upon the safety and security services, programs, and initiatives for Lab.
  • Solid knowledge of security technologies and how to effectively implement them in a school setting.
  • Ability to maintain a leadership/management style that is confident, approachable, and transparent, with a high degree of visibility throughout Lab community.
  • Demonstrated experience creating and implementing effective policies and procedures that are fair, clear, enforceable, and widely shared with Lab community.
  • An ability to connect with students in a friendly, thoughtful, and educationally purposeful manner with a genuine willingness to work with and for students by actively engaging with them.
  • Strong understanding of and experience with emergency management plans, emergency preparedness, emergency communications, and critical incident response, and the skill to train/drill students, faculty, and staff on how to respond in emergency situations. 
  • An understanding of the security team’s role and positions and an ability to successfully advocate, coach, and enhance their professional growth and development.
  • An appreciation for and understanding of Lab’s unique mission, values, and culture.
  • An understanding of best practices and trends in K-12 settings, awareness of the nuances of Lab, and the ability to effectively work with all constituents through a lens of respect and humility.
  • Ability to build a strong, empowered, exceptionally trained team with positive morale and job satisfaction.
  • Demonstrated commitment to community engagement techniques as well as a solid customer service approach.
  • A culturally competent leader, with a true appreciation for and experience working with a diverse student population.
  • An ability to serve as a knowledgeable information resource for Lab staff, faculty, and parents, ensuring their needs/concerns are adequately addressed.
  • Authentic communicator with exceptional interpersonal, oral, listening, and written communication skills, and the ability to artfully present to a variety of audiences while inspiring confidence in his/her abilities as well as those of the security team.
  • Highly energetic individual with a strong sense of self and ability to appropriately infuse humor and enthusiasm into the workplace and campus community.
  • Team player with a high level of professional ethics, personal integrity, and the ability to inspire confidence in all constituents.
  • A transformative, innovative, and collaborative leader with a readiness to take the initiative around new ideas and approaches.
  • Passion for serving in an educational environment with high emotional intelligence and an ability to build a strong rapport with students, parents, faculty, and staff.
  • A strong community collaborator, capable of building bridges to departments, faculty, staff, students, and the larger Lab community.
  • Systems thinker with the ability to understand complex issues and devise well-thought-out solutions.

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

In 2013, after a series of assessments, the chief of UCPD determined the Laboratory Schools needed their own security team and created the director of security position as well as a dedicated security team. Initially, individuals currently employed with the UCPD were selected to serve Lab along with the assistance of contract security. The first director established a strong foundation for this position, diligently working to create sound policies and procedures while making genuine connections with the students, parents, faculty, and staff. After two years, this individual was promoted and assumed more responsibilities within the UCPD. Since the spring of 2015, this position has been filled by three different individuals, with the last director serving until early 2022 when she also took a new position with the UCPD. Currently, an interim director has been named until a new director is in place.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE

In transitioning to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the director will encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges, as shared by key stakeholders:

  • It is vital to have a director with both safety and security experience as well as strong people skills. The new director must work with a wide array of stakeholders, including young students and their parents. It is imperative the director understands how to effectively communicate with all stakeholders and inherently appreciates the complexities of these relationships and this position.
  • While Lab community is supportive of safety and security, change can initially be a bit challenging.
  • The director must have the aptitude to think broadly, critically, and creatively, and envision best practices for Lab in numerous areas. While the director will be involved with the day-to-day management of the program, it is hoped that the director will take on broader leadership to emphasize emerging trends for school safety and security.
  • The Senior Leadership Team is extremely supportive of this position and its role as an educator as well as a safety and security professional. Their collaborative work and problem-solving will be beneficial to the new director.
  • The director needs to clearly outline vision, goals, expectations, and policies and procedures and share those openly within Lab community.
  • Stakeholders would welcome a highly visible director; one who is actively engaged within Lab community, attending functions to support the students, serving in an official capacity as needed, and providing educational programming to the students, parents, and faculty.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are an important part of the University of Chicago and Lab community, and the director must be a leader in supporting these principles.
  • Stakeholders clearly want a director who is motivated by the opportunity to lead the security program at Lab. Staff and senior administrators want someone who is progressive, proactive, and dynamic, and who approaches the job with a sense of passion, curiosity, and enthusiasm.
  • Evaluation of Lab’s comprehensive operating policies and procedures will be expected, with recommendations necessary for revisions or additions reflecting current best practices nationally for K-12 education security. The director should ensure that the appropriate constituency groups are well-informed of policies and procedures and that enforcement is uniformly practiced.
  • The director must be able to create thorough training practices and improve all aspects of departmental training utilizing current techniques to ensure security staff is well-versed in best practices and protocols.
  • The security staff needs a director who has knowledge of their work, values open communication, and will work to better define roles and expectations. They would like to receive timely information as well as to share their knowledge and opinions on topics impacting their work.
  • Lab operates in a highly demanding environment with a unionized faculty and active parents. The new director must fully appreciate this and find ways to effectively communicate and/or partner with all constituents.
  • The unique reporting structure of this position provides an interesting challenge, as the director essentially reports to three different supervisors while also listening to the needs of students, parents, faculty, staff, and the security team.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

At an appropriate interval after joining the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the following items will initially define success for the new director. The new director will have:

  • Become a key partner within Lab through strong relationships at all levels of the school and the DSS and active engagement within Lab community.
  • Learned the ebb and flow of an academic year to begin to proactively plan for events and security needs.
  • Learned the culture of Lab, the nuances of the different schools, and how to most effectively work within this environment.
  • Ascertained the values of Lab in terms of safety and security and will be working toward integrating these values in all endeavors.
  • Earned the trust of the community and is viewed as an expert in their field, which will result in demonstrated confidence in the director as well as the team.
  • Ensured that policies and procedures align with best practices, and that the administration of all policies and procedures is fair and consistent.
  • Worked toward a set of regularly scheduled activities focused on safety and security to enhance understanding, foster improvement, and maintain open communication while also ensuring that the Safety and Security Team is integrated within the schools.
  • Established a professional, well-trained safety and security team with increased morale and efficacy that feels a part of Lab’s community.
  • Evaluated and updated the emergency plans and protocols, and executed training drills and table-tops, along with the appropriate documentation of lessons learned to continue to improve safety and security.

Institution & Location

OVERVIEW OF SAFETY AND SECURITY

The University of Chicago’s Department of Safety & Security began in the spring of 2008 when a Campus Safety and Security committee was organized. The committee recommended the formation of a department where all elements relating to campus security would be integrated into one entity. Today, the Department of Safety & Security (DSS) includes the following areas:

Campus Safety

  • Accountability and Clery Compliance
  • Security and Law Enforcement Systems
  • Security Services
  • University of Chicago Charter School Security
  • University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Security

Security and Law Enforcement Systems manages the University’s electronic safety and security resources. This includes the network of cameras, access control, alarms, and emergency phones located throughout campus.

The Security Services unit oversees the contract security officers posted throughout the campus area. This unit also oversees security for the University of Chicago Charter School campuses and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

The Campus Safety Division is also responsible for accountability and Clery Act compliance.

Emergency Management and Communications

The University of Chicago’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Program (CEMP) outlines strategies to protect the life and safety of University students, faculty, and staff, and to preserve University property and assets in the event of an emergency. The Emergency Management website is a resource the University community can use to receive information on how to prepare for emergencies and how to protect themselves from the effects of an emergency.

Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety provides services and support for efficient, effective, and compliant work practices while promoting a culture of shared responsibility by students, faculty, staff, and visitors for a healthy, safe, and environmentally sound educational and research community at the University of Chicago.

Transportation & Parking Services

Transportation & Parking Services provides University of Chicago members with a variety of transportation and parking options on campus, as well as safe, efficient, and sustainable options for anyone traveling around campus or going to and from the Hyde Park area.

University of Chicago Police Department

  • Field Services
  • Protective Services
  • Support Services

The University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) is a full-service, CALEA-accredited police department serving the University of Chicago and surrounding areas from 37th Street to 64th Street, and Cottage Grove Avenue to Lake Shore Drive. Members of the department are committed to conducting their work in a respectful and dignified manner while providing a safe environment for those who live, learn, and work in our community.

2020 Annual Report

LEADERSHIP

Eric Heath, Associate Vice President for Safety & Security

Eric M. Heath is the Associate Vice President for Safety & Security. Eric has administrative and operational responsibility for the Department of Safety & Security, which includes the University of Chicago Police Department, Environmental Health and Safety, Emergency Management, Transportation & Parking Services, and Campus Safety. Eric graduated from the University of Arkansas with both a Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Sociology, attended the Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff & Command, and served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Prior to returning to the University of Chicago, Eric was the Assistant Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police at George Mason University.

Michael Kwiatkowski, Executive Director for Campus Safety

Michael Kwiatkowski is the Executive Director for Campus Safety. In this role, Michael is responsible for operational oversight of Campus Safety, which includes the University of Chicago Charter School Security, the University of Chicago Laboratory School Security, the Allied Universal security services contract, Security and Law Enforcement Systems, Accountability, and Clery Compliance. Michael is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. Prior to assuming this role, Michael served as a Deputy Chief for the University of Chicago Police Department.

MISSION AND VALUES

Mission

The Department of Safety & Security is dedicated to promoting a safe and secure environment in which knowledge may be freely and rigorously pursued. To achieve this mission, we call upon our collective skills and expertise to provide an integrated safety program through collaborative partnerships, while adhering to our core values of:

  • Respect – Engage members of the diverse community with dignity and compassion
  • Integrity – Perform our duties with an unwavering commitment to a code of honesty
  • Service – Serve with creativity and competence, and actively contribute to the well-being of our community through the understanding of its needs, values, and goals
  • Excellence – Strive for the highest of standards in our work every day

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW – The Laboratory Schools

Because the Laboratory Schools are part of the world-renowned University of Chicago, the importance of intellectual life—of thought and exploration—infuses everything they do across all aspects of their curriculum.

Lab’s history is firmly rooted in experiential learning—an approach that enriches the educational experience for their students and contributes to Lab’s reputation as one of the finest pre-collegiate schools in the world.

All of this starts each morning when the teachers and staff arrive at school committed to giving the children the best possible education. And it ends when their graduates head out into the world with confidence and the knowledge that they are part of an exceptional and unique community.

To choose to be part of the Laboratory Schools is to embrace deeply held and widely shared values:

  • They believe in the power of the human intellect and the importance of education.
  • They believe that learning is an ongoing process that knows no boundaries, no end point.
  • They believe that differences strengthen their community.
  • They believe that those around them should inspire, support, and—yes—challenge them to work to their fullest potential.

Theirs is a supportive learning environment that encourages curiosity and creativity, celebrates new ideas, and engages people who possess a broad variety of experiences and backgrounds. Students learn to think independently and critically, to explore challenging ideas, and to celebrate the diversity of the school community.

All around, Lab is evidence of a life of learning—students and families who are fully engaged, faculty who would not want to teach anywhere else, and the unparalleled University of Chicago setting that enriches the community and resources in incomparable ways.

LEADERSHIP

Victoria Jueds, Director, Lab Schools

Victoria Jueds joined the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools as director in summer 2021.

Jueds came to Lab from Westtown School, a PK–12 Quaker day and boarding school in Pennsylvania, where she served as head of school from 2017–2021. In addition to leading Westtown’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, Jueds forefronted goals in diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the creation of a long-range strategic vision for the school, developed and consolidated resources for learning support and mental health, and worked towards three-divisional expansion of program areas including world language and the arts.

Jueds spent the decade prior at Princeton University in roles focused on students’ residential and academic lives, and taught for several summer sessions at Phillips Exeter Academy and at the George Washington University Law School among other places. Earlier in her career, she worked as an attorney in New York and Washington, D.C., litigating cases involving civil rights and civil liberties issues.

She earned her JD from Harvard Law School and her AB in history and literature from Harvard College, and as a committed lifelong learner, has enjoyed coursework since then in religion and ancient Greek.

Known among friends and colleagues as Tori, she is an avid practitioner of yoga, a cycling enthusiast, and a classically trained singer with a fondness for early music. Her household consists of a boxer mix named Phoebe and a spooky black cat named Wednesday. Jueds recognizes in Lab the lively spirit of inquiry and intellectual rigor that has greatly enriched her own life, and welcomes conversation with all current and prospective community members about how Lab can support young people as they realize their unique gifts and grow into productive members of a healthy democracy.

Lab Schools Leadership

https://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/about-lab/school-leadership

MISSION AND STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK

Mission Statement

The Laboratory Schools are home to the youngest members of the University of Chicago’s academic community, igniting and nurturing an enduring spirit of scholarship, curiosity, creativity, and confidence. We value learning experientially, exhibiting kindness, and honoring diversity.

Strategic Framework

This strategic framework outlines the institution’s priorities and provides the direction to best support an outstanding educational program and sustain a thriving collaborative school community.

Diversity Statement

A commitment to diversity is central to the University’s mission of discovery. The way the University has been organized and has evolved over the years, the intensity of intellectual culture, the resulting education that is so engaging and powerful, and the nature of the University’s contributions to scholarship and society are all derived from a focus on inquiry. We have an obligation to see that the tremendous variety of perspectives is brought to bear on the issues before scholars and citizens. Therefore, celebrating the tradition of inclusion and recognizing that success as an institution depends on its ongoing renewal.

 

Benefits Overview

BENEFITS OVERVIEW

The University of Chicago offers its employees a wide variety of benefit programs and resources. From health plan options and wellness programs to continuing education opportunities and competitive retirement plans, the University is committed to providing benefits that matter at each stage of employment.

For more information, please visit:

https://humanresources.uchicago.edu/benefits/

Application & Nomination

APPLICATION AND 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 Heather J. Larabee at hjl@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.

 Visit the University of Chicago website at www.uchicago.edu.

 The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity / Disabled / Veterans Employer

RELATED LINKS

About The University

https://www.uchicago.edu/

About the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

https://www.ucls.uchicago.edu

About Chicago, IL

https://www.chicago.gov/city/en.html

About Safety and Security

https://safety-security.uchicago.edu/