The mission of the University of Puget Sound is to develop in its students the capacities for critical analysis, aesthetic appreciation, sound judgment, and apt expression that will sustain a lifetime of intellectual curiosity, active inquiry, and reasoned independence. Puget Sound is a 2,200-student, residential, national undergraduate liberal arts university in Tacoma, Washington, drawing students from 46 states and territories and eight countries. Seventy percent of students live on the 97-acre campus, and the remainder typically live within a mile of the surrounding neighborhood. A low 11:1 student-faculty ratio provides students with personal attention from faculty members who have a strong commitment to teaching. The university offers 1,200 courses in more than 50 areas of study, numerous experiential learning opportunities, 21 DIII varsity sports, and extensive co-curricular and leadership opportunities. Ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger, Washington Monthly, Forbes, The Princeton Review, and others, Puget Sound is one of only two independent colleges in Washington state, and one of five in the Northwest granted a charter by Phi Beta Kappa, the country’s most prestigious academic honor society.

The urban culture of Tacoma, known as the City of Destiny, is quintessential Pacific Northwest—a mix of low-key cafés, highbrow art museums, and laid-back music venues. Located in Tacoma’s residential North End neighborhood, the Puget Sound campus offers easy access to some of the city’s best shops, eateries, and coffeehouses. Known as one of America’s most livable cities, Tacoma is positioned 35 miles south of Seattle and 30 miles north of Olympia, the state’s capital. Add the magnetic pull of Mount Rainier, the ocean, the rain forests—and you know you are in a special place. 

 

 

The Position

Role of the Position 

Reporting to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, the Director of Security Services leads a collaborative effort to ensure that the University of Puget Sound is a safe place for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, providing comprehensive vision, direction, and management for a Security Services Department that is a 24/7/365 operation. The Director acts as the university liaison and ensures effective and successful working relationships with Tacoma Police and Fire Departments, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, and other area agencies to coordinate university emergency planning and preparedness, including designing, preparing, and executing bi-annual, all-campus emergency response drills. The Director oversees the university’s parking management program; reviews, investigates, and provides appropriate follow-up to reported security-related incidents on campus and related neighborhood complaints or issues; maintains and manages the installation and repair of university card access, surveillance camera, and burglar alarm systems; and supports the State of Washington transportation reduction efforts. Additionally, the Director maintains a high level of interaction with the university community, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods; continually evaluates and updates department operating procedures; provides security planning and execution for all large events on campus; participates in on-campus and external committees; and ensures all required Department of Education compliance reporting.

The Director of Security Services supervises, evaluates, trains, and provides professional development for an unsworn and unarmed staff of 18, including one direct report, the Assistant Director of Security, and administers a total departmental budget of approximately $1.3 million.

Qualifications and Characteristics

The position requires a college degree, ideally in a field related to criminal justice, public safety, emergency management, or a related field, with demonstrated progressive supervisory and administrative experience, preferably within higher education safety and security. The successful candidate will have strong interpersonal, organizational, oral and written communication, intercultural, and listening skills, and will demonstrate qualities that contribute to a setting where teamwork is highly valued and the goal of advancing student learning and development is prioritized. The successful candidate must understand or be able to quickly learn Washington State and City of Tacoma laws and ordinances, demonstrate a commitment to the idea of community-based public order, foster a high level of confidence and trust in the campus community, and maintain the physical and mental ability to defend self and others. The University of Puget Sound is seeking candidates who have a demonstrated commitment to cultural competence and leadership in building equitable, diverse, and inclusive environments. 

In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated above, other desired characteristics, skills, actions, and abilities noted from discussions with campus stakeholders include:

  • Breadth and depth of knowledge around safety, security, and public safety, with particular emphasis given to the higher education environment in an unsworn, unarmed environment
  • A student-centered approach that prioritizes the safety, security, health, and wellbeing of the Puget Sound student population, as well as a willingness to engage student organizations effectively and attend student events regularly  
  • A solid commitment to cultivating collaborative relationships and building partnerships across all levels of the institution and the surrounding community
  • Cultural competency, cultural humility, and an understanding of how these concepts intersect with campus security
  • Strong leadership and organizational development abilities that inspire and uplift others, providing abundant professional development opportunities and promoting unity and teamwork throughout the department
  • An excellent and transparent communicator who frequently connects with the Security Services staff and also maintains the ability to reach all levels of the university and to speak to students, faculty, parents, alumni, and the surrounding community effectively to build trust and support
  • A strategic, forward-facing vision that promotes a consistently-engaged, highly-responsive team of security professionals and addresses the broader national conversation around law enforcement reform and reimagining campus security for the future
  • A willingness to “roll up their sleeves,” work with and among the Security Services staff, actively participate in the daily operations of the department, and serve in a rotating, on-call emergency role
  • Political savvy and the ability to interact effectively with all elements of the university and community environments
  • Strong technology skills, with an exceptional understanding of the value and importance of technology and social media around safety and security in today’s world
  • Thorough knowledge of the legal aspects of the role relating to security in particular and higher education in general
  • A deep understanding of Clery and other compliance initiatives
  • Solid problem-solving skills with the ability to determine needs, address issues, manage change processes effectively, and create new possibilities in growing Security Services
  • Emotional intelligence, energy, a sense of humor, and a positive, uplifting attitude
  • Ability to actively listen to all sides of an issue, ask knowledgeable questions, adapt to significant changes on the spur of the moment without being reactive, conduct difficult conversations when pertinent, remain “cool under pressure” no matter the situation, accept input from all levels of the institutional community, and then make complex, well-informed decisions
  • Ability to build trust in the Security Services staff, show that they care about their success, and persuade them to follow their lead
  • Demonstrated understanding of and experience with Title IX, sexual misconduct, and relationship violence issues, and a commitment to in-depth, trauma-informed training and development of staff in these matters
  • Strong assessment skills, with the ability to make data-driven decisions, set expectations, devise and fully implement plans, analyze the results, and propose further changes and updates based on these outcomes
  • A holistic approach to safety and security that includes mental health training, an understanding of student development, and a willingness to collaborate with mental health and student affairs professionals in cases involving wellness
  • Deep understanding of best practices and current trends in campus safety with the ability to keep Security Services on the cutting edge in all aspects of safety and security
  • Approachability, availability, accountability, and an open-door policy
  • Willingness to continually learn, grow, and acknowledge that they may not always immediately have the answers
  • Ability to multitask in an ever-changing environment

History of the Position 

The Director of Security Services position is a decades-old position at Puget Sound. The current Director, Todd Badham, was hired as the Assistant Director in 1984 and was promoted to Director in 1988. During his tenure, Badham has developed a strong team responsible for the campus community’s safety, moving the department from three full-time positions to 16 positions today. After spending more than 35 years as the Director, Todd Badham is retiring to spend more time with family, and the University of Puget Sound is partnering with Spelman Johnson to conduct this crucial search.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The next Director of Security Services at the University of Puget Sound must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices concerning comprehensive safety and security practices, modern technology, and organizational and staff development in a small, private campus environment. The Director should be an experienced or aspiring leader capable of managing complex situations and staffing, committed to customer service at the highest level, possessing an understanding of current issues in community engagement and student development, and equipped to contribute strategically and operationally at a nationally-recognized liberal arts institution located in an urban environment. With the ongoing national conversation around police violence, law enforcement reform, and racial injustice, the new Director must be prepared to proactively and collaboratively address these issues honestly and transparently, fostering a culture of civil discourse and mutual understanding throughout the Puget Sound community.

It is imperative to identify a competent and dedicated individual who can promote, uplift, and develop the staff/team, set departmental priorities, systematically build and maintain the trust of the university and surrounding community, and work proactively in tandem with the student body, the administration, the faculty, the local community, the Security Services staff, and other nearby law enforcement agencies, including the Tacoma Police Department, to progressively, innovatively, and comprehensively move the program forward. The following were identified as possible opportunities, priorities, and challenges that will face the new Director of Security Services.

  • As the first new Director of Security Services in over 35 years, the successful candidate should possess strong, innovative, and forward-thinking leadership skills, a deep sense of professionalism, and the ability to manage multiple priorities and staff. Ideally, these leadership skills will have been fostered through experience in a campus safety and security or other higher education environment, and the Director will understand the nuances of a small, liberal arts institution. 
  • The University of Puget Sound Security Services team is an unarmed, unsworn staff, so the Director should be familiar with campus safety and security concepts in this environment and quickly discern in emergencies when to handle internally and when to request assistance from Tacoma Police. 
  • Upon arrival, the Director should prioritize quickly getting to know the officers and other departmental staff as individuals, learn their specific needs and career goals, ascertain and understand the various responsibilities they perform and roles they play, be available at all times, provide comprehensive professional development opportunities and support for all, and oversee the ongoing promotion of a strong, cohesive team. These efforts should improve morale, promote confidence, develop trust across the department, and result in greater staff retention over time. The Director should also be willing to comprehensively assess and strategically organize the department to maximize strengths, encourage unity and participatory management, quickly fill vacancies, and forge a shared vision among all department members.
  • The Director will need to quickly build a comprehensive culture of collaboration and partnering within Security Services, throughout campus, and among the Tacoma Police Department and other local agencies. The University of Puget Sound is committed to building strong, healthy, and mutually supportive relationships as a foundation of the campus culture, and strong collaboration is an absolute necessity in all endeavors to ensure success. The Director and the Security Services Department touch a vast number of entities, including students, faculty, administration, departments, and community members, so it will be crucial that the Director quickly reach out across each of these areas to conduct a comprehensive “listening tour” that will strengthen and maintain previous relationships, build new and mutually beneficial partnerships, foster ongoing positive interactions, promote open communication and increased transparency, and provide opportunities for mutual feedback. These connections are essential to assess the real needs of constituents, provide exceptional programs and services for the campus, and ensure that Security Services is known for its customer- and student-centered approach at all times.
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice are crucial components of the University of Puget Sound community, and the Director of Security Services should be a leader in supporting, understanding, embracing, and nurturing these concepts, both internally to the department and externally from the department into the campus and surrounding Tacoma area. There are many underrepresented populations and varying identity groups throughout the university, and Security Services must be a model for maintaining a strong sense of equity and an unbiased, supportive environment with all stakeholders. With these minoritized and marginalized communities at Puget Sound, and given the national conversation around policing and racial inequalities, the Director will be expected to dialogue, empathize, and devise collaborative solutions for the underrepresented and identity groups on campus and beyond. The Director must bring demonstrated experience successfully working with diversity, inclusion, and social justice initiatives and effectively integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into departmental recruitment, training initiatives, programs, and services.
  • The expectations for the Director are high, and the successful candidate will need to quickly become familiar with all areas of their portfolio to develop a comprehensive list of priorities. The Director must prioritize a great deal of time upon arrival on learning the nuances and preferences of the campus, discovering the internal needs of the staff and the department, attending campus events, and beginning the process of reaching out and establishing themselves as the visible “face” and leader of the Security Services Department. The Director and the rest of the staff must be seen as proactive, responsive, engaged, and functional members of the Puget Sound community and must be prepared to engage the students and student organizations on campus holistically, forging strong bonds and being present at all times, not only when issues arise. Positive change will be expected in time, but the Director must first learn the culture of the department and the campus and work together with the staff and other members of the administration to implement new processes, procedures, programs, and services in a systematic and well-planned manner.
  • In the post-COVID environment, there will be a great deal of support from all corners of the institution to implement new ideas, cutting-edge technology, and national best practices. With great attention focused on the success of the department’s efforts and overall safety and security improvements across campus, these new ideas and advancements will be essential, particularly in returning the campus to some sense of normalcy. While not all new proposals can be undertaken, the Director will find that well-researched ideas with comprehensive data backing them up will be considered and given thorough vetting. Seeking out best practices at other institutions, remaining current on professional benchmarking opportunities, and being involved in IACLEA, IACP, or other professional public safety associations will be greatly encouraged.
  • This is an exciting time to join the University of Puget Sound, and this is an outstanding opportunity for the Director to put their professional mark on Security Services, building on an already successful program. The department was recently moved under the purview of the Division of Student Affairs, so the incoming Director can look forward to visioning and strategizing with the Vice President and other divisional leadership to move Security Services forward and promote student learning and development. As priorities are developed and plans are initiated, the Director should be prepared to identify programs and services that are working well, as well as those areas that are not efficient or effective, and be willing to enhance and sunset programs as necessary. Upon arrival, the new Director should be ready to “hit the ground running” and be prepared to energetically multitask from day one.
  • Located on an intimate and inviting campus between the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, along the shores of the Puget Sound near the creative urban center of Tacoma, Washington, the university offers proximity to the cultural offerings of Seattle and the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest. Puget Sound is known for its vibrant student life and is one of the most picturesque campuses in the country. Named one of the 20 “Most Beautiful Campuses in America” by The Princeton Review (2019), the University of Puget Sound is, according to stakeholders, an incredible place to live, work, and grow together and an easy environment to “have a voice and make a difference.”

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining the University of Puget Sound, the items listed below will define initial success for the new Director of Security Services. 

  • Strong, collaborative relationships have been established across campus and in the community, including the academic and administrative departments, faculty, students, student organizations, local partners in the community, Tacoma Police Department, and other surrounding emergency management agencies.
  • The Security Services staff is working together cohesively as a team, morale is high and rising, staff vacancies are being filled as quickly as possible, training goals are being consistently met, staff retention is strong, the work environment is positive and energized, and professional development opportunities are available to staff.
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice are foundational concepts throughout the Department of Security Services in hiring, other internal practices, and outreach to the Puget Sound campus; underrepresented and marginalized students and student groups accept Security Services as an asset and a partner; and the department’s community engagement and outreach efforts, particularly with students, is abundant.
  • Complaints have been reduced, students feel a connection to and more comfortable engaging with Security Services, and a strong sense of community is being formed. 
  • A robust assessment culture has been established for Security Services, data from these assessments are utilized to inform and drive the decision-making process, and strategic planning is underway for the department’s short- and long-term success.
  • The Director is recognized as the “face” of Security Services by the campus community, particularly the students, and is present, involved, visible on campus, and recognized as fair, trustworthy, flexible, and open-minded when issues arise. 

Institution & Location

OVERVIEW OF SECURITY SERVICES

Security Services strives to provide a safe and secure environment for the campus community and university friends. Together, the professional and student staff create an office culture that embraces diversity and enables them to view the entirety of the Puget Sound community from varying and unique perspectives. This allows for the most appropriate security response that the team can offer.

Leadership

Sarah Comstock –Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students

Sarah Comstock was named the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students on March 14, 2022, after serving in the interim role since July 2021. Comstock holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in professional communication from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, with more than 20 years of progressive experience in student affairs leadership in higher education, including residence life, counseling, health and wellness, fraternity and sorority life, intercultural engagement, student leadership, and student conduct. The Director of Security Services reports directly to Vice President Comstock and serves as part of her leadership team.

 

Mission, Values, and Strategic Plan

Mission

Security Services will ensure a safe and secure campus environment by maintaining a professional presence on campus and providing the highest quality of service to its constituents.

Vision

Security Services staff members excel and take pride in all work areas, understand their importance on campus, and are committed to the university’s goals and objectives.

Values

Stewardship We use our resources appropriately and effectively.
Enthusiasm We approach our responsibilities with vigor and with a positive attitude. We endeavor to make our work fun.
Service We make it happen and always strive to meet the needs of our constituents.
Safety We attend to our well-being and rely on each other.
Respect/Balance We are fair and open-minded and foster equilibrium between our personal and professional lives.
Community We reach out to others in need.
Collaboration By working as a team, we are most effective. We rely on each other’s strengths and recognize individual achievements.
Integrity/Reliability Constituents have confidence in us. We honor our commitments.
Confidence We understand our responsibilities and communicate them through our actions.

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW

Leadership

Isiaah Crawford – President

A distinguished scholar, teacher, and college administrator, Crawford became President of the University of Puget Sound in 2016. His academic work and achievements as a senior administrator are closely aligned with the values and aspirations of Puget Sound and with the critical areas of challenge and opportunity facing higher education today.

Crawford came to Puget Sound following service as Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Seattle University (2008-2016), where he directed the Division of Academic Affairs. He oversaw the university’s schools and colleges, libraries, enrollment, information technology, institutional research, and offices supporting student academic achievement, faculty affairs, and global engagement.

 

Institution Mission, Values, and Strategic Plan

Mission

The university’s mission is to develop its students’ critical analysis capacities, aesthetic appreciation, sound judgment, and apt expression to sustain a lifetime of intellectual curiosity, active inquiry, and reasoned independence. A Puget Sound education, both academic and co-curricular, encourages a rich knowledge of self and others; an appreciation of commonality and difference; the full, open, and civil discussion of ideas; thoughtful moral discourse; and the integration of learning, preparing the university’s graduates to meet the highest tests of democratic citizenship. Such an education seeks to liberate each person’s fullest intellectual and human potential to assist in the unfolding of creative and practical lives.

Core Values

The belief in the transformational power of a liberal arts education, where students come first and learning and holistic development is an absolute priority:

  • Self-Expression
  • Collegiality
  • Courage
  • Passion
  • Diversity
  • Leadership
  • Stewardship
  • Environment

Strategic Plan

To see the complete University of Puget Sound 2018-2028 Strategic Plan, “Leadership for a Changing World,” visit https://www.pugetsound.edu/about-puget-sound-0/leadership/strategic-plan.

Diversity Statement

Acknowledge

  • The richness of commonalities and differences shared as a university community.
  • The intrinsic worth of all who work and study at the university.
  • That education is enhanced by investigation of and reflection upon multiple perspectives.

Aspire

  • To create respect for and appreciation of all persons as a critical characteristic of our campus community.
  • To increase the diversity of all parts of the university community through a commitment to diversity in recruitment and retention efforts.
  • To foster a spirit of openness to active engagement among all campus community members.

Act

  • To achieve an environment that welcomes and supports diversity.
  • To ensure full educational opportunity for all who teach and learn.
  • To effectively prepare citizen-leaders for a pluralistic world.

For more information about equity and diversity at Puget Sound, visit  https://www.pugetsound.edu/equity-diversity-puget-sound.

Benefits Overview

BENEFITS OVERVIEW

The University of Puget Sound offers a wide array of benefits for faculty, staff, and administration. For detailed information, visit:

Benefits For Puget Sound 

Application & Nomination

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 J. Scott Derrick at jsd@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 Puget Sound website at https://www.pugetsound.edu/, and the Security Services website at https://www.pugetsound.edu/.

The University of Puget Sound does not discriminate on the basis of sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), race, color, nation of origin, religion, creed, age, disability, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, gender identity, political affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and applicable federal, state or local laws.

We Acknowledge the richness of commonalities and differences we share as a University community; the intrinsic worth of all who work and study here; and that education is enhanced by investigation of and reflection upon multiple perspectives. We Aspire to create respect for and appreciation of all persons as a key characteristic of our campus community; to increase the diversity of all parts of our University community through commitment to diversity in our recruitment and retention efforts; and to foster a spirit of openness to active engagement among all members of our campus community. We Act to achieve an environment that welcomes and supports diversity; to ensure full educational opportunity for all who teach and learn here; and to prepare effectively citizen-leaders for a pluralistic world.