by Darren Squillace ’19
Over the past few weeks, a search process has been conducted to replace the longtime head of our campus security in Major John Leyden. While Major Leyden’s experience here on the campus will be sorely missed, a search committee was constructed to interview three highly-qualified potential candidates to serve as the new chief of campus public safety.
As many students are aware due to the influx of emails sent out regarding this important position, each candidate was given an opportunity to meet with faculty, staff, and students and present their qualifications in an open session, on-campus interview. Elizabeth Walsh, assistant vice president for human resources, was responsible for keeping everyone in the loop about this ongoing process through email. While the new position of associate vice president and cheif of campus safety, will be similar to the previous position Major Leyden filled, it will also include the responsibility of transitioning of the department into a hybrid system which will include both campus police as well as security.
Walsh gave some insight into how this committee and search process began. “The search committee comprised of faculty, administrative staff, and student representatives began the search process in late August or early September,” said Walsh.
“The process involved the review of 91 resumes, initial phone screenings, and in person interviews with the committee,” Walsh continued. The pool was narrowed down to three candidates who were brought to campus to interview with various campus constituents over a two-day period.”
The search committee to fulfill the task of fielding the lengthy number of candidates encompassed seven individuals, Walsh included, that serve a variety of different roles here at PC. The members of the committee include executive president of Student Congress Phionna-Cayola Claude ’18, Lt. John Dunbar, crime prevention and campus relations officer, Tierra Marshall, the office of institutional diversity, Maureen Outlaw associate professor of sociology, Steven Sears, dean of students and associate vice president of student affairs, and Gregory Waldron, senior vice president of Institutional Advancement.
Each of the three candidates Walsh refers to come from a variety of different backgrounds regarding campus security at their respective universities.
The first interviewee in January was Edward Rodriguez, who currently serves as chief of public safety and emergency management at Quinnipiac University. Later that week, the second of three candidates, Paul Shanley, was interviewed. Shanley serves as the deputy chief of police at Brown University. The last of the three interviews took place the following week for Stephanie Hill. Hill is the director of public safety and chief of police at Central State University in Wiberforce, Ohio. Between the three candidates, they have over 90 years of experience related to and around law enforcement.
According to Walsh, now that the interviews have concluded, and everyone has been given the opportunity to evaluate each candidate extensively, the search to fill Major Leyden’s position is in its final stages and will be filled in the coming weeks. The board of trustees will review each candidate and their applications thoroughly before putting the decision to a vote.
Regardless of who is ultimately chosen, each of the three candidates hopes to lead the charge in several advancements and enhancements to campus security to ensure that safety remains one of the top priorities here on campus.