We are sensitive to how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting work and personal lives, and will offer the utmost flexibility throughout the interview process. The search committee expects to conduct initial interviews virtually for the safety and well-being of all involved. 

Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the largest universities in the United States, serving more than 50,000 students across more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and graduate-professional programs. MSU is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), one of the nation's leading research-intensive, land-grant institutions, and is also a part of the Big Ten Athletic Conference and the Big Ten Academic Alliance. MSU’s strong emphasis on teaching and research is matched by its commitment to public service. At MSU you will find an inclusive academic community known for traditionally strong disciplines with a commensurate commitment to cross- and interdisciplinary programs that connect the sciences, humanities, and professions in practical, sustainable, and innovative ways to address society’s rapidly changing needs. Located in East Lansing, MI, the University's campus neighbors the state capitol, with close proximity to a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities. 

The Position

Reporting to the president and serving as an active member of the president’s leadership team, the chief of police and director of the MSU Police Department is responsible for the overall planning, development, and implementation of a comprehensive and dynamic public safety and law enforcement program at Michigan State University. Through this individual’s leadership, the department strives to enhance the quality of life on campus by building relationships, strengthening stewardship, and working collaboratively to reduce crime, enforce laws, preserve peace, and provide a safe environment for the diverse MSU community. The chief leads and manages the daily operations of the department; provides effective strategic direction by setting short- and long-term goals; engages collaboratively and consistently with senior administration, faculty, staff, students, service departments, and other law enforcement agencies; identifies, devises, and promotes national best practices, sound policies and procedures, and innovative problem-solving initiatives; and supports the goals and mission of Michigan State University.  

The chief ensures appropriate programs are in place to meet the compliance needs of the University, administers federal, state, local, and MSU laws and ordinances to ensure University security, and serves as a spokesperson for the institution on law enforcement, public safety, and security matters. This individual creates, supports, and implements plans to promote diversity and inclusion within the department, and continuously broadens the department’s awareness and understanding of the various geographic, cultural, gender, ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds, including multi-language communities. In addition, the chief ensures that the department works collaboratively with the Title IX Office and campus units that provide support services to victims of relationship violence and sexual misconduct, and that department personnel are well-trained in trauma responses, interviewing, and the identification of the predominant aggressor. The department is integrally focused on community and 21st century policing, and the chief manages a full array of campus and community-based initiatives designed to deter criminal activity, proactively engage the campus community, build positive relationships, and prevent crimes. The chief efficiently manages the department’s fiscal operations and ensures good stewardship of resources; oversees, assesses and responds to critical campus concerns, catastrophic events, major security issues, and emergency situations; ensures appropriate threat assessment and risk mitigation measures are in place; and coordinates with internal and external organizations regarding major activities held on campus, including, but not limited to, athletic events, concerts, speakers’ series, commencements, and student/public assemblies. The chief of police and director of the MSU Police Department is responsible for a comprehensive staff of 109, including two direct reports, and oversees a budget of approximately $20.3 million. 


The position requires a bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) in Criminal Justice, Public Administration, or a related discipline, with progressive administrative, supervisory, and management experience in a recognized public safety or law enforcement environment. Prior law enforcement experience at a higher education institution, working with a diverse student body on an urban campus, is highly preferred.

The successful candidate will display honesty, integrity, ethical standards, a strong work ethic, and a high level of motivation at all times; exhibit proven knowledge of the Jeanne Clery Act; possess strong interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills; maintain a willingness to work in high risk situations; provide evidence of experience and training related to police response to relationship violence and sexual misconduct cases; and possess a working history of successful efforts with ethnic and multi-language communities. The successful candidate will foster a positive and team-oriented work environment, maintain professional discipline, and ensure professional development opportunities are available for all staff. The successful candidate will be certified, or able to become certified, by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement (MCOLES) within six months of hire. 

Application and Nomination

Review of applications will begin November 13, 2020, and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website atwww.spelmanjohnson.com/open-positions. Nominations for this position may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick at [email protected]. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895. 

Visit the Michigan State University website at https://msu.edu/. 

Michigan State University informs all members of its faculty, staff, student body, contractors and guests, that MSU prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, gender, gender identity, disability, height, marital status, political persuasion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight in its programs and activities.