MSU Makes Changes to Public Safety Leadership Structure
Marlon Lynch will become MSU’s vice president and chief safety officer. The chief of police position will become its own stand-alone role reporting to him.
Only a month after a mass shooting that killed three students and injured five others on its campus, Michigan State University (MSU) announced that it is restructuring its public safety leadership “to enable the accelerated expansion of university safety efforts across our East Lansing campus and all MSU campuses throughout Michigan.”
On Tuesday, MSU Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff announced that Vice President and Chief of Police Marlon Lynch will become MSU’ vice president and chief safety officer, pending the Board of Trustees’ approval. The chief of police position will become its own stand-alone role reporting to him.
Here’s the full announcement from Woodruff:
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
When Vice President and Chief of Police Marlon Lynch joined our university in February 2021, MSU expanded the role of police chief in recognition of the broadening nature of proactive safety planning needs across the university beyond traditional law enforcement efforts. He has done a commendable job.
To strengthen and bolster these efforts going forward, however, it is important that we revisit the structure of Police and Public Safety’s leadership to enable the accelerated expansion of university safety efforts across our East Lansing campus and all MSU campuses throughout Michigan.
Today, I am announcing that Vice President Lynch will become vice president and chief safety officer, pending the Board of Trustees’ approval at its April meeting, with the chief of police position becoming its own stand-alone role reporting to him. VP Lynch has appointed Interim Deputy Chief Chris Rozman to serve in the role of chief of police, effective today.
Decoupling the roles of vice president for public safety and police chief will allow expanded focus and attention on university safety planning on our East Lansing campus and beyond. For the vice president, this includes the additional responsibilities of leading the ongoing work of centralizing security systems, creating and implementing the security operations center and integrating the safety and security functions of our health college campuses outside of East Lansing — all while carrying forward the department’s 2022-25 strategic plan. The new structure also preserves our police department maintaining an on-the-ground police chief to manage the daily operations of the department in East Lansing.
This structure is increasingly common at large, complex universities. And as our university-wide safety measures expand, it is critical these roles be separated to ensure adequate resources and support for our shared priorities.
MSU stands united in strengthening our campus’s sense of safety. We are focused on implementing the measures needed to enhance our security, and we are committed to advancing this important work in a swift, meticulous manner. I have full confidence VP Lynch and Chief Rozman are best positioned to help us do just that.
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Smoke and mirrors.