AVP for Public Safety/Chief of Police Search
Rodney Clark selected as next AVP for public safety/chief of police.
Vice President Jed Shivers has named Rodney Clark associate vice president for public safety and chief of police following a national search.
The appointment is effective September 1.
Clark currently serves chief of police for Wichita State University (WSU) in Wichita, Kan. He leads a 44 person police department with an organic dispatch section and parking operations section for the University. He serves on numerous University committees to include Veterans’ Affairs, the President’s Diversity Council and the University CARE team serving students. Clark is also an adjunct faculty member to both the Criminal Justice and Military Science departments at WSU.
“I am excited and honored to join the University of North Dakota family,” Clark said. “I will work tirelessly with the professionals in Public Safety and University Police to ensure we provide quality service to the greater UND campus community and the greater Red River Valley region as well. I thank everyone I met during my interview and now look forward to meeting as many community members as possible in the months and years ahead. Together, my wife, daughter, and I, look forward to calling Grand Forks and UND our home and supporting the mission and vision of UND.”
“I am very pleased that Chief Clark and his family decided to make UND and the Grand Forks region their new home,” said VP Shivers. “When one looks at Chief Clark’s CV his commitment to national military service and now higher education shines through. Whenever a critical need arose in his career, he stepped up to take on the challenge as he did with the Wichita State University’s facilities administration during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s the type of servant-leader we look for at UND.
“Earlier today I met with and offered my deep appreciation to the members of the search committee, chaired by Human Resources Associate Vice President Peggy Varberg, who vetted the candidates and provided our campus community with four fine finalists. Each candidate had a full day and half of scheduled events including lunch and suppers and that meant that our search committee members spent significant time getting to know them. A special thanks to Chief Nelson of the Grand Forks Police Department who thoroughly committed to this search with his time, effort, and professional judgment. All candidates were impressed by the efforts of the search committee as well as with Jen Rogers who coordinated all the logistics. It helped UND present the opportunity with a high degree of professionalism and competence and I believe that is an important factor when people are determining their enthusiasm for the position. Let me also acknowledge the efforts of the other candidates and note how much we appreciated their time and effort related to the search process. The level of campus involvement in the search was impressive, and the questions asked in the various public forums were incisive and challenging.
“It is important to note that the AVP for public safety includes being the chief of police, but is also in charge of risk management, emergency management, and environmental health and safety. Fortunately, Chief Clark brings a keen understanding of public safety in all its aspects to the University of North Dakota. I know that he will begin to reach out to our campus community in all of its varied facets as well to agencies we collaborate with in Grand Forks, the Red River Valley, the State Police, and federal law enforcement. I am confident that Chief Clark will uphold the tradition of professionalism, leadership, and service exemplified by the Department of Public Safety.”
Clark earned his undergraduate degree from Texas State University and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from American Military University. His professional military education includes U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, U.S. Air Force Police Administration Course sponsored by Eastern Kentucky University and the U.S. Army Senior Leader Law Enforcement Course (U.S. Army MP School).
Hailing from Alvin, Texas, Clark began his military career in the United States Air Force in 1995 and was stationed at Malmstrom (Montana) and Mountain Home (Idaho) Air Force Bases. Following the attacks of 9/11, he deployed to Doha, Qatar, where he was responsible for security and law-enforcement operations of the American portion of an air base. Other early assignments include law enforcement and security commander in South Korea and emergency management/force protection officer to an air base in United Arab Emirates.
Clark transferred branches and joined the U.S. Army Military Police Corps in 2007 and went on to command a law enforcement unit at Fort Sill (Oklahoma), then returned to Korea to serve as deputy provost marshal and director of emergency services for the 2nd Infantry Division nine miles from the Korean Demilitarized Zone. He ended his military career in New York State with assignments as a military police officer at Fort Drum (New York) and as an assistant professor of military science on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y., completing a 22-year military career before assuming university police chief responsibilities.
Clark will fill the vacancy left by Eric Plummer. Plummer was named chief of police at Radford University in March 2021. Terry Wynne, director of safety, has served as interim associate vice president for public safety, and UND Police Captain Tracy Meidinger has served as interim chief of police since that time. Special thanks to Wynne, Meidinger, Jen Berger, and Linda Olson and others as they stepped up to take on additional responsibilities during the recruitment process.