The University announced today that Alana Ennis will be the new assistant vice president of the Office of Public Safety.
Public Safety will function under its first “permanent” holder since its creation in 2008, said University spokesman Michael Hoad.
Ennis will replace Bruce Benson, who retired June 30 after almost two years in the position.
Ennis, who will officially start Aug. 3, said this is the highest position in an academic setting she has held.
The Office of Public Safety works with University Police (UP), security, emergency operations and parking enforcement.
Ennis is a private contractor and assists clients in business development, federal law enforcement and background investigations.
“I’ve had a lot of experiences in a lot of different areas,” Ennis said. “The area (USF) seemed to be most interested in right now is emergency management and business continuity. I got that experience in the corporate arena.”
Ennis spent 29 years in law enforcement, beginning as a police officer in Texas in the ’70s. She was also a captain at the Durham Police Department in Durham, N.C. and chief of police of the Burlington Police Department.
Ennis served as director of Public Safety at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1992 to 1995 and chief of police of the Duke University Police Department from
1995 to 1998.
Ennis said she applied for the position at USF because she enjoyed her time at other universities.
Ennis said her experience as director of security for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products in Charlotte, N.C. from 2003 to 2007 will benefit the position at USF, because she worked in crisis management plans including hurricane situations such asHurricane Katrina.
Ennis said she also assisted in hurricane incidents in the Caribbean by ensuring resources were sent to affected areas.
“I know they have a new emergency management plan at USF,” she said. “The challenge is to get the appropriate people trained in it and practice it.”
Associate Vice President of the Office of Human Resources Sandra Lovins said Ennis’ “proven track record” is one reason why the University selected her for the position.
“She had extremely strong references and experiences coming into different agencies and really taking them into a new direction, and we were really excited about that,” Lovins said.
Lovins said Human Resources assembled a search committee in March when Benson announced his retirement.
Lovins, who headed the search, has been serving as acting assistant vice president of Public Safety.
Lovins said she was chosen as the interim because her department already works with Public Safety.
“First of all, we are leaders within the business and finance vice presidential area, so projects cross. We have regular meetings,” she said. “From a practical perspective, the position is housed right next to me, so our paths cross a lot.”
Lovins said that throughout the year Human Resources and Public Safety work together on issues including the University security contract and emergencies.
Besides Lovins, eight other individuals made up the search committee: Lt. Chris Daniel from UP, Max Bromley, a criminology instructor, Joanne Adamchak from the Office of General Counsel, Sarah Shoffner, a Student Government senator, Adrian Cuarta, director of Physical Plant, Stanley Douglas, director of USF Health’s Office of Operations and Facilities, Kevin Banks, dean for students and Hoad.
Lovins said the search committee was chosen based on individuals who had interest and worked closely with Public Safety.
The committee conducted an initial screening of all 134 applicants and focused on candidates who met the University’s preferred qualifications, Lovins said.
Lovins said she interviewed seven candidates on the phone, and then invited Ennis and another candidate, Jeffrey Van Slyke, to USF for in-person interviews.
The University spent $3,242.25 to cover Slyke’s visit to campus and Ennis’ two visits, according to documents released by USF. The cost included airfare, transportation and hotel accommodations.
Ennis said she heard about the position from a security executive job listing. USF spent $1,717.35 on advertisements in both print and online publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education and Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association.
Lovins said the position pays a salary of $125,000, with 28 percent of that amount used to cover the University’s standard benefits package including health and dental.
Ennis said she plans to stay in this position longterm.
“I don’t see 20 years, because I’m not that young,” she said. “But I’m not going to leave in a year or two.”