Just shy of 15 months on the job, Tom Cisco, safety and compliance manager for the Division of Public Safety, received a 30-day notice last week that he would no longer hold the position.
But the reasons why remain unclear.
Cisco said Associate Vice President of Human Resources Sandy Lovins informed him he would not be reappointed. He said he was told that to save money, a University Police (UP) officer would assume his responsibilities.
“Bringing a police officer that is already on the budget would just take my salary out,” said Cisco, whose salary is $55,000.
Cisco said he’s fulfilling his duties from home. However, USF appointed UP Acting Lt. Mike Klingebiel as interim safety and compliance manager Friday. Klingebiel was unavailable for comment Monday.
“He’s great,” said Lara Wade, news director of University Communications. “He knows USF really well.”
Wade said she didn’t know whether the position’s salary would remain the same once it is filled permanently.
Wade said Cisco’s “non-reappointment” was not performance-based, and sometimes these decisions are made because the department’s criteria for the position change, among other things.
She said Human Resources wants to “begin recruiting immediately.”
Cisco said who they hire depends on the individual’s training and background.
“When I came in here, I had 10 years of emergency management experience,” he said. “I’ve been through three federally declared disasters and ran those operations.”
Assistant Vice President of Public Safety Alana Ennis, who started at USF in August, also has been out of the office for a couple of weeks for personal reasons, Wade said, leaving two of the division members from the beginning of the semester out of the office.
Cisco said Lovins, who was also unavailable for comment, has been acting as the assistant vice president in place of Ennis.
But Wade said though Ennis is “physically out of the office,” she is still overseeing Public Safety.
Ennis, whose salary is $125,000, has a telecommuting agreement with the University that allows her to work from home.
Lovins is just overseeing the “day-to-day” operations of Public Safety, Wade said. Public Safety includes UP, AlliedBarton, Parking Enforcement and Emergency Management.
University spokesman Michael Hoad said he doesn’t think the leadership situations are an issue.
“Public Safety isn’t the police force,” he said. “They are meant to move forward a lot of things. Their first job is not the crisis of the moment. We have police.”
Hoad said Cisco’s job was to develop and document plans.
Cisco said his last day will be Nov. 30. In the meantime, he’s working on projects involving campus safety meetings and programs.
“It’s kind of a shock to me,” Cisco said. “I’ll stay in emergency management. I may have to move out of the area. The emergency management jobs around here are few and far between. If I want to stay in that field, I may end up moving away.”
Cisco, who started at USF in July 2008, said the coordinator’s responsibilities include developing a new emergency preparedness operations plan for the University and training staff for those areas.
Since Cisco’s start, the campus emergency text message alert system MoBull, the siren alert known as the Emergency Notification System and a new emergency operations plan were implemented.
Pizzo Elementary was secured as a shelter site for USF during emergency situations.
“Before that, we didn’t have an approved shelter site,” Cisco said.
Prior to coming to USF, Cisco served as the director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for Shelby County in Ohio.
Cisco was responsible for emergency preparedness, 11 fire departments, 16 emergency medical service squads and over 100 volunteers.
During his tenure, Cisco managed operations for three emergency situations when the county was declared a disaster area: an ice storm that shut the county down for two weeks, 16 inches of rain that caused flooding and 24 inches of snow.
Cisco said he also coordinated emergency response and shelter openings during those disasters.
When asked about the progress USF’s Public Safety has made since he’s been here, Cisco declined to comment.
USF will begin advertising and searching for a new safety and compliance manager next week, Wade said. There is no deadline for the University to fill the position, she said.