Breaking News: McNair officially hired

Acting director promoted after four-month search

Mike McNair is the new director of Public Safety after serving as acting director for four months, according to a memo to faculty and staff on Thursday.

Pat Kelshian, executive director of Risk Management and Safety Services, released the memo announcing McNair's appointment after a search to replace Colleen Carson, who left the University just prior to Thanksgiving.

"[The search] went a little bit different than I had anticipated," Kelshian said. The decision was made because of "the feedback was I was getting back from the people who were dealing with him, the staff of Public Safety and the students. He has a lot of experience and an unflappable demeanor."

McNair was happy to receive the news and believes that he can do a lot to help the University.

"I think it's a win-win situation for the campus and me personally," McNair said. "I am looking forward to doing good things for the campus, making this campus safer for all the students, staff and faculty."

Kelshian said that, although there were many applicants, very few had the experience McNair had.

"The r?sum?s I did receive were from folks with a very strong background and probably would be helpful with counter-terrorism," Kelshian said. "We needed someone with a more well-rounded background with lots of experience."

During the interview process, the search committee, which included Kelshian, Faith Leonard, the dean of students, Beth Muha, executive director of human resources, and Julie Weber, executive director of Housing and Dining Programs, conducted several meetings with McNair as well as other candidates using a "targeted selection process," Kelshian said.

The process combines characteristics of the job with required competencies and then creates questions to determine these qualities, Kelshian said.

"The concensus was, we have someone here already who cares about this University," Kelshian said.

Leonard involved several students in the process as well, Kelshian said.

The group of students "included people such as the presidents of Student Confederation, Graduate Leadership Council, [Residence Hall Association]," Leonard said. "We had a representative from the GA and students with a particular interest in safety issues such as a representative from the Women's Initiative."

"Student feedback is very important in any position that involves so much close interaction with the campus community," Leonard said.

McNair's appointment is official Thursday. He had served as acting director since early December. Previously, he had served for 32 years on the police force at University of Maryland-College Park, where he rose to the rank of deputy chief before retiring last April.

"The campus took a good long look at what they wanted and they communicated that to me," McNair said. "I think they made a decision that was informed and well thought out"

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