McNair named new director

Mike McNair is calling AU a permanent home, as he became the official director of Public Safety Thursday, leaving behind his acting title. With his new title, McNair is moving ahead with a plan for a student patrol originally brought up in the student elections last month.

The student patrol was proposed by Will Mount and John Lancelot, both candidates for president of the Student Confederation, AU's student government. In a previous Eagle article, McNair said he supported the plans and would work with the new SC administration. McNair has since discussed the patrol with student leaders in an effort to organize it soon, he said.

"I'm looking at probably doing a student patrol as soon as I can," McNair said. "My interest is a paid student patrol where we train them and they may do more than just patrol the campus."

Current SC President Nick Terzulli said that he has talked with McNair about the patrols, but there is nothing substantial yet.

"I think the idea is a good one but there are certain reservations," Terzulli said. Those reservations included the safety of students if they became informants for Public Safety, because of the small size of the campus.

Terzulli has not been making any plans, as President-elect Polson Kanneth will be taking office in mid-April.

"I imagine Polson could deal with, possibly create a liaison position or just deal with McNair himself," Terzulli said.

Kanneth said that he has not been contacted by McNair yet but is looking forward to working with him.

The idea for the patrol is great, "as long as the Student Confederation and the students have a voice in that," Kanneth said.

McNair said he wants to get the student patrol started as soon as possible.

"I would like to have it in before the warm weather really starts, so that I can have them out there as some of the activity gets more active," McNair said. "If I can't get it in until September, then I'll settle for that."

Pat Kelshian, executive director of Risk Management and Safety Services, announced McNair's appointment in a memo Thursday after a four-month 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 combined characteristics of the job with required competencies and then created questions to determine these qualities, Kelshian said.

"The consensus 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 [General Assembly] 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 regarding his new position. "I think they made a decision that was informed and well thought out"

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