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Penn’s Division of Public Safety is searching for its next Vice President, following the retirement of Chief of Police and Vice President Maureen Rush last year.

Credit: Avi Singh

A nationwide search for Penn's next Vice President for Public Safety has commenced following the retirement of Maureen Rush. 

Craig Carnaroli, Penn's Senior Executive Vice President, is leading the search for Rush’s replacement. While Rush acted as both Superintendent of Penn Police and Vice President of the Division of Public Safety, the roles will now be separate positions. Once in office, the appointed vice president of DPS will select the new chief of police. 

An external search firm, Spelman Johnson, is actively sourcing and reviewing candidate submissions for vice president of public safety. The interview process is expected to begin soon, Carnaroli wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian. 

"The search continues to remain on schedule," Carnaroli wrote. "I am very pleased with the quality and diversity of the candidate pool."

A consultative committee works closely with Carnaroli to review candidate submissions that come through Spellman Johnson. Comprised of Penn administrators, an Undergraduate Assembly representative, and a representative from a West Philadelphia community organization, the committee works to build a diverse pool of candidates, Carnaroli told the DP.

Carnaroli said that he and the committee are searching for an individual who will foster positive relationships between Penn Police, Penn's student body, Penn Medicine, and the local West Philadelphia community. 

“[The next vice president] is a person I think who has to have that level of emotional intelligence to understand the complexities of managing and leading safety in a diverse environment like Penn,” said Carnaroli. 

Kathleen Shields Anderson, who worked alongside Rush for nearly 10 years as executive director of operations and chief of staff of DPS, serves as interim vice president during the transition period.

Anderson told the DP that other than the first few weeks of the leadership transition being busier than usual, operations at DPS are running smoothly. 

“We have great support from SEVP Carnaroli — we were left in good hands, coming from VP Rush. She built a great program and we are functioning on a top-level as she expects,” Anderson said.

Rush announced her retirement in Oct. 2021 after her 27-year tenure as Penn's Chief of Police and 21-year tenure as vice president of DPS.

During Rush's tenure as vice president of DPS, Rush initially had two chiefs of police working under her. However, due to her concerns about communication through the chain of command, she created a proposal to integrate the role of chief of police into her own job, according to Carnaroli. 

Rush continues to serve as an advisor to Carnaroli during this period of leadership transition to assist in the onboarding of DPS’s next vice president.