A Message From Father Donohue

March 18, 2016

Dear Faculty, Students and Staff:

Dear Faculty, Students and Staff:
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update on the some of the progress toward establishing a University police department starting in fall 2016.

We have taken the preliminary legal steps with county and state agencies to form a University police department. We have also engaged an industry-leading implementation consultant to develop a formal implementation plan to ensure that all aspects of this transition are carried out in the most professional and effective manner. This plan includes recruitment and selection methods for hiring officers, as well as identifying the appropriate equipment and specialized training.

The Department of Public Safety has also engaged with members of our community to discuss the upcoming changes. This outreach includes “Dinner and Dialogue” events with students and Public Safety representatives to discuss the upcoming changes, a Q&A session with the University Senate’s Student Life Committee, a presentation to the Faculty Congress, and other faculty and staff events that provided an opportunity to get answers to questions regarding the transition. There are plans for additional outreach and engagement with the University Staff Council, Student Government Association and other student organizations in the coming weeks.

Another step towards implementation is the establishment of an Oversight Committee. This committee will act as a liaison between the Public Safety Department and the University community. This group will offer insight into the safety and security needs of our community, provide input on initiatives to enhance campus safety, and make recommendations concerning police department policies, programs and practices. The committee will also receive and review suggestions, complaints and concerns from the community.

The Oversight Committee will include two students, three faculty members, one staff member, an at-large member of the University community (i.e. alumni, parent, neighbor), and a University Administrator, who will serve as Committee Chair. These committee members are volunteers that I have appointed. The Director of Public Safety will be a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Committee and a representative from the Office of the Vice President of General Counsel will serve as an adviser on police legal issues. All non-student appointments shall be for two academic years, and all members are eligible for three terms of reappointment. Student appointments may vary in length.

The members of the Oversight Committee include:

  • Rev. Rob Hagan, OSA, Associate Athletic Director, CHAIR
  • John Cosenza, Alumnus and Retired Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the criminal branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
  • Brigid Dwyer, PhD, Director, Program on Intergroup Relations
  • William Elmore, Management Student, Class of 2018
  • Tim Horner, D Phil, Assistant Professor, Peace and Justice Education
  • Crystal Lucky, PhD, Associate Professor, English and Director of the Africana Studies Program
  • Ariel Thompson, Chemical Engineering Student, Class of 2018
  • Catherine Warrick, PhD, Associate Professor, Political Science

I would like to thank the members of the Committee for agreeing to serve and for their guidance in helping to ensure that this transition and implementation are successful.

As more updates become available, I will continue to share them with you. Thank you again for your support as we strive to make Villanova a safer and more secure environment.



Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA