AUSTIN, Texas—Jeffrey M. Van Slyke, associate director of public safety at the University of Iowa with degrees in criminal justice and public administration, has been named new chief of police at The University of Texas at Austin. The appointment is effective Sept. 1.
The announcement follows a nationwide search to replace Donald Cannon, who has served as chief of the University Police Department for 29 years. Cannon is retiring Aug. 31.
Before going to the University of Iowa, Van Slyke was chief of police at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He also has held jobs at the Auburn University Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Talladega, Ala., where he was a corrections officer, and for the cities of Oxford, Piedmont and Sylacauga, Ala., as a police officer.
Van Slyke received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice in 1982 and a master’s degree in public administration from Western Carolina University. He was an honor graduate from the Montgomery Police Academy in Montgomery, Ala., in 1982. Van Slyke also has published articles on the law enforcement profession, including one on ethics, corruption and leadership.
“The candidates that made the search committee’s short list all had impressive credentials,” said UT Austin Vice President G. Charles Franklin in announcing the appointment. “In addition to his educational background in criminology, Jeffrey Van Slyke has experience at the level of associate director and director with other university police departments. He also has a demeanor suitable for working with students and other members of the University community. We look forward to welcoming Jeff to the UT campus.”
The University has been fortunate to have the services of Police Chief Cannon, added Franklin. “Under his able leadership, a first-class University police department was established and served UT well. He has every reason to be proud of his accomplishments as he moves into retirement.”
Van Slyke said it is an “honor and a privilege to follow after the legendary career of Chief Don Cannon. I look forward to providing leadership to a very competent and established University of Texas Police Department. Likewise, I am equally excited about serving the University faculty, staff and students.
“During my recent visits, I have been particularly impressed with the spirit and enthusiasm exhibited by students at UT. I strongly believe that the students are the life-blood of a university, and I have always maintained that we should take a vested interest in providing them with a positive and enriching educational experience.
Joe Powell, associate vice president for business affairs, chaired the search committee that was comprised of members from the University faculty and staff. “Our goal was to get a short list of quality candidates from a national pool to bring to the campus for interviews with selected departments, student representatives and police officers, guards and staff. We wanted the best available candidate that we could find to continue the excellent leadership that has been provided by Chief Cannon.
“We believe, with the hiring of Jeff Van Slyke and his experience, leadership skills and educational background, that the University Police Department will continue to be a well respected department that works well with the faculty, staff and students. I am excited that Jeff has accepted the position and look forward to working with him.”