Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, June 20, 2013

U-M picks former State Police director to lead DPSS

Eddie L. Washington Jr., a former director of the Michigan State Police who has worked as a security consultant for U-M and Dow Chemical Co., has been selected as the executive director of the Division of Public Safety and Security.

  Eddie Washington Jr.

He will start July 23, pending approval by the Board of Regents at the July 18 meeting, and will report directly to President Mary Sue Coleman. Joe Piersante has filled the executive director's position on an interim basis since last fall while also serving as U-M police chief.

"We have made tremendous progress since the creation of the Division of Public Safety and Security last fall," Coleman said. "The appointment of Eddie Washington to this critical position will assure that we continue to make safety and security a top priority on our campus."

The selection of Washington comes after a national search led by a search advisory committee chaired by Liz Barry, managing director of the Life Sciences Institute. The Spelman & Johnson Group, a search firm with a specialty in higher education, assisted with the search.

Washington had a 27-year career with the Michigan State Police, rising to the rank of colonel and ultimately being appointed director of the agency by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2010. After leaving the State Police, he worked as a homeland security adviser to U-M in 2011. Since then he has worked as a security consultant for Dow Chemical.

He has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from William Tyndale College and is a graduate of the FBI's National Academy and the program in Executive Leadership in Homeland Security at the Naval Postgraduate School. He also is a U.S. Army veteran.

"I am thrilled and honored to be selected for this important position. The university has a tremendous team of safety and security professionals and I'm eager to start working with them," Washington said.

The Division of Public Safety & Security was created in October 2012 by the Board of Regents as part of a realignment of all campus safety and security services. Included in the new division are these safety and security units:

• U-M Police Department.

• Hospitals and Health Centers Security Services.

• Housing Security and Safety Services.

• University Security Services, consisting of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, Security Systems and Technology Management, U-M Art Museum security, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology security and contract security.