PASADENA, Texas — Jeffrey Van Slyke, Ed.D., has been named police chief at San Jacinto College (SJC), bringing with him more than 20 years of higher education public safety experience.
As chief, Van Slyke will oversee a San Jacinto College police force of 21 full-timeofficers that monitor all three SJC campuses, its nine extension centers, and the College administration office. Van Slyke is the seventh police chief in the history of the department.
“I was attracted to San Jacinto College because of the strong commitment to academic success and student development,” said Van Slyke, who began his new position on Jan. 3. “I was truly impressed by the enthusiasm of the entire administrative team, and I look forward to working with them in serving as chief of police.”
Van Slyke comes to San Jacinto College after spending two years as the director of public safety at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. While at Georgetown, Van Slyke oversaw the daily operations of the campus police department, and served on the senior management team for the Department of University Safety.
Prior to his time at Georgetown, he served as the director of police and campus safety at the University of Mississippi (2005 to 2008), chief of police at the University of Texas at Austin (1999 to 2005), associate director of public safety at University of Iowa (1996 to 1999), and as the chief of police at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (1989 to 1996).
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Jeff’s wealth of knowledge and experience at the helm of the San Jacinto College police department,” said Ken Lynn, vice chancellor for fiscal affairs. “He has demonstrated a commitment to public safety in higher education and exceptional leadership skills, which make him the right choice for our police chief.”
In the next few months, Van Slyke plans to meet with students, faculty, staff, and officers to gain perspectives and input related to public safety at San Jacinto College. “I often remind people that they are citizens on patrol,” noted Van Slyke. “Public safety is a shared responsibility. I hope to implement proactive processes that will nurture the campus community’s understanding of their responsibilities, as well as improve the business continuity of services provided by the San Jacinto College police department.”
A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Van Slyke attended Auburn University on a track / cross country scholarship with plans to pursue an educational degree and a career as a physical education teacher and track coach. However, a car accident during his freshman year of college, in which he broke his leg in 15 places, led him to a degree in criminal justice and eventually a career in public service. “My first experience working in higher education was as the manager of parking services at Auburn University, and it truly influenced me to pursue this profession,” added Van Slyke. “Higher education public safety has been a very rewarding career path.”
Van Slyke holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Auburn University, and a Master of Public Affairs from Western Carolina University. In December of 2007, he received his Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, after successfully defending his dissertation “Police Ethics Training: Preferred Modes of Teaching in Higher Education Law Enforcement.” He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., and received specialized training from the United States Secret Service to assist with the protective detail for President Bush’s daughter, who attended the University of Texas.
“I truly look forward to making a difference in the San Jacinto College community,” said Van Slyke.
Van Slyke and his wife, Renee, have three children. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and attending church, as well as running, biking, golf, and baseball.