Michael Schirling appointed UVM Chief Safety and Compliance Officer

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Michael Schirling appointed UVM Chief Safety and Compliance Officer

Tue, 05/24/2022 - 2:42pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont announced the appointment of Michael Schirling to the senior leadership role of Chief Safety and Compliance Officer (CSCO) today. Schirling currently serves as the state’s commissioner of Public Safety, appointed by Governor Phil Scott in September 2019. He previously served as Vermont’s secretary of commerce and community development from 2017 to 2019, also in the Scott Administration.

“I can think of no one in our region better prepared to face the complex operational challenges of UVM as we return to normal following the pandemic,” said UVM President Suresh Garimella. “Mike’s deep experience in municipal, state, and federal law enforcement combined with his private sector and state government roles position him well for success at UVM. He is a lifelong Vermonter and alumnus who knows UVM very well already.” 

Schirling will lead the research university’s multi-disciplinary Safety and Compliance Division whose mission is to protect the health, safety, and operational resilience of the UVM community. Units reporting to Schirling will include Police Services, Emergency Management, Risk Management and Safety, Compliance and Privacy Services, and the university’s CatCard ID systems.

“Mike has been an extraordinary member of my cabinet, serving in two critical roles since day one of my administration,” said Governor Scott. “He’s dedicated, hardworking and a dependable problem solver. Mike has devoted his career to public service, and Vermonters have been fortunate to have him. I’m confident he will continue to excel at the University of Vermont.”

With 14,000 students and 4,000 faculty and staff, UVM has the daytime population of a medium sized city. Many types of events attract thousands of visitors for athletics, performing arts, and academic conferences. It is the largest higher education institution in the state and one of the largest employers, occupying a 460-acre campus with 6 million square feet of teaching, research, athletics, performance, and office space.

“The university faces most of the risk and safety concerns of any large community plus additional challenges unique to a college campus,” said Schirling. “I’m excited to continue serving the state from within Vermont’s flagship university. I look forward to building on the strengths and considerable experience of the UVM professionals in the Division of Safety and Compliance.”

A native of Burlington, Schirling studied political science and education at UVM where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In 1989, he began a 26-year career with the Burlington Police Department rising in the ranks from officer through more than a dozen specialized roles that led to becoming Deputy Chief and, ultimately, Chief of Police in his last 8 years at the department.

Schirling has nationally and internationally recognized expertise in areas including policing underrepresented populations, law enforcement technology and innovation, digital forensics, gender-based violence, victim services, crimes against children, internet crimes, sex crimes, and anti-terrorism. Among his many additional roles, he has worked as a consultant and trainer for the U.S. Department of State, an expert witness to Congressional committees, and a faculty member in digital forensic technology at Champlain College.

“Education of the next generation is among my greatest passions,” said Schirling, who has participated throughout his career in the training and professional development of fellow officers. “UVM is a premier public research university where I hope to put what I’ve learned and taught to use for the benefit of the campus and broader community.”

Schirling’s public service includes appointments to dozens of local, state-wide, regional, and national working groups and committees. He served on the board of directors of Boys and Girls Club of Burlington for 14 years, among several non-profit leadership roles. 

Schirling’s appointment was the successful result of a highly competitive nationwide search following the announced retirement of Vice President for Operations and Public Safety Gary Derr after 22 years of service. Schirling will report directly to President Suresh Garimella and serve on the university’s senior leadership team. He begins at UVM on June 20, 2022.

About the University of Vermont

Since 1791, the University of Vermont has worked to move humankind forward. UVM’s strengths align with the most pressing needs of our time: the health of our societies and the health of our environment. Our size—large enough to offer a breadth of ideas, resources, and opportunities, yet intimate enough to enable close faculty-student mentorship across all levels of study—allows us to pursue these interconnected issues through cross-disciplinary research and collaboration. Providing an unparalleled educational experience for our students, and ensuring their success, are at the core of what we do. As one of the nation’s first land grant universities, UVM advances Vermont and the broader society through the discovery and application of new knowledge.

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The University of Vermont 5.24.2022