UC Merced will roll the chief of campus police and assistant vice chancellor of public safety jobs into one position with a new appointment, university officials announced Tuesday.
Albert Vasquez, who has 33 years of experience in law enforcement and public safety, will take over the dual role Aug. 17 and earn $197,000 a year, campus officials said.
As assistant vice chancellor, Vasquez will oversee UC Merced’s environmental health and safety; risk services; fire and public safety; inspection and building services; parking enforcement; and workers’ compensation.
He replaces Rita Spaur, the university’s first chief, who retired in March after 10 years in the position. University officials said the day-to-day operations of police will be overseen by Lt. Chou Her, who has served as interim chief since Spaur left.
Albert Vasquez will be both UC Merced chief of police and vice chancellor of public safety
“Combining these functions was not the original plan going into the search,” Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Michael Reese said in a message to the campus. “But little did I know that such a unique candidate would present himself with the qualifications necessary to serve in this dual role.”
Vasquez has experience in dual roles. He has served as police chief and dean of campus security and student health and safety at Santa Monica College since 2008.
He has also worked with the U.N. International Police Task Force and the Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program, according to a news release. He also has administrative experience in education at the community college and grade-school levels.
At Santa Monica College, Vasquez oversees a department of 130 employees and student workers who serve a population of about 45,000 students, faculty and staff members at five sites in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, the release stated.
Combining these functions was not the original plan going into the search. But little did I know that such a unique candidate would present himself with the qualifications necessary to serve in this dual role
Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Michael Reese, in a message to the campus
That experience will be valuable as UC Merced moves into its next phase of development, Reese said. The UC Merced 2020 Project aims to double the capacity of campus facilities by 2020 to accommodate students and research priorities.
“I’m really excited to be joining UC Merced during this approaching period of growth,” Vasquez said in a news release. “It is a new position to the institution, and I am thrilled about the possibilities for the continued development in all of the safety areas on campus.”
Vasquez also served as police chief and administrator of risk management and transportation for Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in the City of Industry.
He holds a doctoral degree in education from the University of Southern California and a master’s degrees in criminal justice from Chapman University, among other degrees.