After more than 33 years of service to the University of Rochester, Walter O. Mauldin, director of the Department of Public Safety, will transition to a senior adviser role, focusing on assessment, policy, and planning.
Mark T. Fischer, who has served as deputy director to Mauldin since 2011 as part of a succession plan, will succeed him on Dec. 1, as announced by Ron Paprocki, senior vice president for administration and finance and CFO.
As senior adviser, Mauldin will focus on assessment and developing proposals and recommendations pertaining to programmatic initiatives, policy, state and federal compliance, and national best practices.
Mauldin joined the University in 1980 as director of Security Services—at the age of 27. He came to Rochester from the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a bachelor's degree in law enforcement administration and worked for the OU Police Department for eight years in patrol, investigations, planning and training. There, he also created and directed a 400-hour state certified course for university police officers.
"I am very appreciative of the many years of dedicated leadership Walter has given to the University," said President Joel Seligman. "He has been a reassuring presence in times of crisis. His sound judgment and understanding of the University environment have been extremely beneficial to our community. These attributes will serve him well in his senior adviser position, and I look forward to his contributions that will further enhance University community safety."
"Walter has provided nearly 34 years of key leadership to the department that serves our most critical function—the safety of our University community members," said Paprocki. "He has created a department that is well respected by our community and by our local law enforcement agencies. Most recently, his leadership in the multiyear effort to establish the University's first sworn officer program has resulted in a stronger and coordinated response structure within Public Safety."
Fischer becomes chief of a 134-member force, which now includes 27 newly active sworn peace officers and another group of 25 currently in training.
Before joining the University in 2011, Fischer spent 28 years with the New York State Police, holding a number of posts—from trooper and investigator to leadership roles in the Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Internal Affairs. As commander of Troop E located in Canandaigua, he was responsible for operations in the 10-county region of the Finger Lakes and directly managed 400 sworn and non-sworn officers from 2001 to 2004. In his time with the State Police, he was recognized with five State Police Superintendent's Commendations and numerous Troop Commander awards.
"Mark came to the University with extensive experience and expertise in law enforcement, and in two years has demonstrated an outstanding ability to effectively address the safety and critical response needs of our growing University," says Paprocki. "His veteran leadership and collaborative nature will prepare the department well for the future and have already made a positive impact on the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. He understands the specific needs and the culture of the University."
Fischer received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Elmira College. He has been involved in such professional activities as participating as a member of the New York State Committee on Counter Terrorism (2001-2004), serving as Region 12 Counter Terrorism Zone Chairman (2002), and joining the NYS Police Sergeants Promotional Board and NYS Police Career Board. Fischer also has supported a variety of community outreach efforts in partnership with other police agencies and police chiefs, county sheriffs, community leaders, and elected officials.